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Five things to know about Curtis Fuller & Lance Taylor


1. Fuller spent the final year of his playing career with Panthers:Curtis Fuller, the new defensive backs coach for Carolina, played four years in the NFL at safety. The Seahawks selected him in the fourth round in 2001. He played 26 games in two seasons for Seattle, recording his only career interception in his second season. After spending the 2003 season with the Packers, Fuller joined the Panthers during the 2004 season, which proved to be his last.

2. Fuller was greatly influenced by TCU head coach Gary Patterson: Fuller spent his final three collegiate seasons at Texas Christian after transferring from junior college.

When he got there, he became an all-conference safety under the tutelage of Gary Patterson, a coach known for his defensive wisdom.

"He still calls the defense the same way he did when I played," Fuller said. "He's tweaked it a little bit with some different concepts here and there. And I'll take some of his philosophy. He didn't care if you were a freshman or fourth-year player, he installed the defense like everybody was new to it.

"Gary is the one who taught me how to watch film as a player. He would come in and ask my opinion on different things. It was the biggest foundation for me."

Fuller said Patterson often told him he should consider a career in coaching. At the time, Fuller said he laughed it off.

3. Youthful exuberance: Fuller, 38, is the youngest lead position coach on the defensive side. New wide receivers coach Lance Taylor, 35, is the youngest lead position coach on the entire staff.

4. Taylor an underdog who earned respect: Taylor walked on at Alabama, the school where his father played for legendary head coach Bear Bryant. By the end of his career, he was a vital special teams contributor for the Crimson Tide who was named team captain.

After college, Taylor played professionally for the Colorado Crush and Columbus Destroyers of the Arena Football League and Green Bay Blizzard and Louisville Fire of AL2 from 2003-07.

5. Taylor recognized for his work at Stanford: Taylor was named the 2015 Running Backs Coach of the Year after Christian McCaffrey had an incredibly productive season. McCaffrey, a Heisman finalist who was named AP Player of the Year, set the school record for single-game rushing yards with 243 against UCLA and became the first Cardinal to eclipse the 2,000-yard rushing mark in a season. McCaffrey is considered one of the top running back prospects in this year's draft class.


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