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August 10, 2006

Training camp observations

News, notes and observations from camp:

The Panthers should find a way to keep six wide receivers or unload veteran special teams player Karl Hankton, who gives them nothing as a receiver. Efrem Hill continues to make plays in training camp and he’s going to get a long look as the punt returner in preseason games. If Hill shows anything as a return man, he should get a roster spot and the punt return job because Steve Smith and Chris Gamble don’t need to be exposed to injury more than they already are.

Speaking of Smith, you won’t see him in Saturday’s preseason opener. Smith’s hamstring is pretty close to 100 percent, but the team isn’t going to take any chances when he hasn’t practiced in two weeks. Don’t be surprised if Smith returns to practice early next week.

Much has been said about the depth at defensive tackle, but linebacker isn’t far behind. Some decent linebackers (maybe Sean Tufts and Vinny Ciurciu) won’t make the roster.

Fans got pretty excited as reserve quarterback Stefan LeFors broke off a couple of long runs during Thursday night’s practice. LeFors has some mobility, but coordinator Dan Henning doesn’t want his quarterbacks to try to be Michael Vick.

If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard much on rookie tackle Rashad Butler, it’s because he’s a major project. Butler has some athletic ability, but he needs to bulk up and his rookie season will be sort of a red-shirt year.

Don’t look for any major moves, but the Panthers have $4.1 million in salary cap space and could look for a little depth at a few positions (safety, defensive end and offensive tackle?) when teams start making cuts.

Posted by Observer Sports on August 10, 2006 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

Comments

Oh I almost forgot I was really impressed by Rookie LB James Anderson and his coverage skills He really does look like Witherspoon out there. I was also impressed by the motor and moves and atheletic ability of our 7th round draft choice the Defensive end from Auburn. I truly Believe he and Wallace can provide some quality Depth at the end position. Any chance he makes the cut? Will we get to see R. Marshall or Deangelo Williams get a crack at Returning kicks/punts? I don't know what they got but it can't be worst than Efrim Hill, it wasn't just the fumbles he lacks lateral movement and "Awareness" of when to field a punt and when to let it go. or how many yards before you cut the route off on a timing pass.Thoughts?
oh by the way I noticed Thomas Davis (on the field anyway) not making any plays. If Anderson/Adams out plays Davis in the pre-season is there any chance panthers give them the starting role they deserve? Or will they give the spot to Davis simply because of what we've invested in him?

Posted by: Cheven | Aug 13, 2006 12:50:11 AM

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