Carolina Panthers

PANTHERS DAILY DIGEST

NEWS OF THE DAY

Veteran S Mike Minter will announce his retirement this afternoon, and the team will be less for it, off the field if not on it.

Minter leaves as the franchise leader in tackles and games started, but numbers can't sum up his contribution.

WHAT WE LEARNED

Rookie LB Jon Beason's workouts weren't quite enough. He was huffing and puffing about an hour into Monday's practice, his first since ending his eight-day holdout. He's small but fast, and he'll fit in quite nicely.

But it's going to take some time to catch up.

STOCK UP

LB James Anderson might have lost his temporary grip on a starting job with Beason's arrival, but his ability to learn both outside spots earned him high marks with coaches. Beason referred to him as "Superman" for all the snaps he's had to take at the injury-ravaged position.

STOCK DOWN

RB Eric Shelton looks like a guy who knows his days are numbered. He had a fresh start with a new offensive coordinator, but squandered that with a bad-hands day Saturday and a generally lackluster camp. Atlanta and his old coach Bobby Petrino might pick him up when the Panthers cut him, but by the evidence on hand, that shouldn't worry them.

DID YOU SEE THAT?

Best hands of the day? No question -- LT Travelle Wharton. After QB Jake Delhomme mishandled a snap, it appeared DE Stanley McClover had recovered a fumble. But the agile Wharton dove in and snatched the ball away from McClover before he could secure it.

NUMBER OF THE DAY

141

Games started at safety by Minter. No other safety has started more than 48 (Deon Grant). It's been a hodge-podge group throughout, but Minter's lent stability.

SIDELINES

Panthers coach John Fox is proving himself as quite the Renaissance man. Last week he showed his mastery of geography by talking about how "close" Canada and France were. (He caught himself and said he was speaking of the language overlap).

Monday, he proved himself to be a true lover of art-house cinema. While walking by fourth quarterback Dalton Bell as he stretched, Fox said, "I hear you, Roadhouse," referring to the all-time classic in which Patrick Swayze played the Zen bouncer who was known simply by his surname, Dalton.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"What's he lying about now?" -- DT Chad Lavalais, apparently not a registered Republican, as he walked by a televised press conference featuring President George W. Bush.

TODAY

The Panthers will practice once at 3:10 p.m., but the day's big event will be the 1:30 p.m. press conference at which Minter's retirement will be announced.

-- Darin Gantt

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