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Carolina Panthers

Strickly Panthers: Goodell to visit camp


SPARTANBURG, S.C. - NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will make an appearance at Panthers training camp Wednesday to host a fan forum and then watch the team practice.

Goodell's first training camp visit of 2011 - and his first trip to Wofford College for Panthers camp as commissioner - will kick off with a question and answer session with fans at approximately 5:15 p.m. on the bank that runs alongside the Panthers' lighted practice field. Fans are encouraged to come armed with questions for the commissioner.

Goodell will then watch the team's practice, scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

The visit comes on the heels of the completion of an unprecedented 10-year Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL and its players. During the negotiations, Goodell worked closely with Carolina Panthers Owner/Founder Jerry Richardson, who served as co-chair of the League's 10-owner executive committee.

During negotiations, Goddell conducted a fan forum via teleconference with Panthers PSL Owners, and he also joined Panthers head coach Ron Rivera for a trip to Fort Bragg that also featured a fan forum.


PANTHERS INK MCCLAIN: Defensive tackle Terrell McClain, Carolina's lone draft pick not to sign before the start of training camp, signed with the team Monday.

McClain, a 6-2, 291-pounder out of South Florida, was the first selection on the second day of the NFL Draft, hearing his name called with the first pick of the third round. The Panthers later used their compensatory pick at the end of the third round on Stanford defensive tackle Sione Fua as they work toward rebuilding the interior of their line.

The acquisition of McClain seems to be a good place to start. A disruptive pass rusher, he's athletic for his size and has a motor that doesn't stop. A first-team All-Big East selection as a senior, McClain recorded 89 tackles – including 17 tackles for loss – and corralled 7.5 sacks during his career with the Bulls.

The Panthers also announced that they have waived safety De'von Hall.


COMING ON STRONG: With McClain, Fua and free agent acquisition Ron Edwards in the middle - and with the linebacking corps healthy – linebacker Jon Beason said the defense would attack in 2011.

Exactly how much will it attack?

"It will be a night-and-day difference. If we blitzed 30 percent of the time last year, we'll probably blitz 65 or 70 percent of the time this year," Beason said. "We're going to be aggressive and blitz-happy. We're going to force the quarterback to be in some uncomfortable situations. It will be fun."

Beason also is looking forward to moving back to his familiar middle linebacker spot. He moved to the weak side last year in place of the injured Thomas Davis for much of the 2010 season.

"I feel comfortable there," Beason said. "I'll do whatever it takes to help the team win, but going home, there's definitely a comfort level there."

The Panthers still plan to be a 4-3 defense, but Beason, Davis and fellow linebackers James Anderson and Dan Connor could find themselves all on the field at the same time.

"We're putting that in already," Beason said. "It's just another wrinkle to give people something to plan for, something they haven't seen from us.

"They're going to have to do their homework this year. It's not going to be, 'Hey, we know the Panthers and their scheme.' It's going to be a completely different defense."

TUESDAY SCHEDULE: The Panthers will hit the practice field early Tuesday, starting up their lone practice at 10:30 a.m. It's the first of three T-shirt Tuesdays, with players tossing T-shirts into the crowd at the conclusion of practice.

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