On the offensive side of the ball, two players integral to the team's success -- All Pro WR Steve Smith and half of the "Smash and Dash" RB tandem, Jonathan Stewart -- were in attendance but only as spectators. They were placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list Wednesday with arm and ankle injuries, respectively. Also on the PUP list are Jeff Otah (knee), Duke Robinson (conditioning), Louis Leonard (knee) and Thomas Davis (knee). Davis is likely to miss the entire regular season.
I seen Clausen and I came a runnin'
QB Jimmy Clausen
More from Moore
With Jake Delhomme gone, Matt Moore is penciled in as the starting quarterback. And while he ended last season with a 4-1 surge, he must continue to improve if he hopes to hold off Clausen. Moore didn't have an impressionable day, positively or negatively. He can't afford to have a mediocre showing during camp, especially with the fan following of Clausen and the ascension of Hunter Cantwell, who received the majority of the second-team snaps. Cantwell's performance was not outstanding either, but it was strong, highlighted by a tight spiral he compelted through a narrow window to WR Wallace Wright.
Right Through His Hands
With Steve Smith out due to injury and Muhsin Muhammad recently retired, the competition at wide receiver is intense. When it came to seizing the opportunity, the Panthers' receiving corps dropped the ball, literally and often. There were a number of dropped balls while the receivers ran their routes on air.
Rookie Armanti Edwards is expected to provide a boost at receiver and as a returner, but he struggled Thursday, dropping what should have been an easy reception and muffing two punts. Fortunately, Edwards showed an eagerness to rectify his mistakes. He insisted on taking an extra rep after the QB- WR combo drills were over. He also took some pointers from special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers and safely secured every punt after his pair of muffs.
There were some highlights amongst the receivers, as Dwayne Jarrett, Charly Martin and Dexter Jackson all beat the secondary deep for touchdowns.
Sutton Snags it Along the Sidelines
With Stewart out, Tyrell Sutton moved up to second on the depth chart at running back. There wasn't much to be said about Thursday's run work, as there was little contact, but Sutton still managed to get himself a highlight. He leaped and hauled in a beautiful toe-tapping reception along the sidelines, which the fans showed their appreciation for.
There wasn't much tackling done Thursday, but that didn't mean the ball-carriers were safe. LBs James Anderson and Jordan Senn reminded the running backs of that as each laid jarring, yet restrained, hits on Tony Fiammetta and Mike Goodson as they tried to slip out of the backfield for a little dump-off.
Jon Beason looked as if he was going to come up with an impressive one-handed interception, which would have been camp's inaugural turnover, but he couldn't manage to hang on and had to settle for a deflection. CB Chris Gamble took the honor instead, picking off Matt Moore.
Safety Marcus Hudson was not to be outdone. He made a diving interception that the offense would possibly want reviewed. But great effort trumps no official review, so the play stands.
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Arsenio Parks is a fullback and English major at Wofford College. He began playing football at 7 years old and went on to garner All Conference, All Region and All State recognitions during his career at Shelby HS. He also lettered in track and field.