Training Camp Observations: Opening Weekend

As the Panthers close their first weekend of their 2006 training camp, here are some of the observations we've made...

- Don't be surprised to see rookie QB Brett Basanez beat out second-year incumbent Stefan LeFors for the 3rd QB position. Basanez has good size and tools, often zipping passes into tight places. Basanez was the 2005 Big Ten offensive player of the year, and broke 32 Northwestern records in his tenure there. LeFors wasn't a chump in college, but his lack of height may catch up with him this season as he's pressed by Basanez. LeFors was lost in the scrum on several plays as he struggled to find the open man in passing drills.

- Stanley McClover has got great speed for a guy his size. He should make the team on Special Teams at the very least.

- DeAngelo Williams is as advertised, and the Barry Sanders comparisons aren't too far-fetched. Williams dances through holes like lightning and has good hands for a RB.

- The first tussle of training camp was between WR Keyshawn Johnson and DB Jarrett Bush. Bush and Johnson got into a shoving and shouting match, and at one point looked like the were going to throw punches. Bush, who was a first-team all-WAC selection in 2005, made gestures to Johnson to bring it on, having his chest against the veteran WR with his armsoutstretched. You have to love the rookie from Utah State's brashness and confidence.

- Another unknown player made an outstanding play in Sunday's morning practice. DB DaShane Dennis made a diving interception of a Jake Delhomme bullet-pass that drew applause from the crowd and a smile from #17.

- Some of the other younger WR's on the team had a case of the olays, popping up passes that were intercepted by the defense. Thomas Davis made a great play on one tipped pass that would have been a touchdown if it were a real game.

- PLAYER TO WATCH: TE Jeff King. King has great size and got a great deal of reps as a TE and H-Back. He could be a super sleeper in the panthers' offense.

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