Panthers pick up intensity|Hold full-contact scrimmage

Published 8:39 am Thursday, August 5, 2010

By By MIKE CRANSTON, AP Sports Writer
AP Sports Writer
SPARTANBURG, S.C. — On the seventh day of training camp, the Carolina Panthers finally did some tackling in an animated and competitive goal-line scrimmage.
The defense kept the offense out of the end zone on four of six plays from the 3-yard line with full contact near the end of Wednesday’s morning workout.
The coaching staff held out starting running back DeAngelo Williams from the three plays involving the first team. With numerous other injuries at the position, Josh Vaughan ran the ball all three times.
Vaughan scored once running to his left, but was stuffed by linebacker Dan Connor and James Anderson on the first two carries.
‘‘It was kind of exciting to see, both sides of the ball getting after it,’’ said quarterback Matt Moore, who didn’t throw a pass.
The second team scored a touchdown on the first play, with Hunter Cantwell hitting rookie David Gettis in the back of the end zone. It was the only TD by the reserves.
‘‘I thought it went good. I thought the guys had the right mindset,’’ coach John Fox said. ‘‘That’s the thing you’ve got to start preparing for. We missed a short yardage scrimmage last week due to some numbers at the running back position. So be it only six plays, it was our first test of live football. It turns up a notch.’’
The Panthers are also expected to do some full contact in Saturday’s practice at Bank of America Stadium.
INJURIES: Cornerback Richard Marshall returned to practice Wednesday after missing five workouts over four days with back spasms.
That still left 16 players sidelined by the second workout, leading to odd lineups.
‘‘It’s more difficult on the guys in, because they get more reps,’’ Fox said. ‘‘In our case we’ve got a lot of youth and guys are holding up pretty good.’’
The complete list of players out includes cornerback Chris Gamble (knee), receiver Steve Smith (hand), running back Jonathan Stewart (heel), right tackle Jeff Otah (knee), linebacker Thomas Davis (knee), safety Aaron Francisco (hamstring), receiver Trent Guy (hamstring), defensive tackle Nick Hayden (oblique), receiver Charly Martin (finger), defensive end Eric Moore (hamstring), linebacker Jordan Senn (shoulder), running back Tyrell Sutton (calf), defensive tackle Hilee Taylor (knee), tackle Garry Williams (shoulder) and running back Mike Goodson, who was in a walking boot because of a severely sprained left ankle.
Fox announced after the second practice that Otah had arthroscopic surgery Wednesday on his left knee.
Panthers left guard Travelle Wharton was given the second practice off to rest.
KICKOFF DECISION: The Panthers are revisiting whether to hold a spot on the 53-man roster for a kickoff specialist,
That means punter Jason Baker will also kick off if Todd Carter doesn’t make it to Week 1.
‘‘Last year there were two teams in the league that had kickoff specialists, us and Dallas,’’ special teams coach Jeff Rodgers said. ‘‘And Dallas is trying to make (David) Buehler become a field goal guy as well. As it stands, we would be the only team if Todd were to make our roster. So it’s a little bit rare.
‘‘It’s more challenging because when you have a guy that takes up a roster spot doing that he’s got to be lights out doing it.’’
Rodgers said Carter, who played at Grand Valley State, has ‘‘had some days where he’s been that guy.’’ But he also praised Baker, who kicked off earlier in his career.
‘‘I think he’s been better than what some people who have watched him would have thought,’’ Rodgers said.
The Panthers brought in Rhys Lloyd late in the 2007 season and he led the league in touchbacks a year later while kicking off in place of aging placekicker John Kasay. Lloyd’s touchback numbers declined last season and the Panthers didn’t re-sign him.
MOORE ABOUT NOTHING: Matt Moore continues to shrug off any talk about pressure after being named the starting quarterback.
‘‘Everybody keeps saying how things are changed and I keep coming up with some crazy answer. Nothing has really changed, to be honest with you,’’ Moore said after Wednesday’s first workout. ‘‘The one little thing is maybe my voice is heard a little bit more.’’
Still, Moore acknowledges there is more to do when you’re a starter, from the added work at practice to being more vocal. He said he’s focusing on talking to receivers after passing plays.
‘‘That’s something I hadn’t done in years past,’’ he said. ‘‘Throwing a ball or completing ball and talking to guys, finding out what’s on their mind and kind of getting it all worked out immediately. I like to get feedback right now.’’
But Moore remains the laid back Californian despite his increased responsibility since Jake Delhomme was released.
‘‘Being labeled a leader, that’s what you want,’’ Moore said. ‘‘But I think being a quarterback it comes kind of automatically. I’m just being me and hoping to lead the team.’’
EXTRA POINTS: DE Everette Brown was loudly praised by defensive line coach Brian Baker during a pass rush drill. The Panthers are depending on Brown to help make up for the loss of Julius Peppers. … The Panthers practice once on Thursday at 3 p.m.