Click here to read the article prior to OTAs.
Is Cam Newton fully healed from 2014?
At this time last year, Newton was still rehabbing from ankle surgery and could not spend much time on the practice field for the Carolina Panthers. This year was completely different as Newton looked the healthiest he has been in some time and that showed in practice.
Ron Rivera talked about Newton’s development after minicamp practice and the improvements he has made this offseason. Rivera mentions that Newton has been focused on his footwork and have been running him through some new drills. This certainly could be due to the fact Newton had a chance to focus on his game rather than rehabbing.
A completely healthy Cam Newton entering 2015 could spell out a big season for the Panthers’ quarterback.
How will the reps break down at offensive tackle?
The Panthers brought in three offensive tackles this offseason and saw their starting left tackle leave in free agency. The team clearly views Michael Oher as their starting left tackle, who has seen almost all the reps at the position as the starter.
The right tackle position is clear, but not as definitive as left tackle. Mike Remmers seems to be the favorite to start at right tackle based on the way he finished but ESPN’s David Newton believes Daryl Williams could push him for that start during training camp.
As for Jonathan Martin, he is probably viewed as more of a depth option at this point in the offseason.
Who steps up at wide receiver?
Kelvin Benjamin missed a great deal of practice this offseason due to two hamstring injuries. This hopefully won’t carry into the season and if it doesn’t, it could end up being a blessing in disguise.
The team has added a lot of competition to the wide receiver position and Benjamin’s injuries allowed other players to get reps that may not have been available if Benjamin was healthy.
One of those players was second-round draft pick Devin Funchess, who was moved all around formations and really impressed coaches. He clearly has the inside track to start opposite Benjamin once the regular season rolls around.
Corey Brown also impressed at OTAs and was given an MVP award by the Charlotte Observer’s Joseph Person.
No matter who steps up, the one thing that is clear is that the wide receivers are far and away better than they were at this time last year.
How will Charles Tillman look?
Tillman is coming off two seasons cut short by injuries and could have plenty of rust to knock off. That is certainly going to take some time but he can contribute right away with his leadership and experience playing in Rivera’s system.
According to Ashley Mahoney of The Charlotte Post, Rivera said about Tillman: “He’s sharing his wealth of knowledge. I think he’s done a great job for us. He’s had a great impact.”
The question of whether or not Tillman can play at a high level probably won’t be answered until he is in game situations or in practice with pads on. The fact that he is looking to help out in other facets will go a long way in strengthening this position.
Brandon Croce is the Lead Publisher for PantherInsider.com. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonCroce.