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Panthers – End Camp in Spartanburg

Photo: Courtesy of Jeremy Brevard-US Presswire

Photo: Courtesy of Jeremy Brevard-US Presswire

The Panthers just wrapped up training at Wofford College, but camp is not finished. It will resume in Charlotte after Thursday night’s match-up against The Eagles. The Panthers will head back today, looking to take I-85 to Charlotte. But their stay in Charlotte will be short lived as they fly out to Philly on Wednesday for their second preseason game.

Greg Olsen says The Panthers are “staying the course.”
Camp is done but it’s just the beginning. There’s still a lot of work left to do. The practices must remain intense as they return to Charlotte.
Greg Olsen is a witness to the fact that the guys came into camp with a “real sense of urgency from day one.” “We practiced hard. We didn’t take any extra days off. We got the work in that we needed.” “We’re gearing up for the home opener—staying the course.” “You just don’t show up on Sundays…there’s a reason for everything that we do.” We “believe in that process.” “Guys have really taken ownership of it.” “Where we are right now is really where we need to be.”

Center Ryan Kalil thought it was a “good camp.” A lot of work was done, but there’s still a lot of work to do. The Panthers are not taking “anything for granted.” Kalil says that they are “working to win; working to build a ‘balanced football team.” The energy, Kalil says, “can be felt” from all the hard work and effort that has been put in. The camp has been “promising.”

Luke Kuechly has bought into the “winner mentality.” “You have to play every play like it may be your last one,” says Kuechly. Last year the team struggled by missing a play here and there and it cost the team wins. A major focus this year is to play hard and not let up–to start strong and finish strong. Emphasis has been given to “play every play hard and get the most out of each play.”

There was a consistent fan base that turned out to watch the Panthers practice each day. Jordan Gross said, “it means a lot for the fans to come out and brave the hot weather.” “It’s neat to be able to give a little bit back to the fans.” Many of the fans were able to get autographs, gloves from the players, and some really good pictures. One fan even brought his guitar to get signed by the Kraken, Greg Hardy.

Not everyone is pleased with the way that camp ended in Spartanburg. Coach Rivera said the team “slowed down at the end” and that the reason was because the team had their eyes set on I-85. But he was pleased with the beginning of practice. “A lot of good things happened.” Rivera “wishes that they could’ve stayed focused and finished all the way thru.” “The big thing that the team has to understand is that we can’t have distractions.”
Rivera feels that camp in Spartanburg was “successful.” “I feel good about the way we did things.” “I think it showed in the way we played the other night. We were physical and aggressive, much more than we were in the past, in the first preseason game.” “I feel good about that; about what we accomplished out of training camp. Rivera looks forward to “resuming practice” after Thursday night’s game.

Rivera says the practices are hard because of the length and the regulations that are set up for training camp. “It’s hard to stay focused” for that period of time. “It’s like something shiny, and the guys get distracted—that’s part of it.” Before the changes were made practices used to last an hour and forty-five minutes versus two and a half, three hour long practices. “That’s the hard thing, were asking a bunch out of these young men to stay focused and concentrate that long.” “Anytime you can help these guys stay focused, you get a lot accomplished.” “I feel like we did accomplish a lot.”

Written by: Phillip Boyce
Twitter: phillipjboyce

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