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Carolina Panthers

Five practice observations: Day 9

View the top photos from the ninth practice of training camp at Wofford College.

DEMANDING MORE FROM DEFENSE: It was the first period of team drills, and head coach Ron Rivera had already seen enough. Rivera called the defense together and implored them to practice with better effort and tenacity. The defensive coaches followed suit, echoing Rivera's message rep after rep. If they didn't like what they saw, they wasted no time finding a replacement to step in.

GOAL LINE DEBUT: With the intensity reaching its highest level of camp, Monday seemed like a perfect day to break out the goal line drill.

"These are the best days," linebacker Luke Kuechly said. "Short yardage, goal line, it's all run stuff, it's all physical. You need that kind of practice. You can't back down. You have to hold your ground."

The first team handed the ball to Mike Tolbert on all three reps and – much to the defense's delight – the bruising fullback was stopped in the backfield on his first two carries. Tolbert, who lost his helmet on his second attempt, took out his frustration on the third try, barreling into the line and carrying several defenders across the goal line.

The second team experienced a similar outcome. Linebackers Ben Jacobs and Jason Trusnik stopped rookie running back Cameron Artis-Payne short of the end zone on the first two snaps. On play three, Anderson faked a handoff and found rookie fullback Lee Ward for a simple touchdown toss.

FLIPPED FIELD: After the goal line drill concluded, the offense and defense switched sides to set up a scenario where the offense was operating under the shadow of its own goalpost. In this drill, the defense was looking for a potential safety and the offense was trying to get some much-needed breathing room.

Running back Jonathan Stewart's first carry went for a minimal gain thanks to an impressive stop by defensive end Kony Ealy, but he broke loose on the next play. Stewart exploded through a hole up the middle and ran through safety Kurt Coleman for what would have been a big gain in the open field.

MAYO TOUGH TO HANDLE: Rookie linebacker David Mayo proved difficult to handle during one-on-one pass rush drills. Mayo blew by Artis-Payne in the first rep. The rookie pairing squared off again with a similar result in round two. This time, Mayo used a swim move to great effect.

ANDERSON ON THE LOOSE: Training camp wouldn't be complete without the sight of backup quarterback Derek Anderson running free in the open field. On Monday, we not only saw it once, but twice. Anderson fooled the defense with a naked bootleg and gained first-down yardage on two separate occasions. No one enjoys that more than D.A. himself.

EXTRA POINT: Punter Brad Nortman was crushing the ball Monday. Several players stood in awe as he let the punts fly. "That punt was like 80 yards," center Brian Folkerts said. Anderson then quickly chimed in: "Bomb squad!"

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