REPORT DATES: July 16th (rookies), July 27th (veterans)
SITE: Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC
CAMP OBJECTIVES: The Panthers have no questions at the quarterback position after Cam Newton's dazzling rookie season in 2011, but there are a few issues that still need to be resolved in other areas if the young club is to continue its progression. Most of those concerns lie on defense, with a pair of starting spots up for grabs in the secondary and several veterans attempting to make their way back from serious injuries. Carolina would like to see one of two high-upside youngsters, either 2011 fourth-round pick Brandon Hogan or rookie fifth-rounder Josh Norman, quickly develop into a capable cornerback opposite stalwart Chris Gamble and push the undersized Captain Munnerlyn into slot duties, while incumbent free safety Sherrod Martin is on the hot seat after an erratic last season and the addition of heady ex-Raven Haruki Nakamura. Three-time Pro Bowl linebacker Jon Beason has been cleared for practice after missing all but one game due to a torn Achilles, but where he'll play has yet to be fully determined. It's possible that the usual middle linebacker will be shifted to the weakside to make room for pro-ready rookie Luke Kuechly, the ninth overall choice in this past draft, or Kuechly could start at the WILL if that proves to be a better fit. The comeback of fellow linebacker Thomas Davis from a third ACL tear in three years to his right knee will also be a compelling storyline of this preseason, while the team is hopeful talented wideout David Gettis is over his own knee injury and can serve as the No. 3 receiver and that undrafted find Byron Bell can be a solid replacement for the departed Jeff Otah at right tackle after an encouraging rookie year.
PRESEASON SCHEDULE (All Times Eastern):
Aug. 11 - vs. Houston, 7 p.m. Aug. 18 - vs. Miami, 8 p.m. Aug. 26 - at N.Y. Jets, 8 p.m. Aug. 30 - at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.