A.M.'s Camp Blog: 8-16

Smith Smith returned to practice in dramatic fashion on Monday. However, the return of Carolina's All Pro receiver was not the day's only story line. Get all the latest on Armanti Edwards' growth, the competition on the defensive line and much more, all courtesy of camp correspondent Alex Montgomery.

Alex's camp archives: Aug. 7 | Aug. 9 | Aug. 10 | Aug. 11 | Aug. 14 | Aug. 15

Also, check out the training camp reports by Wofford College FB Arsenio Parks:

July 29 | July 30 | July 31 | Aug. 1 | Aug. 2 | Aug. 3 | Aug. 4 | Aug. 5 | Aug. 6

Morning Session

Another star player returned to practice on Monday and stole the show with only a few reps during drills.


The highlight of the morning was the return of Steve Smith. Having not practiced since his injury, fans were delighted to see him running routes during receiver drills. These were unguarded and non-contact drills, but Smith was still impressive. He looked just as quick, nimble and sharp as ever. A total of six balls were thrown at him and he caught every one. On one play, he ran a slant route and leapt in the air to snag a ball thrown above his head as the entire stadium watched and cheered.

Hunter Cantwell made one of the better throws of the day as he connected with Armanti Edwards on a slant route for a 15-yard gain during a scrimmage. Edwards also made a great one-handed grab during drills and stretched out to catch an overthrown ball from Tony Pike.

Tyrell Sutton showed off his strength by bowling over Dan Connor to pick up a few extra yards on the ground. Josh Vaughan also broke off a nice gain off a counter play, while Dantrell Savage showed great agility during goal-line drills to shake the defense and get into the end zone. These three backs took most of the reps during contact scrimmages. Jonathan Stewart and Mike Goodson did participate in abbreviated running back drills.

Gary Barnidge gave Jimmy Clausen his only touchdown of the morning with a diving catch in the end zone. Jeff King and Dante Rosario also looked great in an impressive morning for the tight end corps.


Greg Hardy and Everette Brown are still exchanging reps with the first team. Both kept intense pressure on the QBs, but Brown recorded the only sack.

Captain Munnerlyn had a productive practice, as he received a couple of "Atta boy!" shout-outs from the coaches. He came up with a sack on Clausen off a corner blitz and showed great ball skills denying Kenny Moore a touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone.

Chris Gamble made an exceptional play on a ball from Matt Moore -- he intercepted the pass and drug his feet to stay in-bounds while controlling the ball.

C.J. Wilson had yet another interception today off a pass from Clausen to the corner of the end zone, although blame should go to David Gettis for not turning to look for the ball.

Eric Moore had a great day rushing the passer, sacking Cantwell during the goal-line scrimmage.

Tank Tyler recovered a Clausen fumble.

Special Teams

Jason Baker's punts wowed the crowd, including one 60-yard boot that landed at the 2-yard line and bounced back to the 5 where it was downed.

Armanti Edwards fielded most of the punts and showed great agility as he evaded the defense several times.

Cat Quicks

--Armanti Edwards is looking less tentative with his returns. His first move is now up the field instead of side to side. The question that remains is how this will translate in real game action. His most remarkable moments came during his work at receiver -- he caught nearly every pass thrown to him and was the stand-out of the young receivers as Brandon LaFell, Dexter Jackson and Gettis were inconsistent.

--Charly Martin no longer has a cast on his arm and was fully dressed and in pads.

--Clausen had a bit of an off day and showed some growing pains during scrimmages. However, he showed flashes of brilliance and looks like he's learning from his mistakes.

Afternoon Session

The Panthers took the field in shorts, jerseys, ball caps and minimal pads on Monday afternoon. Obviously, practice was light and non-contact, but there were a few notable moments.

Ryan Kalil, Andrew Crummey, C.J. Davis and Mackenzy Bernadeau worked with the four quarterbacks on under-center and shotgun snaps. None were botched during the drill or practice overall, which is a welcome change to the past few practices.

Former Appalachian State teammates Edwards and Jackson both had noteworthy one-handed catches.

Smith scored a touchdown during a goal-line scrimmage and spun the ball on the ground afterwards; he was clearly happy to be back in familiar territory.

Gettis scored a long touchdown streaking down the sideline on a well-thrown ball from Pike.

Brown got many reps with the first team today. The defensive line was changed up frequently, but Brown, Ed Johnson, Louis Leonard and Hilee Taylor played significant time with the first unit.


"Hardy! You better find a hole!" – Defensive line coach Brian Baker to Greg Hardy after being contained during contact scrimmages.

How significant is the timing of Steve Smith's return? Discuss in the message boards.

Alex Montgomery is a graduate of Western Carolina University with a degree in Professional Writing. He has worked for the Western Carolinian and The Kernersville News and currently resides in Kernersville, NC.

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