5 critical observations from Carolina Panthers OTAs on Wednesday

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /
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What were some critical observations to take from the Carolina Panthers’ latest OTA practice on Wednesday?

Preparations are ramping up gradually for the Carolina Panthers ahead of the 2022 season. Players and coaches are getting back down to business during the voluntary portion of OTAs, which will be swiftly followed by a mandatory minicamp before heading off to Sparantaburg for an extremely important training camp.

Things are hanging in the balance for the Panthers next season. There is a quiet sense of optimism within the franchise, but not too many within the national media are giving Matt Rhule’s men much chance of making waves against some stern competition on the schedule.

There is a good atmosphere surrounding practices. Something that will hopefully stand the Panthers in good stead despite things not quite going according to plan during the first two years of Rhule’s tenure.

With that being said, here are five critical observations to take from the Panthers’ OTA practice on Wednesday.

Critical Observation No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports) Luke Kuechly /

Carolina Panthers legend spoke with current players

There was a welcome face at practice in the form of legendary linebacker Luke Kuechly, who watched the session before speaking in front of players once OTAs had come to a conclusion.

Although there’s been plenty of player turnover since Kuechly hung up his cleats, he remains a respected figure within the Carolina Panthers and hopefully, his words will serve as a source of inspiration for those looking to follow in his footsteps.

Carolina has found it difficult to replace Kuechly since his retirement. A complex riddle that has the potential to complicate matters in 2022 if the team’s current options cannot step up.