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June 10, 2008

Heat's not bad -- for coaches

The most noticeable thing about the Panthers' offseason training activities has been the heat. With temperatures pushing triple digits, Charlotte in early June has felt like Spartanburg in late July and August, where the team goes through training camp. Call it Spartanburg Lite.

The players don't like it; it's not much fun to run around with a helmet on while the thermometer reads 98 degrees. The coaches, though, have a different perspective.

"Your body's about climatizing, and probably the more you can expose yourself to that heat and humidity, even though we're not in pads yet, I think this helps your body get more used to it," coach John Fox said following today's workout. "So I really think it's been kind of a bonus for us as we prepare for Spartanburg."

Some of the players, despite a desire to get out of the sun, did stop and talk. A few moments earlier, offensive tackle Jordan Gross was asked what he had seen in rookie tackle Jeff Otah, one of Carolina's two first-round draft choices.

"He's just a huge guy that can move, and I don't think you can find that every day," Gross said. "I came in as a rookie and played the same position (right tackle) and he's got a lot to learn and a long way to go, but he's definitely more than capable. I think he can be a really good player for us. "And the thing I'm excited about is we've got a lot of youth and talent now; hopefully we can have the same lineup for a few years in a row."


Posted by Observer Sports on June 10, 2008 at 12:11 PM | Permalink


So the point of the heat now is to stand the heat in Spartanburg.

Then my question is; what is the point of having the camp in the heat of Spartanburg?

Most games are played indoors or in colder weather so it is not like they get used to how it will be all year. I think all this does is drain the players of energy that they could have used a lot better.

Posted by: Thorrez | Jun 10, 2008 12:24:01 PM

ever heard of conditioning?

Posted by: Bailey | Jun 10, 2008 12:29:49 PM

most of whose games are played indoors or in cold weather?

Posted by: matt | Jun 10, 2008 1:23:03 PM

i remember playing college football and having camp at the beginning of August when it was really hot. i sure loved the days when we only had to where helmets. once you put on the rest of the pads i would normally lose 6 to 7 pounds in one practice. however once the season starts and your playing that time in the heat really helps get your body ready for those conditions of a long game

Posted by: MHM | Jun 10, 2008 1:44:44 PM

It's kinda funny that Gross is wishing for " the same lineup for a few years in a row." when he's the one most likely to be gone next year!

Posted by: Wayne D | Jun 10, 2008 1:51:59 PM

Wayne, Gross has said he wants to stay in Carolina all the Panthers have to do is pay him. They aren't too far apart on a contract. I see it as a good thing that he hopes the line up will stay the same for the next few years.

Posted by: Herdgrad | Jun 10, 2008 2:05:34 PM

They are not going to let Gross go to another team. So Dont start another rumor. If Gross and Otah do great at the tackle postions you can just go ahead and sign him up for a 4 yr contract. Yea the running game is going to be hard to stop because DWill and JStew are goin to beast the run game.

About the heat, it is extemely hot yes, but I agree they need to practice in hot weather and then practice in a indoor practice field with the temp @ about 60 degrees. That makes their bodies climatized.Not to just baseit on hot weather starting in November the temp drops so....

Posted by: paul | Jun 10, 2008 3:21:27 PM

Conditioning and heat exhaustion are two different things.

Conditioning strengthens your body.

Heat exhaustion weakens your body and lessens the ability for it to repair itself.

So what is the net gain?

The net gain is a group of drained and wore down athletes who haven't yet played a down of the 2008 season.

The team should instead choose a location to prepare for the season that is at a slightly higher altitude, and with less humidity.

The air is thinner at higher altitudes and conditions the body to adapt to working at a high stress level with less oxygen. When the body is returned to a lower altitude -- with a higher percentage of oxygen molecules per square inch -- it allows the body to perform at the same high level as before, but with less stress.

