5 things we learned from Week 2 of Carolina Panthers camp

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) Stephen Weatherly /

Carolina Panthers No. 5: Stephen Weatherly benefitting from a longer camp

Having a longer period to prepare for the new season might be a good thing for the Carolina Panthers. They are implementing a brand-new scheme on both sides of the ball. And with no OTAs, minicamps, or preseason games to put this into action. Getting up to speed with the theoretical aspect of the playbook is something that is already showing positive signs, according to defensive end Stephen Weatherly.

The big-money signing from the Minnesota Vikings is facing the biggest year of his career. Weatherly is finally getting a shot at being a prominent starter in the NFL after catching the eye in a rotational role. And the former seventh-round pick has clearly benefitted from an offseason of significant disruption before getting on the field.

"“If I was a rookie I would be so grateful to whatever football god allowed this because when I was a rookie, when we installed, it was like a third of the playbook (for three days), and we’re only on Day 5 of training camp and (the defensive coordinator) can call anything in there. But because it’s a slower ramp-up, we’re introducing things a lot slower, so they’re able to be more confident in their ability to communicate. “I’m super excited to come out here and legitimately fight for a spot, a bigger, more expanded role. I feel like I’m ready to go out there and show what I’ve got, for sure.”"

The Panthers placed a lot of faith in Weatherly to produce the goods this offseason. His story is an inspiring one for any unfancied prospect looking to forge a successful career in the NFL. But now is the time for him to take his game up to a different level, in no uncertain terms.

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Everything looks to be in place for the Vanderbilt product to succeed. And Weatherly will not be lacking in space to work in thanks to the presence of Derrick Brown and Kawann Short on the interior.