On Monday it was announced that interim General Manager Marty Hurney fired long-time director of pro personnel Mark Knocz. Knocz was promoted to that position in May by recently-fired General Manager Dave Gettleman. Knocz had been with the Panthers organization since 1994 when he started in the ticket office as an intern, later to be hired on in the football operations department.
On Tuesday as players arrived at training camp in Spartanburg it was announced that DE Ryan Delaire and WR Charles Johnson were released from the team. Delaire failed his physical while Johnson was waived/injured after knee surgery. The Panthers added former Packers and Seahawks Center Greg Van Roten.
Rookie Curtis Samuel arrived at training camp in an unconventional fashion: he was dropped off by his mom.
Training Camp officially kicked off Wednesday in Spartanburg!
Coach Ron Rivera remarked that Cam Newton looked a bit rusty but quickly returned to form as be began throwing for the first time since his shoulder surgery earlier this year.
Get used to hearing “Cam to McCaffrey” as several plays involved Cam and CMC.
Amini Silatolu was spotted working out with the second team at the left tackle position. Silatolu was drafted by the Panthers in the second round in 2012. He started as right guard in 15 games of the 2012 season and did not play last season. He was re-signed by the Panthers earlier this season.
After what started as a relatively quiet and uneventful camp, the first fight broke out between offensive lineman Dan France and Safety Dezmen Southward. The skirmish was quickly broken up.
Also on Friday two cornerbacks missed practice: Captain Munnerlyn was limited to the stationary bike.
Bill Voth of the Panthers reports rookie Corn Elder underwent an MRI in Charlotte on Thursday which showed a stress fracture of his patella. Elder is considered week to week at this point but Erik Sommers writes for Cat Scratch Reader that this injury is rare and slow to heal so Elder could expect to land on Injured Reserve.
Sommers also reports that at Punter Andy Lee holds the favorite over Michael Palardy and Kelvin Benjamin dropped a couple of catchable passes.
Curtis Samuel sat out with a hamstring injury as did Ryan Kalil who is still recovering from a shoulder injury from last season.
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Here are the can’t miss Panthers stories from around the web:
The Riot Report is getting into full swing as Josh Klein reports on training camp and also has an article that Cam Newton is ready to win. Sean Mauk writes about A. Duke in the Queen’s City (as in, Austin Duke) and don’t miss Jesse Fraetis’ photo gallery from training camp.
Training camp reports are regularly published at the Riot Report.
NFL.com has their ranking of the 400 current NFL players with 16 Carolina Panthers players making the list. Charles Johnson, Andrew Norwell, Mario Addison, Shaq Thompson and Jonathan Stewart ranked in between 301 and 387. In the 200’s are Kurt Coleman, Julius Peppers, Kelvin Benjamin, Star Lotulelei and Trai Turner. Cam Newton ranked at number 162. In the top of the ranking are Kawann Short, Ryan Kalil, Thomas Davis and Greg Olsen with Luke Kuechly coming in at number 4.
At USA Today Panthers Wire
Also, Tim Weaver reports Former Panther and current New England Patriot Kony Ealy is making waves in New England – and not the good kind. Ealy missed the first day of training camp Thursday and it had nothing to do with injury. When pressed about his absence Ealy said, “You have to ask Coach Bill (Belichick). Me and him had something going on.”
Weaver notes that Belichick is well known for his zero-tolerance attitude toward players who violate the slightest team code and that this may put Ealy on thin ice.
Former GM Dave Gettleman traded Ealy to the Patriots earlier this season after which Ealy threw a bit of shade at his former team stating how much better New England is than the Panthers.
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Riot Rewinds are produced every Friday. News Blitzes are produced as news breaks.