What were some key observations as the Carolina Panthers put the pads on for the first time on Day 5 of the team’s training camp practices?
There was an enormous sense of excitement in the air as the Carolina Panthers got the pads on to kick off Week 2 of the team’s training camp. This usually comes with an increased intensity that threatens to boil over on occasions, which is something to monitor closely throughout their remaining time in Spartanburg.
The integration period is now over. Business is picking up for the Panthers and we should get a broader indication of what this team is capable of over the next few weeks before their regular-season opener against the Cleveland Browns.
Spirits have been high within the set-up and head coach Matt Rhule seems more relaxed after plenty of speculation surrounding his future this offseason. Much more will be required to make strides next time around, especially when one considers the standard of teams Carolina is coming up against throughout.
With this in mind, here are four key observations from the Panthers’ first padded practice on Monday.
Key Observation No. 1
Carolina Panthers get Jaycee Horn back
One major positive to emerge shortly before taking the field for practice was the return of Jaycee Horn. The gifted cornerback came off the active-physically unable to perform list, which gave the Carolina Panthers a massive lift before their opening session in pads.
Horn was not tasked with that much in terms of workload. The Panthers are taking a cautious approach with the South Carolina product, even though he’s probably chomping at the bit to get involved after missing the best part of 14 games as a rookie.
Providing there are no further complications on the health front, Horn is expected to fill a significant role for the Panthers next season. And make no mistake, this was a huge step in the right direction.