Strickly Panthers: TE drills

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – When Panthers tight end Jeff King powered through a couple of would-be tacklers to cross the goal line during Sunday's practice at Wofford College, King entertained the fans on hand by spiking the football in celebration.

Earlier in the practice, the tight ends went through drills with position coach Geep Chryst that prepared them for hitting paydirt.

First, the tight ends honed their footwork with various drills using a cloth "ladder" on the grass. Among other things, they took super-short, quick steps between the rungs while keeping their heads up to catch low-liners underhanded toward them by Chryst.

Next, the tight ends switched to the running-game aspect of their role, working on proper technique for engaging a block.

Soon, it was back to the passing game on a day when the Panthers eventually worked on red zone offense during team period. The tight ends practiced taking the proper, precise angle on flat routes near the end zone and also worked on being decisive when turning back toward the quarterback on short comeback routes.

Then, with the help of their teammates, they put the drills into action. The tight ends headed to the other end of the practice field, where the wide receivers had been working with the quarterbacks, and got a chance to run some of the routes they had just simulated.

After that, a tight end teamed with an offensive lineman to work on blocking schemes against a defensive lineman and a linebacker.

Finally, it all came together when the offense went up against the defense, and King bulled his way into the end zone.


RUNNER UP: Following Monday's morning practice, head coach John Fox said the team would make "some kind of adjustment" in light of injuries at running back.

Come Monday evening, a newly signed running back took to the practice field in the form of Dantrell Savage, who spent the previous two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs before being waived in March.

To make room for Savage, the Panthers waived/injured cornerback Marcus Walker, who suffered a calf injury in Saturday's evening practice. He spent the entire 2009 season on Carolina's practice squad.

The Panthers need bodies at running back with Jonathan Stewart (ankle), Mike Goodson (ankle) and Tyrell Sutton (calf) currently out of practice.

DeAngelo Williams took advantage of Savage's arrival for Monday's evening practice to rest but spent his time trying to help get the 5-8, 182-pound Savage up to speed.

Savage, a former Oklahoma State running back, appeared in 13 games for the Chiefs over two seasons, primarily on special teams. He posted 34 kickoff returns for 793 yards and 14 punt returns for 53 yards, and he also tallied 25 carries for 98 yards and nine receptions for 51 yards.


QUICK LOOKS: Former North Carolina wide receiver Wallace Wright joined the Panthers in the offseason first and foremost because of his special teams skills, but he made a special catch in Monday's early practice that drew applause from the crowd. … Cornerback C.J. Wilson continues to make plays, breaking up a couple of passes Monday morning.


GET THE T-SHIRT: The Panthers will hold their first of three T-shirt Tuesdays following their lone practice Tuesday, which is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. Players will toss T-shirts into the crowd along the autograph zone after practice.

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