It's almost as if the Panthers realized they needed to work on their passing game.
After running OTAs the same way for eight years, coach John Fox has mixed things up this week, using the first three days of their organized team activity to concentrate on throwing and catching the ball.
The Panthers ranked 27th in passing offense last year, and have completely remodeled that side of the house. Gone are QB Jake Delhomme and WR Muhsin Muhammad, and in came a fleet of new passers and receivers.
Thus, Fox tweaked his practice schedule, allowing his linemen to do extra position drills but no team work, so they didn't have to spend any time working on the run (which they're OK at already)
Tuesday was the only day of the first three which will be open to the media, but there were a few other things evident from the new-look practices:
-- RB DeAngelo Williams and LT Jordan Gross were back after missing the minicamp work following offseason surgeries.
There aren't that many guys missing at all anymore, to be honest. RB Jonathan Stewart and DT Tank Tyler are still sidelined, and some others including LB Thomas Davis are still doing limited work, but for the most part, they're rested and approaching well.
-- As we reported this morning, CB Richard Marshall was back on the field. He talked at length about wanting to be here, but staying away because of the business realities. He said he'll sign his $1.759 million restricted free agent tender before training camp, but he'll need to before June 15 because the Panthers could reduce their offer to 110 percent of his 2009 base salary, which would be $583,000.
Marshall's always been one of the poster children for offseason participation, and he admitted the absence was odd for him. But he appeared to be in his normal (i.e. good) shape, and was back running with the starters through the 7-of-7 drills that made up the day.
— Darin Gantt