Observation deck: Bears-Panthers
August, 9, 2013
By Pat Yasinskas | ESPN.com
The muddled cornerback situation for the Carolina Panthers might be clearing up.
Second-year pro Josh Norman, who is competing with Drayton Florence, Captain Munnerlyn and Josh Thomas for a starting job recorded two interceptions in Friday night’s 24-17 victory against the Chicago Bears at Bank of America Stadium.
Norman intercepted Jay Cutler on Chicago’s first offensive play of the night to set up a quick touchdown. Norman also had an interception that he returned 60 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Florence and Munnerlyn had been getting most of the first-team work in camp. But Norman certainly made his case for a starting job Friday night.
Some other observations on the Panthers:
We saw the two sides of quarterback Cam Newton in some very limited playing time. He threw a great touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell on a drag route. But Newton also forced a ball into coverage and had it intercepted and returned 51 yards for a touchdown.
Rookie fullback Michael Zordich suffered a knee injury on a first-quarter kickoff. Zordich is fighting for a roster spot and the injury looked serious.
Joe Adams, who had the punt return job taken away from him last year, might have gotten some redemption with a 23-yard punt return in the first quarter.
Charles Johnson got credit for a sack, but he got plenty of help from rookie Kawann Short, who got a good push. Short looked good on several other plays.
Rookie running back Kenjon Barner got a lot of playing time and did some good things. But Barner lost a fumble. That’s not going to help him gain the trust of the coaching staff. Adams lost his job last year because he couldn’t hold onto the football and the fumble could haunt Barner.
David Gettis had a couple of nice catches. But I think Gettis faces an uphill battle to make the roster. He’s behind Armanti Edwards and Ted Ginn Jr. on the depth chart and both of those receivers made several plays Thursday night. Edwards and Ginn also have return ability and Gettis does not.
Tight end Brandon Williams had a nice catch to set up a touchdown. He came to camp as a long shot to make the roster, but he might end up sticking around.