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May 31, 2011

UPDATED: Locked-out Panthers begin private workouts

The Carolina Panthers' locked-out players began informal team workouts today at Charlotte Christian.

They worked out for two hours -- running, doing drills and catching passes -- on a hot artificial turf field on a morning when temperatures were pushing 90 degrees.

No media members were present to chronicle the proceedings -- which is exactly how the organizers wanted it.

"I think when you win two games, you don't have any business worrying about publicity or exposure," left tackle Jordan Gross said after the workout. "We want to focus on getting to know our teammates, the new guys. To focus without distractions.

"Not worry about completion percentages being taken note of or who was in shape, who wasn't. What guys were there and weren't. We had an outstanding attendance and it went real well."

Gross said more than 50 players showed up for the first of eight scheduled sessions over the next two weeks. No. 1 draft choice Cam Newton was there, as was every rookie except one who was finishing classes, according to Gross.

Gross called it one of the best-attended workouts among teams that have held the player-run sessions during the lockout. Players plan to let the media in for part of the final workout June 9.

"We see that we've got guys that want to win," Gross said. "And to pay your own ticket to fly out here and be a part of this event shows that guys are willing to work and get better."

Gross would not say whether veteran wideout Steve Smith, who has indicated he wants to be traded, was in attendance. But a source said Smith was not there.

Gross indicated there were potential free agents who came out. That group did not include tailback DeAngelo Williams or defensive end Charles Johnson, according to the source.

Gross and veteran offensive lineman Travelle Wharton are footing the bill for the workouts. Their costs included paying a Charlotte-Mecklenburg County police officer stationed in the parking lot to keep media away.

The media lockout prompted several on Twitter, including Sports Illustrated's Michael Silver, to blast the players.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on May 31, 2011 at 01:29 PM | Permalink


I don't blame them for closing the workouts...How bad the players keep on turning everybody off with entitlement and bitterness is beyond "it is what it is"...Not that the Panthers QB situation would be worth covering anyway...Pickles vs Cue-card!..Yawn...Wake me up when there both CUT...Oh! it will be just a power nap anyway as long as either QB will be in the NFL = Not For Long...Luck on the clock!

Posted by: John Fox | May 31, 2011 1:05:50 PM

People who continually think luck will be here next year may have more than a couple screws loose

Posted by: CAPTAIN OBVIOUS | May 31, 2011 1:36:43 PM

Wow they are so organized. Maybe they should start their own league.

Posted by: H | May 31, 2011 2:02:20 PM

John Fox....Why did you even bother to read the article if you have such a negative view? You must be somewhat interested or else you wouldn't have taken the time to be the first one to post about it.

Posted by: Lamont | May 31, 2011 2:12:29 PM

Fans should be proud of the committment the players have toward the team. If reports are accurate about the attendance, other teams should feel shame about only a QB and a couple of receivers getting together. The players know that they are a lot better than last year's record and are hungry to prove it.

Posted by: Nosebleed fan | May 31, 2011 2:17:40 PM

nice info to know, but all these reporters trying to get at newton is crazy, my son told me they are reporters everywhere at charlotte christian today..wow

Posted by: panthers world | May 31, 2011 3:38:07 PM

CMPD has such integrity....the fox watching the henhouse

Posted by: Mark | May 31, 2011 3:38:55 PM

I like the fact that the players are focused on football and not the media coverage. Get to work and improve on a terrible season.

Posted by: AppGrad04 | May 31, 2011 3:51:57 PM

@AppGrad04 Agreed. I am very proud of the players for thinking team first on this. If this was real mini camps and OTAs the media would not be there either. So I like the move It also means they are atempting to work on the plays in the playbook.

Posted by: cboss | May 31, 2011 4:36:39 PM

I was there to keep the team hydrated.

Posted by: Bobby Boucher | May 31, 2011 7:33:12 PM

I guess the players can do their on PR. A 2 hour workout is nothing but a gatheing to discuss union news. I hope the owners hold firm because the game is so expensive to attend.

