Quick hits from Carolina's practice Thursday:
It was a good afternoon for rookie receivers. Brandon LaFell, the third-round pick out of Lousiana State, plays as if he understands. He runs a nice route, knows how to create space near the goal line -- dumb phrase, but he finds room where little appears to exist -- and he's 6-2 and 211 pouinds.
Armante Edwards, who was taken 11 positions after LaFell, made one of those plays that entices you to look at whomever is standing next to you and ask, "You see that?" Edwards caught a ball over the middle and as safety Charles Godfrey cut him off, Edwards took off. I mean, Edwards did everything but wave and say, "I'll be sure and write."
Edwards has not had a great camp. But his sudden acceleration was impressive.
Tight end Dante Rosario also grabbed a pass in front of Godfrey, and as Godfrey ran him out of bounds, he gave him a good shot. Godfrey is 5-10, 210 pounds, Rosario 6-4 and 250. After Godfrey gave Rosario the shot, he gave him a little tap on the helmet. Smart man.
Rookie defensive end Greg Hardy beat guard Kurtis Gregory with a quick step and a double spin move and reached the backfield almost unimpeded. There was no quarterback to sack; this was a drill. But I tell you, Hardy has been one of the stars of camp. He's 6-4 and 277 pounds and was drafted in the sixth round out of Mississippi.
Also having a good camp is safety Jordan Pugh, another rookie and another sixth-round pick. He played at Texas A&M. Pugh tipped away what would have been a touchdown pass to wide receiver Oliver Young.
Best catch of the day: tight end Jeff King, bringing down the ball with one hand in the back of the end zone.
I asked King, out of Virginia Tech, if he worried about the Hokie's opener against Boise State.
"We fear nobody. We'll play anybody."
Sounds like an inscription on a T-shirt.
Watching practice was Wesley Walls, who despite King's catch had the best hands of any tight end in Panther history. I asked Walls, who played from 1996 to 2002, if he was tempted to run onto the field.
"No," he said. "I was when I first left. I looked at the money these guys were making and I would have then."