For all the hand-wringing of the offseason, the first day of training camp has cruised along fairly smoothly.
Matt Moore walked in aware of his new status, but trying not to fret about it. Steve Smith was pleasant enough, but more interested in talking toothpaste than his broken left arm. Jimmy Clausen ducked in the side door of the players dorm, about to sign his new contract.
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Welcome to Spartanburg, for a cool, gray start to camp.
As he's getting used to, Moore was the center of attention, but he stressed that he wants to stay normal. Moore was typically laid-back, emphasizing he's not trying to put any undue pressure on himself, now that he's the starter here with the presence of Clausen looming on the horizon.
"I think if i make it bigger than it is, that's when things start going wrong," Moore said. "I think if i take it one day at a time, and do my job, I think everyhting will be all right."
Smith didn't want to delve deeply into his medical condition, or when or whether he'd play in the preseason.
He even threw in an Allen Iverson "We're talking about practice?" when pressed for details.
Smith knows he made a mistake playing flag football, but tried to make light of all the attention he's received for his off-field mistake.
"Just with the significance of the injury, I'm just lucky to be able to scratch my side and brush my teeth and stuff," Smith said. "So I'm just fortunate to be able to be walking."
He kept turning the conversation to his lack of toothpaste, trying to figure out where he could find a tube most cheaply. So if he's able to laugh about it, he must be fine.
Clausen agreed to a four-year deal, worth a maximum of $6.3 million if he eventually becomes the starter and hits his incentives. He hasn't spoken to reporters, and may not today, but there was a general sense of relief at his presence.
We know Panthers coach John Fox will catch up with us later, and have more on Clausen and the rest of the day's transactions.
They will have to cut one player to get to the 80-man roster limit.
— Darin Gantt