Posted by: Kelso | May 31, 2011 8:04:21 PM

I get real tired of all the negative comments from the "armchair quarterbacks" who sit on the couch with their copy of Pro Football Weekly, a bag of Bugles and the remote control and spew out predictions like they were gazing into a crystal ball.
GIVE IT A REST & let's play some football! Leave the comments for after the playing begins, not before the first ball is even thrown.

Posted by: G.L. | May 31, 2011 8:08:37 PM

"I get real tired of all the negative comments from the "armchair quarterbacks" who sit on the couch with their copy of Pro Football Weekly, a bag of Bugles"

Sounds like Andy Reid in the off-season. I prefer cheatos myself but I think their are a few here that have drank too much of the KoolAid!

Posted by: KittyKatFan | May 31, 2011 8:32:03 PM

Todays work out was great! Getting to meet more of my team and build on this new offense. Jimmy Clausen is a great guy, I look forward to working with him , Getty, Lafell, Edwards, Steve didnt make it :( We are all ready to get this thing in gear!!! Stay Tuned Panther fans!!

Posted by: Cam Newton | May 31, 2011 8:41:40 PM

So wheres the mouthy big shot players union talk? Wheres the union lawyers and reps? They talked so BIG for so long didnt they? They own and run the NFL dont they? They worth billions right? They aint *hit.

Mice. Little men. Nothings. Commies. Union rodents dont even have a pot to pizz in.

LOL. Too funny.

Suckaz !!!! Chumpz !!! Loserz

Posted by: andy | Jun 1, 2011 10:30:27 AM

who cares I hope they all go broke..............

Posted by: boydsgrigg | Jun 1, 2011 10:49:50 AM

If that really was Cam Newton posting, I am impressed!

Posted by: SC Ken | Jun 1, 2011 2:37:47 PM

Can this team do ANYTHING right? Here's a golden opportunity to get some positive publicity, show the fans they are working hard on their own time, and what do they do? Lock out the fans and the media. Way to come off as elitist, guys.

Posted by: GSO Cats Fans | Jun 1, 2011 3:24:35 PM

I think it's great that the players are doing this, but the best part of the story is Michael Silver crying about not being admitted. Seriously, read his rant. He should be embarrassed about it. He claims the Panthers locked out the media "for no apparent reason" -- perhaps that's because he didn't think about logical, obvious reasons for 2 seconds.

If he had, he might have realized that an extremely young team dealing with a new playbook, a new QB, and a QB controversy cannot afford the distractions that comes with media coverage.

This move by Gross and Wharton was mature and intelligent, far more-so than the petty sports writer who cried about it.

Posted by: Mike M | Jun 1, 2011 3:44:17 PM

Yep ,that's my boy SC Ken! lol

Posted by: Cecil Newton | Jun 1, 2011 8:52:37 PM

Hey Cam ,could ya pick up some spaghetti and shrimp on the way back...we've been playing PS 3 all day and we need food $ cristal nowaday's.

Posted by: Cam's Entourage | Jun 1, 2011 8:57:24 PM

if that really cecil newton posting, i'm impressed!

Posted by: joe cool | Jun 1, 2011 9:19:56 PM

Great start by the team, no other way to put it. You've got to have commitment and effort to get out of the doghouse. For everyone wanting to take a nuclear dump on this team, go follow dancing or sync swimming or some other distraction. There comes a time to take out the old garbage, clean the house, and start over. The Panthers have a new coach, new O & D schemes, and many new players. I'm excited to watch them get this thing started.

Posted by: Bassman | Jun 2, 2011 8:25:25 AM

I know a few of the trainers that have worked with some of these guys over the past few months, and I can assure you they are not just talking shop and playing PS3.

Posted by: AppGrad04 | Jun 2, 2011 8:48:10 AM

The agents are behind the "closed" practice's you can bet on it...It's a way to keep the player's away from answering questions or autographs there not gettin paid for like at a "pre-arranged signing"...what PR!

Posted by: Hellfish | Jun 2, 2011 10:56:17 AM

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