SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Panthers offensive lineman Duke Robinson isn't concerned about his power; he is concerned about his power steering.
"From the first day I got here until now, my intensity level, level of physical play, level of power, everything has reached another level," Robinson said. "I have a real nasty mentality, so it's just a matter of taking that mentality and cleaning up my technique."
To that end, the Panthers go through intensive individual drills on a daily basis with offensive line coach Dave Magazu.
First, Magazu lines up three linemen near a pair of blocking dummies to work on proper technique for cut blocks. On Magazu's cue, the two linemen on the outside cut toward the dummies – which resemble a punching bag but react like a Weeble Wobble -- and throw their bodies toward the bottom part of the dummies. The middle lineman simply follows his proper path between the dummies.
Next, the linemen take their places in the chutes, kind of like a starting gate for linemen that forces them to stay adequately low and maintain leverage when moving forward to throw blocks. Five offensive linemen line up in the chutes, with five of their fellow linemen across from them playing the role of defensive linemen. On a simulated snap, the offensive linemen move forward and engage their blocks.
Tackle Jason Capizzi, a new addition to the roster Monday, was perhaps a little too fired up for his debut, rising up too high and actually dragging the chute with him.
Finally, the linemen move into an end zone, where five at a time work on collectively engaging defensive linemen at the proper angle based on Magazu's call. Again, other offensive linemen stand in as defensive linemen.
Later, the O-line gets to face the real thing as Robinson and Co. show off that nastiness he spoke of in one of the more entertaining periods during any Panthers' practice: live work between the offensive and defensive lines.
NEW LOOK ALONG LINE: The Panthers switched things up on the offensive front Monday, waiving undrafted rookies Kurtis Gregory and Noah Franklin – both guards -- while adding Capizzi and guard Andrew Crummey.
Capizzi, a hulking figure at 6-9, 330 pounds, entered the NFL out of Indiana (Pa.) College in 2007 and spent parts of the '07 and '08 seasons on the Pittsburgh Steelers active roster. He spent much of last season on the Cleveland Browns practice squad.
Crummey was claimed off waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars. A University of Maryland product, the 6-5, 301-pound Crummey played six games for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2008 and ended the 2009 season on the Houston Texans' practice squad.
SUTTON RETURN: The Panthers welcomed back running back Tyrell Sutton on Monday, who had been out of action since suffering a calf injury during the second practice of camp.
"It feels good to be back. My leg is feeling a lot better," Sutton said. "It feels great all around to be back out there with the guys.
"I went to run a route, and I just felt a pop in my calf. I just had to get it right before I could be able to get back out there."
Injuries to Sutton and Mike Goodson during camp and the continued concerns for Jonathan Stewart led the Panthers to sign Dantrell Savage to take on some of the reps. Goodson (ankle) and Stewart (foot) still are out.
QUICK LOOKS: The first-team offense moved the ball methodically against the first-team defense during some 11-on-11 drills minus tackling Monday morning, but the back-up defensive units mostly dominated. … Mortty Ivy scooped up a Jimmy Clausen fumble on the center exchange and rumbled for a touchdown, and the offense mustered just two first downs in five opportunities, the nicest conversion coming when Clausen hooked up with rookie David Gettis for a 15-yard gain. … In the evening practice, Clausen got around the corner for a 15-yard touchdown run in a team red zone drill. … The evening practice also featured the return of offensive tackle Garry Williams and linebacker Jordan Senn to the practice field. Both had been out of action with shoulder injuries.
T-SHIRT TUESDAY: The Panthers will hold their second of three T-shirt events following their lone practice Tuesday, which kicks off at 3 p.m. Following practice, players will toss T-shirts into the crowd.