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July 28, 2015

We're moving!


The Inside the Panthers blog has a new home just in time for training camp, and here's the new link

Please join us there, and be sure to update your bookmarks.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks for reading. 

Joseph Person, 

Jonathan Jones

Mike Persinger

Posted by Observer Sports on July 28, 2015 at 07:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)

July 19, 2015

Cam Newton makes cameo at flag football tourney

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has played a lot of football since signing his $103 million extension last month -- some of it with the Panthers.

Two weeks after practicing with an Australian Rules Football team during a Gatorade athlete exchange program, Newton made a cameo appearance during a flag football tournament Saturday outside Atlanta.

Several photos surfaced on social media over the weekend showing Newton lined up at wide receiver wearing belted flags and a Gatorade towel over his head. In an Instagram video, Newton runs a 10-yard out route, catches a pass and goes out of bounds.

The Panthers have not had a good history with players jumping into the fray at flag football games (see Steve Smith's broken arm during a 2010 flag game in Charlotte).

But one of the players whose team Newton joined Saturday said Newton acted more as a coach and supporter during the Fallen Warriors Invitational, a two-day, 8-versus-8 tournament in Stockbridge, not far from Newton's south Atlanta hometown.

Franklin Terry, a member of the Greensboro-based AthElites, estimated Newton played a total of four or five snaps and was running less than full speed after approaching Terry and his teammates and asking if he could join them.

"He definitely was not going hard," Terry said Sunday night while driving back from Atlanta. "He played on the outside with a towel over his head."


"Nobody even saw him crank a gear," Terry added. "I wanted to see him run. It was 94 degrees, and he didn't even break a sweat."

A clause in NFL contracts prohibits players from playing football other than for the team without prior written consent from the club. Players also can't "engage in any other activity other than football which may involve a significant risk of personal injury."

But in Terry's view, the Panthers' franchise quarterback did not put himself at risk.
"He probably got one ball thrown to him. And then the rest of the time, he was calling the plays in the huddle. That is exactly how I could relate it to -- a Pop Warner coach calling plays and standing on the field," Terry said.

"This is a contact league," Terry said. "He would not be that same stupid."

Terry said Newton made a lot of friends Saturday, buying Slushies for everyone, posing for pictures and having a good time.

"I'm a Cowboy fan and I was like, 'I can never root against you in my life,'" said Terry, whose team went on to win the tournament Sunday without Newton. "It was one of the best moments of flag we've all had. We were all ecstatic just to have him representing our team."

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on July 19, 2015 at 11:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 16, 2015

Donnie Shell selling his Panthers' NFC title ring

Donnie Shell won four Super Bowl rings as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers' legendary "Steel Curtain" defense in the 1970s.

Shell didn't win a Super Bowl ring during his 15 years in the Carolina Panthers' front office, but he received a ring after the Panthers won the NFC in 2003.

And it can be yours for about $4,000 or so.

Shell's NFC championship ring is among the items for sale as part of Lelands.com's vintage sports auction. The 14-karat while gold ring, featuring 18 diamonds in the shape of a football around a blue stone and Panthers logo, had a high bid of $3,993 as of Thursday afternoon.

The auction ends at 9 p.m. Friday.

Josh Evans, founder and chairman of Lelands, said Shell is donating the proceeds to an undisclosed charity.

Evans said Shell, the Panthers' director of player development before retiring in 2009, wasn't willing to part with his Steelers' rings.

"It was the best worst option," Evans said of Shell's Panthers ring. "We went through the list. He's got the rings from the Steelers and those were 'No way.' This was the thing we thought ... he wrestled with it, though. It wasn't an easy process."

Shell, 62, was the Steelers' strong safety and went to five consecutive Pro Bowls from 1978-82. The three-time, All-Pro selection retired in 1987 with 51 career interceptions.

Attempts to reach Shell, who runs a consulting firm in Rock Hill, were unsuccessful. Evans said Shell did not want him to disclose the charity that will benefit from the sale of the ring.

--Joseph Person


Posted by Observer Sports on July 16, 2015 at 04:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)