By William Dobbs
After having his sophomore NFL season cut short in training camp last year Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin is poised to be a difference maker once again in the Carolina offense.
The 6’5″ first rounder from Florida State made an instant impact in his rookie season. Kelvin and quarterback Cam Newton quickly built their chemistry which led to a rookie year amassing 73 receptions for 1008 yards including 9 trips to the end zone, setting new rookie franchise records in each category. But a torn ACL in training camp last year left Benjamin sidelined throughout all of the most successful season in Panthers history. “I just wanted to go catch a few balls” said the receiver as he watched his teams offense shrink in a 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50.
Well if this first week of training camp is an indication of what’s to come for Benjamin he is definitely on track to regain his role as Newton’s favorite target. The Panthers finished last year with the #1 scoring offense in the NFL with Kelvin sidelined. League MVP Cam Newton spread the ball throughout his receiving core and kept opposing defenses guessing. 9 different Panther receivers had at least 10 receptions last season with 8 of those receivers recording touchdowns.
Greg Olsen lead the team with another 1000 yard receiving year, his second in as many years. The Panthers also got contributions from Ted Ginn Jr, Jerricho Cotchery, and rookie Devin Funchess, all recording at least 400 yards and combining for 18 touchdowns. Add Benjamin back this already potent offense, healthy and in better shape than ever and there is no reason the Panthers should not continue their reign at the top of the NFC South.