Here are some quick highlights of what happened Monday morning at the Carolina Panthers training camp practice that a select group of media were able to watch:
-Running back Mike Davis and defensive tackle Kawann Short were each late to practice because they took their children to school on the first day of classes. They were late with the blessing of head coach Matt Rhule, who wants his entire staff to do that at some point, too.
-On Sunday, the offense had to do pushups for failing to execute. Monday, it was the defense’s turn. Just before they hit the ground to do them, Rhule yelled at them, “Don’t beat yourself, defense!”
-Rhule has been known as a coach in college to jump in on plays as a position player and show them what he wants. And while it wasn’t during a play, Rhule did jump in on the defensive line and showed them how he wants tackles to be by actually hitting a tackling dummy. Rhule later said he didn’t know the camera was on him otherwise he probably wouldn’t have done it.
-Once again, starting left tackle Russell Okung left practice early to do workouts in a pool for his lower back. These are scheduled sessions.
-Receiver Curtis Samuel made a really nice lunging catch over the middle in live drills. It was one of the best catches of the day.
-The team worked out in full pads and were more physical than on Sunday, though Sunday’s practice seemed to have more pace to it.
-Rookie punter Joseph Charlton has struggled at times the last two days at getting consistent distance and getting tight spirals. Near the end of practice on Monday, the team went into punt drills and on his first attempt, he shanked it to the left and it even went over the big retaining wall surrounding the fields. He hit a nice one on his third attempt.
-Once again, loud music is being blasted during portions of practice, and one reoccurring song is “Jump Around” by House of Pain.
-Donte Jackson received some solid praise from the coaches today while doing position drills.
Quotes following practice:
"It feels like football is here. We're in pads, guys are flying around and just being able to practice the past couple of weeks, it's been great."
"We're feeling coaches energy. Every day he talks about the brand and guys having that process. By the time we finish stretch, you turn that switch on and be ready to compete."
"Coach (Rhule) is a guy who is going to be very honest whether he's never played a down he's going to let you know. I think with him, he can relate but he also let's you understand that- hey, if I don't have the question or the answer, I can give it all. Guys are willing to respect that."