Sports

PANTHERS DAILY DIGEST

NEWS OF THE DAY

QB Jake Delhomme said he wasn't overly anxious about playing his first preseason game Saturday. Delhomme hasn't been tackled since having reconstructive elbow surgery last October, but said he didn't need to be to know he was on course in his recovery.

WHAT WE LEARNED

Jeff Davidson's still new enough at dealing with the media (never getting much of a chance learning under Bill Belichick) that he goes out of his way to be positive in all things. So it was interesting to hear his words regarding WR Dwayne Jarrett, who he said still lacked "consistency."

"I don't think there's been a matter of not understanding things, I just think it's got to happen faster for him," Davidson said. "Time will tell on that one. Quite honestly, a lot of that is left in his court. He has to control that situation."

It was hardly a vote of confidence for a guy they need to be able to produce. After all, D.J. Hackett's showing no signs of durability, so the likelihood of Jarrett having to play this year is good.

STOCK UP

Whether it was by design or not, Thursday's lone practice was one of the most leisurely of camp. The players appreciated the break as much as the light rain that fell for the last 20 or 30 minutes.

STOCK DOWN

It's hard to knock QB Brett Basanez for much in camp -- he's too eager-to-please to draw much scrutiny. But he almost incurred the wrath Thursday. Filling in as a member of the scout punt team (did we mention he's eager to please?), Basanez was forced out of bounds and nearly rolled over former tight ends coach Don Breaux.

The now-retired Breaux, who did a stint with his old boss Joe Gibbs in Washington after leaving the Panthers following the 2002 season, was one of the most popular figures ever among Panthers coaches.

DID YOU SEE THAT?

The Panthers had a veteran quarterback in camp Thursday, when the venerable Steve Beuerlein rolled in. Of course, he was just here preparing for the preseason broadcast, for which he provides color commentary.

NUMBER OF THE DAY

2

Healthy tight ends for practice, and probably for the Colts game. Starter Jeff King's going to get way more snaps than he was counting on, since Gary Barnidge, Dante Rosario and Chris Conklin all have minor dings. Chad Upshaw, unemployed earlier this week, better be ready for plenty, as well.

SIDELINES

Maybe it was the weather or the practice, but there was a different air around camp Thursday. The married types got to see their wives and kids during Wednesday's "family night" break, and it seems like everybody's in a better mood after that happens.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"One thing that we noticed right away, and it started even before we went on break a little bit, was that he was taking a more active approach in the leadership of our team. And it's very evident now. I don't mean to make this sound like he was immature, but he's really grown up, and I think he's become a major player on our offense. And I mean that in every regard, because we use him on and off the field. He helps the young guys, as well.

"I couldn't answer that exactly, how it transpired, other than the fact we've seen it. It's obvious in his approach to the game. One thing is, it may be more important to him. Maybe he sees the light that it is his job. We have a number of guys that can play, and I'm excited about the way he's come in and the approach he's taken to the game." -- Davidson, on RB DeAngelo Williams.

TODAY

The Panthers will go through a short walk-through practice (with the ever-popular "coming out of the tunnel" and pre-game stretching preparations) at 10:45 a.m. before heading back to Charlotte.

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