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Position preview: Specialists

The Panthers' special teams units are going through changes in the coaching ranks and return and coverage personnel following a challenging 2014 season, but no such changes are afoot among their kickers.

Carolina's kicker, punter and long snapper have all been working together since midway through the 2012 season and form one of the steadiest trios in the NFL.

Bruce DeHaven, Carolina's assistant special teams coach in 2013, and Russ Purnell – who filled in when DeHaven missed time with a medical issue – will serve as co-special teams coordinators.

Graham Gano
Since signing as a free agent with six games remaining in the 2012 season, has been among league's most accurate kickers, connecting on 62-of-73 field goals and 96-of-97 extra points. … Led NFL in touchback percentage each of the last two seasons. … Had a streak of seven consecutive field goals from 50 or more yards dating to the start of the 2013 season snapped in Week 11 of last season.

Brad Nortman
The first punter ever drafted by the Panthers, the 2013 sixth-round choice has two of the five best seasons in franchise history. … Set a franchise record with 47.8 yards per punt – fourth-best in the NFL – in 2013, and put together fifth-best season in team history with 44.9 yards per punt in 2014. … Also serves as holder for Gano.

JJ Jansen
Has flawlessly served as Panthers' long snapper the last six seasons, an effort that was rewarded with a Pro Bowl selection following the 2013 season. … While playing in all 96 regular season games since 2009, has had just one snap that was notably off the mark.

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