Carolina Panthers

Davis tries to get caught up

SPARTANBURG -- There are plenty of sleepless moments for Josh Davis in his first week in the Carolina Panthers training camp.

That's not because he's worrying about his future ... he's just trying to get caught up to the present.

While the former York Comprehensive High School star got a late start with the Panthers because of his spring in NFL Europe, has impressed his coaches with his ability to catch up as well as catch.

"I'm trying to stay in my playbook so I can catch up with these other guys," the 26-year-old wide receiver said. "That's one thing i'm looking forward to. I hope the coaches look at me and how fast I'm catching onto the plays, and I can use that to my advantage.

"It's hard on me. There are a lot of nights I'm sitting up at 1 or 1:30 in the morning, knowing I've got to get up at 7:00, and just trying to study the plays so I can keep up with the other guys."

Davis is behind because the Panthers had three full weeks of installation while he was in Germany playing for the Hamburg Sea Devils of the now-defunct developmental league. Now he's scrambling to get caught up.

He said having been in three other NFL camps (Miami, New Orleans and Minnesota) have helped him understand the process, and it must have helped.

Veteran receivers coach Richard Williamson said he's been pleased with the uptake Davis has shown.

"I think he's got a good football mind," Williamson said. "He came out of Marshall, and they did a lot of things. They were a throwing team, and that's all they did basically. So he's aware of a lot of things.

"He's picked it up well, and we've only been out there a few days. He doesn't say a whole lot, he just lines up and does it."

Being new has limited his practice repetitions a bit, but there's also a track record with Davis. He left Marshall as the second-leading receiver in NCAA history (306 catches), and Williamson remembered scouting him two years ago.

"When people are productive there's a reason for it," Williamson said. "You hope it carries over to this level. When they're productive at whatever level, that's a good sign."

Davis said teammates Steve Smith and Keary Colbert have been helping him with his transition, although he arrived with local knowledge.

He said a few family members have made the quick drive to Wofford College to see him, but they've been respectful of what he's trying to accomplish. He knows he's going to have to stand out in the preseason to have a shot to stick on the roster or the practice squad, and he knows it's going to take more nights of studying to get himself ready.

"I told them, I was just trying to focus on trying to make the team," he said. "It's been going pretty well. I've got a lot to learn, and I'm behind the other guys, but I've been picking a lot of stuff up. I've been getting in there and making a few plays."

• HASHING IT OUT: New offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson has talked about the open line of communication he has with John Fox, but he's also enjoying working with the rest of the staff during their nightly meetings.

He said that's when the basis of what they're trying to build comes to life, and the differences in personalities in that room have been invaluable to him.

Davidson's 39 and a former NFL lineman. Around him, he can consult with the 66-year-old Williamson (who played for Bear Bryant at Alabama) or the 35-year-old passing game coordinator Mike McCoy (who was a lifelong West Coast offense guy before Dan Henning shaped his philosophy). Or he could check with tight ends coach Geep Chryst (a computer-programming Ivy Leaguer) or new line coach Dave Magazu (who taught lines at the college level for 23 years).

"I think it's essential," Davidson said. "We've got new ideas, and we've got guys who are a little more conservative. That's not a negative thing. But it's different styles. But when all those things come together, that's when it becomes our offense.

"It's our offense, not mine. We're trying to find what all of us, players and coaches are best at, and find more ways to do that."

• INJURY UPDATE: Linebacker Na'il Diggs was held out of the day's lone practice because of the hamstring pull he suffered Monday.

The team won't stray far from its traditional diagnosis of "day-to-day," but Diggs joked that his time frame is even shorter.

"I'm just taking it one hour at a time and seeing how it feels," he said. "It's a little tight right now."

The Panthers were also without Smith, but don't worry, he was just resting his legs.

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