Offseason Training Activities opened earlier this week for the Carolina Panthers and they’ll run for a few more week into June until teams report to training camp at the end of July. This is the time of year where effort and “full extensions” are lauded so it’s worth noting that everything you hear should be taken with a grain of salt because… Well, it’s only May.
After Josh Norman left in the 2016 offseason for Washington there were a lot of questions as to how the Panthers would fill the void and they did so with a few different rookie defensive backs. With three of their five picks in the 2016 draft the Panthers took James Bradberry, Daryl Worley, and Zack Sanchez (all defensive backs) to fill in on defense. Worley worked mostly with Kelvin Benjamin while Bradberry and Sanchez mixed it up with Devin Funchess and Damiere Byrd.
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Worley and Benjamin mixed it up a lot during Week 1 with the coaching staff impressed with Benjamin’ effort to work himself into shape after showing up to camp overweight. Route running has never been Benjamin’s greatest strength but head coach Ron Rivera lauded him for his progress so far in OTA’s.
As previously reported, Graham Gano has been cleared to participate in OTA’s after undergoing surgery in the offseason. Gano appears to have a hold on the starter’s job heading in to training camp as Butker needs to adjust to kicking with a larger ball, but Ron Rivera even stated that competition won’t heat up until August when training camp kicks into gear.
Devin Funchess rolled his ankle on Wednesday, but it’s not believed to be a serious injury. Christian McCaffrey was still absent and won’t be able to work with the team until Stanford’s academic year ends. And Second-round draft pick, Curtis Samuel was away from the team dealing with a family matter.