Panthers quarterback Cam Newton wasn't able to do much during spring practices after undergoing ankle surgery in March. He did take part in a few drills near the end of minicamp, but it wasn't nearly enough time for him to get used to an almost entirely new receiving corps. So, everyone will try to make up for lost time next week before training camp opens July 25.
"I know we're all going to get together next week in Charlotte," wide receiver Tiquan Underwood told USA Today on Thursday. "We're just going to try to speed up the process. We're all going to throw -- Derek Anderson, Cam Newton, Joe Webb, Matt Blanchard and all the receivers -- just to work on timing and get that down pat before camp."
The Panthers lost their three most productive wideouts from 2013, Steve Smith, Ted Ginn, and Brandon LaFell, during the offseason. Their shoes are being filled by Underwood, Jerricho Cotchery , Jason Avant, and first-round pick Kelvin Benjamin.
"We're going to do what we did in OTAs and minicamp: just come in each day and go to work." Underwood said.
Newton's learning curve with his receivers is probably going to extend into the season, leading to some poor outputs early. The hope is Benjamin can be a difference-maker right away and that one of those veterans to complement him well.
Tight end Greg Olsen is still present, so that's good. Otherwise, this is the league's most unattractive set of receivers on paper for fantasy purposes. It has caused Newton's draft stock to dip, but he is still considered a mid-range QB1 at worst. None of the wideouts are being drafted inside of the top 40 at their position, but as our Mark Morales-Smith writes, that means someone from this group is likely to become a bargain.