Cam Newton highlights Panthers' FanFest with throw, cheering

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Six observations from the Carolina Panthers' FanFest on Friday night at Bank of America:

SuperCam: NFL MVP Cam Newton showed he can make the tough throw -- and play cheerleader. The best pass of the night came late, a perfectly thrown ball over the top of Pro Bowl linebacker Luke Kuechly to tight end Ed Dickson. Earlier, while special teams were practicing field goals, Newton stood 25 yards away in the end zone organizing a wave for the 60,000 fans in attendance.

Goal-line defense: Even with starting defensive end Charles Johnson and outside linebacker Thomas Davis getting the night off, the first-team defense dominated the first-team offense on six plays between the two. Backup running back Cameron Artis-Payne had five carries and never crossed the goal line. The defensive tackles blew up the middle of the line, even on the one pass from Newton.

Logjam at WR: There's a logjam of players at wide receiver behind Kelvin Benjamin, Ted Ginn Jr., Devin Funchess and Philly Brown. If I had to guess at the moment I'd say Brenton Bersin was the fifth with Damiere Byrd sixth. Stephen Hill still hasn't shown the production or burst off the ball in his return from a knee injury.

Young guns: Rookie cornerbacks James Bradberry and Daryl Worley were listed as the starters on the first unofficial depth chart released before practice. Third-year player Bene Benwikere was listed as the backup on the right side and rookie Zack Sanchez as the backup on the left side. If the rookies perform well in the preseason games, it wouldn't surprise me if this is the way it stands, with Benwikere as the nickel.

Physical night: Players definitely were amped up by the large crowd, at times getting a bit too physical for coach Ron Rivera, who during one drill had a talk with cornerback Lou Young for tackling too hard.

Injury update: The Panthers suffered a couple of injuries at defensive end. Backup Larry Webster pulled a hamstring and Wes Horton sprained his wrist.