5 early observations from first Panthers training camp practice

Dean Jones
(Alex Hicks Jr./Spartanburg Herald-Journal via IMAGN Content Services) Sam Darnold
(Alex Hicks Jr./Spartanburg Herald-Journal via IMAGN Content Services) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Christian McCaffrey looks incredible

This probably comes as a surprise to absolutely nobody, but seeing Christian McCaffrey back on the field in team drills was a sight for sore eyes. The Carolina Panthers will be heavily dependent on their star running back not only putting up elite numbers in 2021, but also avoiding the same sort of injury complications that restricted him to just three games last season.

All eyes were on McCaffrey during the first practice.

He did not disappoint.

It’s clear the hard work he’s put in during the offseason has paid off. McCaffrey looked explosive and accomplished as expected, which is a big boost and something that probably gave everybody a huge lift.

Players, coaching staff, and fans alike all feel safer when McCaffrey is in the backfield. It was only the first practice, but the former first-round pick was clearly ready to set the tone in the hope others will follow.

After so many frustrations over the last year, McCaffrey was undoubtedly relishing the prospect of returning to the field and doing what he does best.

And everyone associated with the organization can be thankful for that.