The Carolina Panthers are optimistic after recently completing their first two-week session of organized team activities (OTAs), the first such offseason sessions of the Ron Rivera-Cam Newton era, but they still have a lot of work to do before they are ready for the start of training camp.
So now that the first round of mini-camps and OTAs are in the books, where does that lead them heading into training camp on July 29?
Rivera told a group of reporters that the team improved throughout the OTAs, particularly in the second week and especially on the defensive side of the ball and on the offensive line. Via Panthers.com:
You see the little things that last week they weren't doing, they're doing now. The communication aspect as far as the defense is concerned has been outstanding, [and] the adjustments you see the offensive line make have been even better.
However, Rivera noted that "you take it with a grain of salt" because the players are not in pads at OTAs.
You get the feeling that the Carolina head coach can't wait for his players to put on the pads in a couple months once training camp officially gets underway in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Here's a look at where each of the Panthers' positional units stand with training camp less than two months away.