Tag Archives: Jon Beason

Carolina Panthers break camp; get set for Dolphins

SPARTANBURG, SC – The Carolina Panthers concluded their training camp at Wofford College Wednesday morning with a well-paced practice. Work continued on red zone plays, kickoffs, returns and, in the last hour, the team scrimmaged. While dropped passes continue to be a factor during practices, take nothing away from the defensive play of the Panthers.

There were several interceptions thrown during the scrimmage, but the offense did manage to complete several long pass plays.

Four Carolina Panthers not participating in Wednesday’s practice (LB Jon Beason, TE Nelson Rosario, DE Eric Norwood and CB Brandon Hogan) but did get their cardio work in.

Noticeably absent from the drills were linebackers Jon Beason and Thomas Davis. Both players are coming off season-ending injuries in 2011 and both suffered setbacks keeping them out of camp for most practices.

Beason pulled a hamstring – an injury he says resulted from overcompensating for his surgically repaired Achilles.

Davis, coming off three ACL surgeries on his right knee, strained his left calf. He has resumed individual drills, and coach Ron Rivera hopes he can make a full return next week.

Beason is trying to get ready for the August 26 preseason game at the Meadowlands against the New York Jets.

“That was the timetable we set when I first did it. Obviously, if I don’t feel 100 percent, 90 percent’s not going to get me on the field for that (Jets) game,” Beason said.

But Beason said he would definitely be back for the regular season opener at Tampa Bay. “For sure,” he said.

In another health development, Rivera said DT Andre Neblett has an undisclosed medical condition. Neblett, who worked as a starter the first part of camp, is suspended for the first four regular-season games after testing positive for a banned substance.

Players make themselves available to the media and fans after practice. We caught up with wide receiver Steve Smith who said the offense is retaining much more of the playbook this year as compared to last season.

Carolina Panthers WR Steve Smith spoke to the media at the end of practice.

Speaking about the differences in training in Charlotte versus training at camp at Wofford College, Smith said, “There are no distractions (here). You get to see how the guy next to you is. You see how deep-rooted he is. At home, there are distractions. Here, you get the opportunity to focus on football with no distractions. The in-laws come in town and it has nothing to do with you. You know, the baby wakes up, you can’t deal with it, you have to be at work, so that’s the good part (of being sequestered in camp).

“Now you go back to that (home) environment. Training camp is where they (the coaches) break you down…during the season they build you back up. And, hopefully in the playoffs, you have that opportunity to put everything you’ve learned in the last four months in there and you’re on full go, so hopefully we’ll have that opportunity. We’ve set that foundation here in training camp and we have the opportunity to get it going during the regular season and then hit on all cylinders in the playoffs and that’s how you make a statement that your teammate (center Ryan Kalil took out a full-page ad in the Charlotte Observer just before camp opened where he promised the fans the Panthers would win the Super Bowl) has made into fruition.

Smith on how the team is dealing with the high expectations for the upcoming season: “Every team lines up in training camp and every team believes they will be the team holding the Lombardi Trophy and…there’s only one winner. The best team is only at the end and if you’re not holding that trophy everything else you did you pretty much fell short.”

Smith on the difference between last year’s camp and this year’s camp: “The offense is retaining information better than in 2011 when the team was force-fed Rob Chudzinski‘s playbook (after the lockout).”

Smith on new receiver Louis Murphy: “I think he did real good. He showed that he has some big play ability and I think he’s going to be good for us. I think he’s also going to push some other guys, you know, and he’s hungry. This is an opportunity for him. He came in and said ‘I need this” and when you hear that from a guy and then he comes out and does it, well, we need more guys like that.”

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (red jersey) leads the first team offense against the starting defense in a short scrimmage at the end of Wednesday’s practice at Wofford College.

The Panthers will host the Miami Dolphins on Friday night at Bank of America Stadium. It appears they will be facing rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who may be given the start. They are also game-planning a defense to face former Panthers quarterback Matt Moore, who is expected to play at least a quarter. I would believe the Panthers defense is chomping at the bit to welcome Tannehill to the NFL.

The HBO crew filming “Hard Knocks” will be in Charlotte to document the game. If Tannehill does indeed start, you can look forward to a lot of him in next week’s show.

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Carolina Panthers: Work begins at training camp

Spartanburg, SC – The Carolina Panthers worked hard on Sunday and for an especially long time – two hours and 45 minutes. And while Saturday was more like a celebration that football is back, Sunday was a work day. Fans lined the walkway from the locker room to the practice fields searching for autographs or maybe just a few words from players. But when practice started at 6:00 p.m., it was all work.

Strip Drill! LB Kion Wilson (42) strips the ball from “running back” LB Jon Beason as the Panthers worked on individual unit drills Sunday night.

The team practiced without pads again, but beginning Monday night, they will be in full gear. Sunday night was spent working on a lot of individual drills within units, as well as running plays. Over the course of the evening, the Panthers worked on fumble recoveries, linebackers stripping the ball from runners and recovering the ball afterwards, high-stepping drills followed by simulated interceptions (came in handy later in practice) and, of course, kicking.

During the scrimmaging portion, RB Jonathan Stewart and CB Captain Munnerlyn got into a brief shoving match, but that’s just part of camp. Expect more as the offense and defense get tired of practicing against each other.

Free-agent Justin Medlock, with CFL experience behind him, was 4-of-4 kicking field goals last night…all from 46 yards and longer.

PK Justin Medlock, a free-agent with experience in the Canadian Football League, had a nice evening, hitting 4-of-4 field goals from 46 yards and longer. Incumbent Olindo Mare did not attempt any field goals on Sunday.

I know it’s early, but QB Cam Newton struggled early on Sunday evening with his long passes. He overthrew receivers several times, and when he did hit them, passes were dropped. When it was not his turn to run the offense, Newton was studying play sheets and keeping his arm warm by throwing on the sidelines. Must have worked because as the night grew darker, he seemed to find his range and he was the Cam of last year…accurate and commanding. And, once again, towards the end of practice, he tossed a ball into a small group of fans in the end zone.

Cam Newton (red jersey) worked hard on the sidelines during practice. Here he is studying the playsheet for Sunday’s session.

Back-up QB Derek Anderson look professional and competent in running the second team, but Newton is THE man.

WE Seji Ajirotutu dropped a pass beautifully thrown by third-string QB Jimmy Clausen as he was wide open. The Panthers need to get this right.

New OT Bruce Campbell (73) and WR Brandon LaFell stretch before practice. Each had a good showing Sunday evening.

New Panthers OT Bruce Campbell is adjusting to his new team. “Things are different here…they are much more organized  here.” Campbell was with the Oakland Raiders during the past two seasons after coming out early from the University of Maryland in 2009.

WR Brandon LaFell made a couple of nice catches over the middle in traffic and made a great “football move” after catching a ball on an out pattern to extend the yardage.

WR Steve Smith made several sliding catches along the sidelines as the evening wore on.

LB Thomas Davis was favoring his right leg and only practiced for one play. He is recovering from his third ACL surgery. He was walking around during the rest of practice, and he was taking part in Monday morning’s walk-through.

LB James Anderson made a nice interception over the middle against Newton early in practice.

I think the Panthers have a real placekicking battle on their hands. While incumbent Mare missed on Saturday night, Medlock did not…and Medlock’s kicks looked to be longer as well. This is one of the big stories that will play out during camp. Only one will stay…kind of like the U.S. Gymnastics individual’s situation Sunday night in London when the reigning world champion, Jordan Wieber, did NOT get into the individual championship bracket. It’s not fair, but that’s the way it is.