SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Observations from the Carolina Panthers’ practice on Monday at Wofford College:
But what you might have missed was that practice was so flat early that coach Ron Rivera jumped on the second-team defense and took backup defensive tackle Regis Micanor out of the lineup for the lack of intensity.
After the Newton-Norman scuffle, the intensity picked up in all areas. Newton continued to exchange barbs with Norman, at one point saying, "I bet you won’t do that again." He also continued to challenge Norman on passes. On one pass attempt to Kelvin Benjamin, Norman came away shouting, "No way, no way!" Other players were more chirpy and active, as well. Safety Roman Harper got a little physical throwing a running back to the ground. If you missed the video of the scuffle, here it is:
— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) August 10, 2015
•Family: That’s the word Newton used to break the team down, letting everyone know that at the end of the day they were united. That came after a long-than-usual post-practice speech by coach Ron Rivera. Newton said a few words as well.
•Where is Shaq? The first-round pick continued to miss valuable practice time due to a hamstring injury that initially began in offseason workouts. The Panthers were counting on the outside linebacker to add another dimension to this defense with his speed and cover ability, but first he has to get on the field and prove himself. He’s spent more time as a spectator as he was today than on the field.
•Position change? Cornerback Melvin White got a little work at safety. That’s not totally unusual for a team that likes players learning multiple positions.
•Johnson out: Defensive end Charles Johnson did not practice a day after tweaking his calf and being carted off the field. Rivera, as he did on Sunday, said the injury was not serious.