Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers

Player News - Panthers

Date: Team: Pos:

The Panthers' secondary recorded just two sacks last season.

That's down from 11 the year before. Carolina DC Sean McDermott didn't call for many safety blitzes in 2014 but that may have been because he didn't have the right personnel. The Panthers lost blitz specialists Quintin Mikell, Mike Mitchell and Captain Munnerlyn last offseason and the unit never seemed to recover. Roman Harper has the most sacks by a defensive back since 2006 but only one of those came last season. Even with versatile rookie Shaq Thompson in the mix, the Panthers are going to have a tough time generating pressure in 2015.
Jul 5 - 11:19 AM

ESPN Panthers reporter David Newton believes Amini Silatolu could win the starting left guard job in camp.

Andrew Norwell played well down the stretch last season after taking over for an injured Silatolu, but Silatolu brings more experience. Before Silatolu can unseat Norwell, he will have to prove his health. He has played just 10 games total the last two seasons.
Source: ESPN.com
Jul 4 - 1:05 PM

Panthers LE Charles Johnson saw snaps at right end during the offseason program.

Johnson has played almost exclusively on the left side the last three seasons, but with Kony Ealy, Wes Horton and Frank Alexander question marks on the right side, the Panthers could look to move Johnson around more. No matter where he lines up, Carolina's pass rush will likely go as Johnson goes this season.
Jul 4 - 11:09 AM

Coach Ron Rivera "seems most bullish" on DE Frank Alexander winning the starting job opposite LE Charles Johnson.

The Panthers are looking to replace Greg Hardy full-time. Alexander played just 24 snaps last season after being slapped with consecutive four- and 10-game suspensions to open the season. He admitted to smoking weed after practices on a regular basis to help him heal. Now apparently clean, Alexander made noise at OTAs before injuring his groin and missing minicamp. If Alexander doesn't take the job, the Panthers also have Kony Ealy, Mario Addison, and Wes Horton.
Jul 1 - 9:52 AM

Rookie Panthers WR Devin Funchess blames his disappointing junior season at Michigan on a toe injury.

"We never got to see the full Devin Funchess at Michigan because I did play one season at wide receiver, and I was battling through an injury," Funchess said. "I think up here in the NFL I can make some damage." At 6-foot-4, 232 pounds, Funchess certainly has the size to be an NFL difference maker, but has questionable speed. He ran 4.70 at the Combine before improving at his Pro Day. As a Wolverine, Funchess didn't always fight for the ball in the air, and disappointed after the catch. He'll be a wild card opposite second-year pro Kelvin Benjamin.
Jun 29 - 2:56 PM

ESPN Panthers reporter David Newton "really expect(s)" Devin Funchess to "play a big role."

Funchess worked at X, Z and slot during OTAs -- and he "looked good doing it." The second-round rookie will play a ton of snaps opposite Kelvin Benjamin beginning in Week 1. The question is if Funchess will be able to capitalize on his unique size and athleticism after disappointing at Michigan last year. He's worth re-draft consideration beginning in about the 13th round.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 29 - 11:03 AM

ESPN Panthers reporter David Newton believes rookie RB Cameron Artis-Payne would take over lead duties if Jonathan Stewart went down.

Artis-Payne is still behind Fozzy Whittaker and possibly Darrin Reaves on the depth chart, but of the three he is the most well equipped to handle an early-down role. Though Artis-Payne lacks high-end talent, he is the likely handcuff to an extremely injury-prone running back. He is a sneaky flier late in drafts.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 28 - 3:58 PM

Panthers WR Corey Brown expects to play this season at 185 pounds.

He played at 180 last year. The Panthers want Brown to get better at his intermediate route running. Brown is competing with Ted Ginn serve as Carolina's situational deep threat behind Kelvin Benjamin, Devin Funchess, and Jerricho Cotchery.
Jun 27 - 7:16 PM

Jerricho Cotchery is not expected to make a significant contribution this year.

The Panthers badly needed to upgrade opposite Kelvin Benjamin this offseason. They did it, using a second-round pick on Devin Funchess and adding Ted Ginn as a situational deep threat. Corey Brown has also made a leap by almost all accounts and Greg Olsen is back. It leaves the 33-year-old Cotchery as a mentor and low-upside slot receiver a la Jason Avant.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 22 - 8:39 AM

GM Dave Gettleman said the Panthers will continue to encourage Cam Newton to run with the football.

The Panthers just gave Newton a $118 million contract with $60 million guaranteed. But they know they won't get a return on that investment unless he uses his unique athletic skill set to make plays. "He’s got to be Cam. You don’t hold back a thoroughbred, you don’t," Gettleman said. Once Newton got healthy late last year, he started piling up the rushing stats once again. Over his final six games (including playoffs), he averaged 9.5 carries for 53.0 yards and 0.5 TDs.
Jun 22 - 8:20 AM

Panthers GM Dave Gettleman described reports of Kelvin Benjamin reporting to offseason workouts 8-9 pounds overweight as, "much ado about nothing."

"Right now he's only five pounds off his playing weight," Gettleman said. "That's it." A bigger deal would've been Benjamin reporting to training camp in late July ten pounds overweight. Doing it in June allows Benjamin plenty of time to get his conditioning in check. Gettleman is right: It's not a big deal.
Jun 18 - 9:19 PM

The Charlotte Observer reports Kelvin Benjamin reported to Panthers spring workouts "8-9 pounds overweight."

In the meantime, Benjamin has suffered injuries to both hamstrings, costing him almost all of OTAs. Benjamin practiced on Tuesday, but won't take part in Thursday's session due to a right hamstring strain. Benjamin played last season at 245 pounds, so he must've been in the mid-250s when OTAs started. Benjamin has some history of weight fluctuation; he was reportedly 20 pounds overweight when he originally showed up at Florida State, forcing the Seminoles to redshirt him as a freshman. On Wednesday, coach Ron Rivera suggested Benjamin's hamstring woes may have resulted from his poor conditioning.
Jun 17 - 10:32 PM

Coach Ron Rivera named WR Stephen Hill the standout player of Panthers OTAs.

Rivera has spent a good part of the offseason talking up Hill. Shining at pad-less practices in shorts and t-shirts is nothing new for former second-rounder Hill. He's bigger, faster, and stronger than most of the players lining up opposite him. The hard parts for Hill thus far during his career have been durability and translating his talent to the field in actual games.
Jun 17 - 2:39 PM

Panthers OG Tyronne Green will miss the season after tearing his Achilles' at minicamp on Tuesday.

Green hasn't played in a regular-season game since making 13 starts for the Chargers in 2012. He was competing for a final spot on Carolina's offensive line.
Jun 17 - 12:23 PM

Panthers signed CB Chris Houston, formerly of the Lions.

Houston, 30, spent 2014 out of football while recovering from a severe toe surgery. Once an effective starting press corner in Detroit, Houston is worth a no-risk flier for the Panthers, who appear likely to start 34-year-old Peanut Tillman across from Josh Norman this season, with Bene Benwikere in the slot.
Jun 15 - 4:39 PM


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