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August 07, 2013

Panthers, preparing for Bears, slow down practice after Tuesday's scrum

SPARTANBURG Wednesday's practice didn't exactly have the same pop as Tuesday's "small melee."

For the first half of practice, the Panthers tried to scheme against what they expect Chicago to do on Friday night in the preseason opener. That meant third-team offenses and defenses playing against the first team as they attempted to scout the Bears' offense.

"We’re starting to gear up toward Friday so we wanted to give them an opportunity to get their legs back a little more and really have them focus in on the mental aspects of the game," coach Ron Rivera said. "We’re trying to guess pretty much what Chicago’s trying to be because of the new staff, and at the same time getting some reps against what we think they’re going to be."

Wednesday's practice may have been the slowest of camp because of that. Rivera said he anticipates new head coach Marc Trestman's Chicago team will run some type of West Coast offense. In the second half when the first teams went against one another, the tempo improved.

Notes: DT Dwan Edwards and WR Steve Smith got a veteran's day off. WR Domenik Hixon (leg), RB Jonathan Stewart (ankle), G Edmund Kugbila (hamstring), C/G Jeff Byers (knee), WR James Shaw (hamstring), TE Zack Pianalto (quad), CB Josh Thomas (groin), FB Mike Tolbert (hamstring) and LB Jon Beason (knee) all sat out of practice.

Rivera estimated that Kugbila, the team's fourth-round pick from this year's draft, is "about a week away" from returning to action.

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on August 7, 2013 at 12:19 PM | Permalink


Kugbila is worth about as much as riding a bike on I-85 in rush hour traffic

Posted by: Panthers are 11-5 | Aug 7, 2013 12:48:21 PM

All these hamstring and groin injuries are a result of not properly stretching. You would think NFL professional athletes would know this.

Who is the trainer for the Panthers btw? Seems every year it's the same thing with all the injuries.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Aug 7, 2013 12:53:22 PM

I'm interesting to see what Trestman does as coach, I suspect he'll do ok. He has more experience coaching than Rivera.

Posted by: big gulps | Aug 7, 2013 1:17:04 PM

Kubila has bust written all over him. Not a good pick by Gettleman and the scouting staff. He should be in the final cuts at the end of the month.

Posted by: Whitecomet77 | Aug 7, 2013 1:57:30 PM

@Panthers 11-5--I absolultely agree about the injuries. Ryan Vermillian or something like that is the head trainer. I know NFL teams all have their share of injuries but what seems to be the difference is the amount of time it takes for our players to get back to action versus other teams. I did happen to notice the Panthers started employing a Doctor to be on the sidelines during games-at least that is the first time I've ever noticed one. Usually when a player would go down, the head trainer and his staff would be the ones to do the initial evaluation. Last year, it was the head trainer AND a Doctor. Just found that to be VERY interesting considering how badly the Panthers have been hit with the injury bug the last couple of year.

Posted by: Demi | Aug 7, 2013 2:16:57 PM

There's no such thing as a bust in the fourth round. Kugbila, unlike Otah, wasn't picked up with a trade that wasted a first-round pick as part of a package that could have gotten us All-Pro Jason Peters.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Aug 7, 2013 2:28:10 PM

A doctor has been on the sidelines for every game for years. Are you really naive enough to think that the team would take on the risk and liability of not having a fully accredited doctor on the sidelines for every game as violent as the game is? Yes I know for a fact they have had an orthopedist as I recognize the doctor and that has been confirmed to be true.

Posted by: me | Aug 7, 2013 4:43:04 PM

I actually think Gettleman did his homework on Kugbila, but this is just one of those random tweaks that happened at the beginning of OTA's. I think he'll come back strong as an ox and will help Bell out on that right side to open up some nice holes for DW and JStew... who's another story all by himself. I personally would've traded him last year.

Posted by: Elliott | Aug 7, 2013 6:39:05 PM

All you people screaming about injuries...have you seen what's been going on around the league? Lets just be thankful that we haven't had any major problems so far. And as far as a 4th round pick being a bust...do you even watch the NFL? Since when is a 4th round pick ever considered a bust? You should be happy that we drafted him because if we want to run the ball as much as we say we do, we're going to need as many fresh legs as possible throughout the season. Backup or not he's going to get his playing time, and THEN if he turns out to be mediocre, then we'll worry about whether he was a good value in the 4th. Either way, you can't argue that Gettleman has done an outstanding job. We came into the offseason $16M over the cap, and now we're almost $14M under. Do the math and stop complaining.

Posted by: Brett | Aug 8, 2013 8:53:33 AM

^^^ agree although I would add in that hurney did a great job building this team and gettlemen did a great job of knowing it and not trying to blow it all up or trying to change too much. he has basically done everything that hurney would have done except bring in a few more former giants players.

if a 4th round pick turns out to be jeff otah, that isn't exactly a bad thing. otah was elite when healthy. if a 4th round pick gets a you 2 years as good as otah had in 2008 and 2009......that's a steal in the 4th round.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 8, 2013 10:23:42 AM

I wouldnt go so far as to say he's a bust, but I think we wiffed on that pick. Kid cant stay healthy in shorts and you people think he'll have an impact against a real 1st team defense?

Posted by: Andy | Aug 8, 2013 10:57:38 AM

biggie gulps, I've got some saints smelly pea for you to suck.

Posted by: Hugo Panther | Aug 8, 2013 2:15:48 PM

How can you tell that Kugbila is a bust when he hasn't even played in 1 preseason game. JStew almost never plays in the preseason due to injuries and is still great during the season (when healthy). All NFL teams have injuries...that's the nature of the sport. Give the kid a chance and if he sucks after his second year then complain. Complaining that he is a bust because he is injured in his first training camp is ignorant. If you can tell that a player is a bust before he plays a down, you are a better evaluator than any of the scouts in the league...its a wonder that no NFL team has called you for their scouting staff!

Posted by: Mike | Aug 8, 2013 5:44:50 PM

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