Moving daze

When Panthers equipment manager Jackie Miles takes on the arduous annual task of packing for training camp, Miles tries to keep it simple.

He treats it like a road game -- with one giant caveat.

"It's like an away game -- an away game that lasts a month," Miles said. "We're bunkered down there for a month, so we really take care of everyone."

Miles, assistant equipment manager Don Toner and 15 interns arrived at Wofford College last Tuesday along with two tractor trailers full of supplies that were used, among other things, to set up lockers for more than 200 players and staff.

That same day, a flatbed arrived with field equipment. The next day, a tractor trailer brought down medical supplies. The following day, a tractor trailer came with weight room equipment.

Today, a truck of miscellaneous items was to arrive. Tuesday, a truck filled with supplies that will allow the coaches to set up offices in Spartanburg should roll into town.

"We basically spend the whole offseason packing stuff, getting ready," said Miles, who has been with the Panthers since their inception and has been working in the field for more than three decades. "It's a routine that we implemented from Day One here.

"I've done this for so long, and Wofford offers excellent facilities. They were done for Wofford but with us in mind, so they're among the best in the NFL."

More than 1,500 pairs of shoes made their way to Spartanburg, including roughly 1,200 for practice alone. Miles estimated that the average player will burn through a dozen pairs over the course of training camp, needing a new pair after about every fourth practice.

"In the heat, they sweat quite a bit," Miles said, "and the shoes break down."

Miles and his staff transported roughly 250 footballs, which also can break down in the heat. He estimated that his interns will do 100 loads of laundry a day, a total boosted by two-a-day-practices.
"Two-a-days can be hectic," he said. "Then the next day you have one practice, and it almost feels like a vacation."

Within the month-long road trip, the staff also will pack for a one-night road trip, the Aug. 12 preseason opener at the Baltimore Ravens. Shortly after returning from Baltimore, Miles and his staff will pack everything back up in time for the close of training camp, which is set for Aug. 18.

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