Practice quieter but no less productive

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The chatter and intensity of practice varies from day to day. Monday was a particularly spirited padded session. Tuesday's session didn't include as much extra-curricular activity between plays.

"That's just the way it is," head coach Ron Rivera said. "It's not like you have to have it every day or even have it at all. It's just the activity of practice. I didn't put the kibosh on it but I think the players probably had something to say to (each other) and have realized that you don't necessarily need to have (the trash talk) to be successful."

Trash talk is a part of every game across the league. And Rivera knows his players must be able to handle it.

"It happens during game day," Rivera said. "Some of it you have to learn to cope and deal with it. Obviously, yesterday wasn't a good situation for us. As far as I'm concerned, the situation is over. If it goes on, I'll address it as it happens."

Beginning on Wednesday, the Panthers will start preparing for Friday's preseason opener at the Buffalo Bills. Rivera said he feels "good about who our first group is and part of our second group" but that the young players fighting for depth positions have a lot to prove. Rivera also will be keeping a close eye on the rookies as they brace for their first game action.

"There are still some situations where you see some of the rookies make big mistakes," Rivera said. "On the defensive side, (defensive coordinator) Sean (McDermott) brought a little bit of pressure and our young offensive linemen and backs didn't quite pick it up. You've got to get those things done, especially as you start getting ready for the preseason."

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