At the end of summer school practices, strength coach Jerry Simmons usually calls up certain groups of players for a series of sprints, twice across a field, sideline-to-sideline.
One of the best signs so far is that LT Jordan Gross is always at the front of the pack of linemen. You don't mind giving a player the kind of contract they gave him when he exhibits leadership and work ethic like that.
As for the defensive linemen, it's usually DEs Charles Johnson an Tyler Brayton pacing the group, again pointing to having experienced guys who can show the way.
-- It's always a little deceiving watching these non-contact sessions. You can tell essentially nothing about linemen, other than some obvious alignment and depth chart issues.
But you can see that the Panthers have more speed and competition at the skill positions than in the past, and it's going to make for some interesting decisions come cut day.
When you start factoring in how many fullbacks and tight ends they might have to keep, there are going to be some hard calls on wideouts.
-- Speaking of the FB position, check out tomorrow's Herald for more on veteran Brad Hoover, who's not sure what the future holds for him after they used a fourth-round pick on FB Tony Fiammetta. Hoover's got an interesting and honest perspective on the situation, that's for sure.