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Tryout players embrace opportunity

Posted May 11, 2013

CHARLOTTE – The 36 tryout players partaking in the Panthers' rookie minicamp don't need to be told how long their odds are.

They are competing with 12 undrafted free agents to get noticed and hopefully, stick around.

"I think we have the ability to get three, four or five guys that we can bring back," head coach Ron Rivera said. "We'll get a chance to see how they do. Tomorrow is a big day. You put it all together and on the third day the guys are mentally drained. Either they can't handle it or they can really step up.

"We're looking for some guys to step up and show us what they can do."

Some tryouts are rookies. Others are several years removed from college, hoping to have their NFL dream realized.

All are aiming to seize the moment in front of the Panthers' coaching staff.

"I'm just trying to fit in somewhere," former Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin said. "I'm thankful for the opportunity to come down here and work out this weekend. I'm just trying to make the most of it, trying to impress some people and see if I can catch on and help out in any way."

McGloin is a rookie just getting his start.

Fellow-tryout participant Brandon Bing has been in this situation before.

The cornerback signed with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 2011 before being waived in the final roster cutdown. He then spent time on Buffalo's practice squad before finishing the season on the Giants practice squad, where he earned a Super Bowl ring.

Last year, he had a brief stint on the Giants practice squad.

Now, Bing is performing at another tryout, this time in Carolina.

"I'm just trying to be the best I can be," Bing said. "I understand this is an opportunity and I'm trying to take advantage of it with every rep. I'm trying to accept coaching, trying not to make the same mistakes twice, trying to make plays. Do your assignment and control everything as far as effort.

"I'm obviously out here trying to make this team and I'm definitely happy to be out here playing." 

Defensive tackle Linden Gaydosh, a tryout from Canada, is ecstatic about this opportunity at the Panthers' minicamp.

"It's incredible. I absolutely love it," Gaydosh said. "This is such a great opportunity, and even if I don't happen to make it, I've learned a lot."

All of the tryouts players share the same mindset: they are eager to learn, striving to get better and anxious to see where it takes them next in their football careers.

"We've got a big practice tomorrow, so I'm just trying to continue to improve and grasp more of the playbook," McGloin said, "and we'll see what happens."