SPARTANBURG, S.C. – It’s finally here.
After months of waiting since the regular season wrapped up on New Year’s Day, the Carolina Panthers have officially reported to training camp.
The first player to arrive was rookie defensive back Corn Elder, who will be hoping to help shore up the Panthers’ secondary after a successful career at the University of Miami.
While it was mostly what you’d expect for players arriving at camp, rookie wide receiver Curtis Samuel made it a family outing. According to Panthers beat reporter Bill Voth, Samuel’s mom dropped him off at camp. Samuel reportedly said his mom needed the car after his plans to arrive with fellow rookie Christian McCaffrey didn’t quite work out as hoped.
Samuel said his mom needed the car, so she’s driving it back. He was going to come to camp with McCaffrey, but it didn’t time up.— Bill Voth (@PanthersBill) July 25, 2017
Veteran running back Jonathan Stewart, who is entering his 10th year in the league, appears to have found the fountain of youth. Stewart told reporters gathered at Wofford that year 10 feels a lot like year two.
Jonathan Stewart: Year Ten!— Kelsey Riggs (@KelseyRiggsWCNC) July 25, 2017
Me: How's it feel?
Stewart: Feels good. Feels like year two. pic.twitter.com/CHoROVYSa7
Julius Peppers, three-time NFL All-Pro defensive end and quarterback sack specialist, used a limo service to make his return to Panthers camp. The North Carolina native has 143.5 sacks over 15 years in the league and holds a number of Panthers defensive records.
He's backkkk 🌶🌶🌶 pic.twitter.com/eIbjyG1Fw1— Kelsey Riggs (@KelseyRiggsWCNC) July 25, 2017
Tight end Greg Olsen arrived at training camp amid rumors that the veteran could hold out. During a quick session with the media, Olsen said he didn't want to be a distraction to the team following the dismissal of former general manager Dave Gettleman.
Olsen: “I didn’t feel like it was right to add fuel to the fire and be a distraction.”— Bill Voth (@PanthersBill) July 25, 2017
Olsen indicates he won’t try to get talks going and “will play out contract.”— Bill Voth (@PanthersBill) July 25, 2017