Walking to Panther camp Thursday, behind DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, I heard a loud voice singing and talking behind me. It was Cam Newton. Either I forgot how big he was, how tall and broad, or he grew during the off-season.
Newton saw a photographer atop a hill and posed for him, and then leaned over Stewart, pretended to be a professional news-gatherer and took notes with an imaginary pen and notebook. Assume it was an imaginary pen. Could have been an imaginary pencil.
Some highlights: Catch of the day was provided by Chris Manno, a 26-year-old receiver out of Hofstra. Manno grabbed a pass along the left sideline with one hand.
Armanti Edwards grabbed consecutive passes over the middle and on the second achieved instant acceleration and was gone.
Each quarterback had moments: Newton hit Edwards in stride for the long gain over the middle. Jimmy Clausen hit tight end/fullback Richie Brockel down the left side. Remember that combination.
Derek Anderson hit Rico Wallace, a rookie out of Shenandoah, deep on the left side.
Greg Hardy intercepted a Newton pass deflected at the line. He tracked the ball like a 277-pound slot receiver.
Brandon LeFell grabbed a pass in front of Captain Munnerlyn and Sherrod Martin. There were three and then there was one. Remember, however, that receivers had a huge advantage. Players didn't wear pads and helmets, and they weren't supposed to hit, so defenders were limited in what they could do to discourage a receiver from hanging on.
David Gettis, out all last season, caught a ball deep along the right sideline.
Jonathan Stewart caught a pass in company over the middle, and with a nifty stutter step he was free.
A fullback caught a pass in the backfield, changed directions and took off, his offensive teammates cheering. The fullback was, of course, Lyndon Rowells, a rookie from Humbolt State, in California.
A helicopter flew above the field, hovered, flew downtown and returned.
Blame the Democratic National Convention if you must.
I blame the New Orleans Saints.