The higher the moisture saturation in the air (i.e. 90% - 100% humidity), the harder it is for the body's cooling system (sweat) to transfer heat (energy) to the surrounding air. If your body is unable to properly cool itself, then it becomes overheated and begins to shut down in an effort to stop the chemical production of heat; a.k.a. energy (glucose to ATP). In this mode, the body is only expending energy without any positive gain. This is known as heat exhaustion.
In other words, heat + humidity = unnecessary stress on the body.

So I say why not find a way to maximize the conditioning of this team? What is there to lose?

Posted by: hillbilly | Jun 10, 2008 5:42:31 PM

Thank you Larry Sprinkle for that breakdown on humidity and the molecular structure of moisture.

Posted by: Channel 36 News | Jun 10, 2008 5:55:55 PM

You're welcome, Jim. And now back to our local sports anchor, Johnny Walker, for an in-depth look at the impact of alcohol on young athletes.

Posted by: hillbilly | Jun 10, 2008 6:28:00 PM

Don't forget about the much anticipated second year of ZONE BLOCKING.

Posted by: Scotty | Jun 10, 2008 8:06:34 PM

For all the stability that Fox has provided as coach, the offensive line has been in constant flux. Gross's comments are spot on.
hillbilly is right about the conditioning at altitude, although the advantage is lost in 2-3 weeks once removed from altitude. But, Wofford is JR's alma mater, so don't expect any changes.

Posted by: Ben | Jun 10, 2008 8:31:03 PM

The heat? Really? Living here I would never have guessed that the heat would be a problem. Since it's been no less than 96 degrees for days now (passing 100 on a couple of ocassions), the HEAT is a problem? This is what comes out of camp? Really?

Posted by: John | Jun 10, 2008 10:30:33 PM

John Fox has said many many times before that a guy doesn't get into shape until he plays in the games. So why would you want to kill your players in training camp by playing in such conditions?
Maybe this is why the Panthers always come out at the beginning of the year so flat. It takes them 3 to 4 weeks to recover from such conditions.
Like Ben said above, that ain't going to happen since Jerry Richardson went to that school. This kind of stuff makes me sick. Its all about the money.
J.R. thinks by the Panther having training camp there that the school will become more well know and therefore more students, which makes more money for the school.
Screw that. If JR wants to make more money for the school, why dont he advertise the school for free at the Panther games after each play like they do now for Bojangles.

I work outside all day everyday doing stuco and I can tell you from experience, working in heat that is 98 plus, doesn't make me stronger or more equipt to handle the heat. It actually does the oppsite. It makes me tired, lazy and sleepy.

Posted by: Mike | Jun 12, 2008 11:55:50 AM

Right on, Mike.

Posted by: hillbilly | Jun 12, 2008 8:20:22 PM

not so fast on re-signing gross. he better play like an elite left tackle if he wants big money.the last time he played l.t he was a bust. i personally dont think hes big or strong enough to hold up against bull rushers.

Posted by: ray | Jun 13, 2008 11:22:35 AM

Ray, the real answer is we should trade Otah back and regain our 1st-round pick, so Gross can go back to the side where he IS elite. What a stupid move.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jun 13, 2008 11:57:14 AM

Ok procton,lets say we didnt draft otah. then what? we would have to keep wharton at left tackle ,where he failed. then we would be weak at 2 positions left guard and left tacckle. then next year we would have to give gross a hugh contract,even though he hasnt proven he can play left tackle at a high level because wed be so thin at tackle.
otah was #2 on some teams boards and at the very least he should be a good right tackle.great move panthers.

Posted by: ray | Jun 16, 2008 10:49:25 AM

Jeff Otah wasn't the #2 pick on anybody's board. That's the most retarded thing I've ever heard. And we DIDN'T NEED A "good right tackle." We already had a GREAT one.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jun 18, 2008 11:28:52 AM

The #2 tackle procton. do i have to spell everything out for you.not the #2 pick in the entire draft.and as usual you avoided the question.what would we do next year with no good left guard,left tackle and gross lost to free agency?

Posted by: ray | Jun 21, 2008 10:39:37 AM

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