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Charles Tillman returns to help corners


CHARLOTTE – James Bradberry had a nose for the football in college, recording a couple of interceptions each season, but he didn't force any fumbles.

"I've tried to strip the ball, but it really hasn't worked out for me," the rookie cornerback said. "So I'm going to try to implement the 'Peanut Punch' into my game."

Bradberry and the other defensive backs got a crash course in the "Peanut Punch," made famous by cornerback Charles "Peanut" Tillman, at practice Monday. Tillman, who spent last season with the Panthers and recorded two forced fumbles before announcing his retirement, is spending a couple of days with the Panthers.

In 13 NFL seasons, Tillman forced 44 fumbles, nearly twice as many as any other NFL player over the same time period.

"He was a guy who did some good things for us last year, a guy that really fit into our culture," head coach Ron Rivera said. "We thought it would be a great opportunity to mix somebody in that had some sage wisdom to share with these young guys."

During individual drills, Tillman worked with a handful of defensive backs at a time.

"It's pretty much just punching while you're going to tackle. That's pretty much it," Bradberry. "It sounds simple, but you've got to time it up real well. That's why he's so good at it.

"It's very cool. I remember watching him in high school. He's a great corner. It's inspiring to have him out here."

OLSEN, BERSIN RETURN IN DIFFERENT CAPACITIES: Tight end Greg Olsen returned to the practice field for the first time in a week Monday, working on the side with the training staff in his continued recovery from back spasms.

"The back finally calmed down," Rivera said. "They worked really good yesterday, actually, and he did some running out here on the field. Hopefully, he'll be back in pads tomorrow."

Wide receiver Brenton Bersin, who suffered a rib injury in the preseason opener Aug. 11, returned to practice in a limited capacity before Saturday's game at Tennessee but did not dress. Monday, he returned to full participation.

"It took about a week for the pain to go down," Bersin said. "I probably could have played Saturday, but they held me out. I should be full-go this week."

Rivera said safety Dean Marlowe could return to practice Tuesday after missing both preseason games with a hamstring injury. Safety Trenton Robinson, who suffered a shoulder injury against the Titans, is set to see a doctor for further assessment.

DEFENSE HAS GOOD DAY: The defense made the majority of notable plays at practice Monday as the Panthers returned from a day off in helmets and shorts. Linebacker Shaq Thompson – off a deflection by safety Tre Boston – and cornerback Robert McClain came up with interceptions. Linebacker Luke Kuechly stuffed a change-of-direction play before it could get started, recently added defensive end Tom Lally blew up a pass play, and cornerback Bene Benwikere continued his strong play.

Cornerback Lou Young frustrated the offense with tight coverage on a couple of opportunities, but Young also was victimized by an indefensible play. While the offense was often slowed on this day, there was no stopping wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin on a 3-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Cam Newton on which Benjamin used his big body to create a window that left Young powerless. A pair of rookies in tight end Beau Sandland and wide receiver Miles Shuler also secured touchdown receptions.

View photos of practice from the third week of preseason.

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