NEWS OF THE DAY
If you started at safety or linebacker for your high school team, you might want to swing by Spartanburg today, because they might ask you to fill in for a few series.
Starting SS Nate Salley went down in the morning, landing awkwardly on his knee. With veteran FS Mike Minter getting the afternoon off, they were down to four safeties for the second practice.
They're also struggling to find healthy LBs, with Na'il Diggs and Brandon Jamison out with hamstrings, Jon Beason holding out and Dan Morgan limited. For the record, that gives them full-time players at the position.
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WHAT WE LEARNED
The players are getting a little tired. The Panthers went through their longest segment of live work in the morning, and it was more than a little sloppy. Lots of false starts and offsides penalties. DE Mike Rucker said it was a hump day, and hopefully for them, getting the night off from meetings will yield a better effort today.
Not one particular thing to pin it on, but you're getting the sense they're going to run the ball better. RBs DeShaun Foster and DeAngelo Williams love the switches to the offense, and they've each made several nice runs during camp. They're seeing holes and hitting them, and it's looking like they're going to be far more productive.
DT Maake Kemoeatu clearly has no future -- as a kicker. Prior to the afternoon session, he missed an uncontested 30-yarder. Obviously a throwback player, Kemoeatu had a Mark Moseley straight-ahead style.
b>DID YOU SEE THAT?
The guys competing for the other starting WR job are getting after it. Keary Colbert has been steady, and Drew Carter stood out, catching a nice deep pass from Jake Delhomme in the afternoon, celebrating his score by laying the ball up over the goalposts.
NUMBER OF THE DAY
The only number DE Otis Grigsby had on the front of his jersey during the morning practice, since the large 0 apparently fell off. He had his full number back for the afternoon.
DL coach Sal Sunseri turned 48 Wednesday, and his friends and co-workers had things in store for him. Coach John Fox asked a crowd of fans to sign "Happy Birthday" to him as he walked out for the first session. After the afternoon work, his players were looking for him (with something fun in mind), but team director of security Gene Brown saved him by whisking him away on a golf cart. It's probably the best present he could have given Sunseri.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Don't get me wrong, that's kind of fun. But at the same time, being on a football team like this is relaxing, because it's not like you've got to do it all yourself. The coaches say it all the time, but until you're in a situation where there's so much talent around you and guys are just making play after play, it does give you a more relaxing feel, whether you're running with the twos or the threes or the first guys. Whoever's in there, it's just a better feeling overall." -- Backup QB David Carr, on the difference between being a franchise cornerstone (as he was in Houston) and blending in here.
The Panthers will practice once, at 3:10 p.m.