A few first-day Panther practice notes from my observations at Wofford:
-- Watch new Panther tight end Greg Olsen face a football passing machine for five minutes and you realize it's a mismatch. I've seen numerous receivers work with the machines, which fire footballs at you from a distance of 7-10 yards. I've never seen a tight end catch the ball any better than Olsen -- nonchalantly and one-handed with either hand. Talk about a nice safety valve for Jimmy Clausen and Cam Newton -- Olsen is going to make a big impact.
-- Fans at Wofford for the Panthers' first official practice made no secret as to some of their favorites. They cheered lustily every time Newton threw a ball that was completed and every time Armanti Edwards caught a punt and jogged back with it. DeAngelo Williams got a big cheer when he ran onto the field, which he acknowledged with a wave.
-- I saw my first Newton No.1 jersey on my first kid Saturday night at practice. Somehow I doubt it will be the last.
-- Clausen took the snaps with the first offensive unit during the first drill, just like it should be. Whether he's doing that a month from now remains to be seen.
-- Steve Smith dressed like he was ready for 30-degree weather, with a long-sleeve undershirt under his jersey and long tights under his shorts. Seriously? Smith looked quick nevertheless.
-- The most legible of the many autographs given out last night was signed by Sir Purr, who somehow can make a work of art with a Sharpie while signing inside a mascot costume.
6 months ago