Players posted to social media showing their excitement, including wide receiver Robby Anderson, who played his first game as a Panther in front of an empty stadium.
It's also the first time for second-year head coach Matt Rhule to get to welcome fans into the stadium in this kind of environment.
The team has been down in Spartanburg, South Carolina, for the past week-and-a-half, and this week, things are getting more serious as players put on pads.
"It's always exciting to see fans," said star running back Christian McCaffrey. "We're always really appreciative of them."
With real competition, of course, comes mistakes. On Thursday, Rule wasn't pleased with the number of penalties and mistakes the team made, and that's something he wants the team to avoid.
The Junior Top Cats putting on a show! I’ve missed live performances 🤩 pic.twitter.com/oH2iscP4Tb— Bridget Condon (@BridgetCondon_) August 6, 2021
"When you talk to players, especially guys trying to make the team, they're always like 'I just want an opportunity, coach. Just give me some reps.' Well, if you get a rep, and you jump offsides, you lose those reps and someone else gets those reps, so practice, it's a privilege to practice," Rhule said.
They actually have a sign up at training camp that says "D-B-O" for don't beat ourselves. Anytime a player makes a blunder, Rhule wants them to go over and touch the sign and look at it.
"It's not angry, you're not cussing guys out," Rhule added. "You know, guys make mistakes. You're at a constant war to be a focused group."
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