Five takeaways from Day Two of minicamp

1. PRACTICING WHAT THEY'VE PREACHED: The second day of veteran minicamp didn't feature the Panthers' trademark tempo, but that was by design.

"For the most part, I liked what we got out of it today," head coach Ron Rivera said. "We worked on some certain scenarios and situations. We slowed practice down a lot so we could go through those scenarios."

Rivera likened the approach to end-of-grade testing, with team periods focused on putting together what the team has learned throughout the offseason workout program that will wrap up Thursday. The most glaring error during the mostly clean sessions came in the two-minute drill when quarterback Joe Webb spiked the ball to kill the clock – on fourth down.

"Joe thought it was first down, but it was one of those things where you can't think," Rivera said. "You've got to know."

2. BETTER, BUT: Rivera called a team huddle in the middle of practice for the second consecutive day, this time to review what happened on Webb's play and set up the next snap.

"I was a little bit disappointed yesterday. Today was a little better, but I still was disappointed," Rivera said. "It's going to be important for guys to step up."

While a veteran was the focus of the huddle, Rivera said he was generally pleased with the way his veteran players have performed throughout the offseason. It's more of a mixed bag with the younger players.

"The veterans came in great shape and have worked very hard," Rivera said. "The young guys need to step up their game more, and I'm not just talking about the rookies. I'm talking about the second- and third-year guys, too.

"The young guys are trying to learn and understand, and we're putting a lot on them. But my message is, 'If you're struggling, you better start getting in the (play) book a little more.'"

3. JOHNSON JUMPS OUT: Defensive end Charles Johnson followed a difficult regular season with a strong postseason, and the Panthers are trying to put him in position to pick up where he left off.

"I'm real pleased about things. He's giving a great effort and is in great shape," Rivera said. "He's doing all the things he needs to, but we as a staff need to be smart. He's a veteran guy that's important to what we do, so we've got to make sure he's aware of his condition."

Johnson, entering his 10th NFL season, had averaged 10.5 sacks over his five seasons as a starter before recording just one sack in a season cut in half by a hamstring injury. Johnson, however, responded with one sack in each of Carolina's three postseason games.

"He's always seemed to come up big late," Rivera said. "We as a staff have to make sure we don't wear him down."

4. CATCHING UP WITH RECEIVER GROUP: Johnson is one of 16 defensive linemen on the 90-man roster. The Panthers currently carry 15 offensive linemen.

The wide receivers group is right behind with 14, but that's a huge number considering Carolina is likely to keep about half the number of wide receivers as defensive linemen once the regular season starts.

"The nice thing is that they're all skilled and they all have a chance to contribute. We've got to pick the best ones," Rivera said.

Without naming names – though he previously praised Damiere Byrd - Rivera said some young receivers have stepped up of late. Rivera also is pleased with how Kelvin Benjamin and Stephen Hill bounced back from devastating knee injuries suffered last season.

As for Brenton Bersin, who left practice Tuesday with an ankle injury, Rivera said Bersin should be back at full strength in plenty of time for the start of training camp. Also, Devin Funchess returned to action after missing Day One with an illness.

5. STRIVING FOR MORE: When the coaches review film from minicamp, they'll be able to do so from a whole new perspective.

Representatives from STRIVR Labs have shot practice with a device that produces 360-degree views.

"It gives perspective from all over," Rivera said. "What I like about it is that you see things from the players' perspective instead of from above or behind.

"It's a great teaching tool."

View photos from day two of Panthers Minicamp.

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