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July 28, 2012

Panthers, 12,000 friends celebrate a fresh start

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- If you think watching football practice can't be exciting, you probably weren't one of the 12,000 or so fans who showed up to watch the Carolina Panthers first open practice of the season Saturday night at Wofford.

   There was a band. There were concession stands. There were cheers. A lot of them.

   When Cam Newton ran out of bounds after a nifty run where he wasn't allowed to be tackled, the fans cheered. When Steve Smith made a reaching catch, they cheered. When Mike Tolbert broke free, they cheered.

   When Olindo Mare clanked one field goal attempt off an upright, they booed. Proves there's work to be done.

  Head coach Ron Rivera sounded happy after the first full practice, though he admitted there were enough negatives to keep him and his team busy the next few days working through those.

  What was best?

  The enthusiasm. The Panthers showed it.

   Rivera liked the explosiveness of his running backs. Tight end Greg Olsen, without Jeremy Shockey getting half of his passes, kept pulling in nice receptions. Jimmy Clausen earned Rivera's praise for his downfield throws.

   Jon Beason looked comfortable being back out there. Rookie Luke Kuechly looked like he's been there for years. Sharrod Martin had a nice early interception, one of four the defense made.

   Not every practice will have a big crowd in Gibbs Stadium. The rest of the work will be done on nearby practice fields in front of significantly smaller crowds in the evening.

   But it was the kind of night where a thunderstorm loomed on the horizon only to slip away, not raining on an evening that created its own bit of sunshine. -- Ron Green Jr.

Posted by Observer Sports on July 28, 2012 at 09:36 PM | Permalink



Posted by: cppro | Jul 28, 2012 10:08:37 PM

Go Panthers!!! As fans, we need to show more support and faith at games. That means buy tickets, and don't allow opposing fans to dominate our stadium. When our defense is on the field be LOUD, not just on third downs (be loud every damn down), and for the love of god shut up when our offense is on the field. Don't leave the game early if our team is down, because they might make a comeback and they could use our help by making noise. You paid for the ticket, might as well enjoy the entire game. As fans, lets do our part to support the team a 100%. GO PANTHERS!!!!!!!

Posted by: PanthersFan | Jul 28, 2012 10:25:48 PM

All us fans have been waiting/itching,busting for some kind of update about The Panthers, really!!! ANYTHING! THIS IS ALL YOU HAVE!!

Persinger, you are a terrible HR guy. You are Ok with this. No wonder people are going to other media outlets!

Posted by: 10-4!! | Jul 28, 2012 10:54:53 PM

Things to come....how many games will Mare lose this year? Hurney should swallow his pride, cut his sorry butt, and bring Kasay back if the Saints let him go!

Posted by: Phil | Jul 28, 2012 11:45:46 PM


Posted by: 10-4!! | Jul 29, 2012 12:46:06 AM

We are talking about practice. Not a game, not a game not a game. Most of those with low sports IQ's will not get the reference. At any rate, its the first day, the title of the article is, "Panthers, 12,000 friends celebrate a fresh start." It is about the 0-0 record, and the enthusiasm of the crowed, if you wanted an updated about the team, you should have looked at the articles about Tolbert, or the new look D.

Posted by: JC | Jul 29, 2012 11:19:18 PM

"some kind" meaning sharing any info., for people who could not go to the PRACTICE you IDIOT.
As you can tell from my time stamps and then the aticles that followed at 1:45 and 1:46am that that is what I was talking about.

You're not as smart as you think you are, mind your on business.

Posted by: 10-4!! | Jul 30, 2012 10:38:43 AM

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