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Carolina Panthers

Strickly Panthers: Time on Pilares' side


SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Football fans in Hawaii will have to get up pretty early on Sunday mornings to catch Kealoha Pilares in action this season, but the rookie wide receiver out of the University of Hawaii might be worth setting the alarm clock for.

"With our games on the East Coast, it's going to be hard for people to watch," Pilares said. "Slowly but surely, everybody is finding out, and they're really proud of me."

Fifteen of the Panthers' 16 regular season games are set for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff – that's 7 a.m. in Hawaii. Pilares, however, could become a part of the morning routine if he keeps making plays like his 35-yard touchdown catch in Saturday's preseason opener.

Many University of Hawaii fans already have grown accustomed to rising early on Sundays to watch Miami Dolphins wide receiver Davone Bess – the Warriors' career leader in receptions and touchdowns catches – do his thing. Bess caught 79 passes for 820 yards and five touchdowns for the Dolphins last season.

The Panthers and Dolphins actually face off Friday at a good time for natives who aren't stuck behind a desk – a 7:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. in Hawaii) kickoff.

"Not many of us get a shot to play in the NFL, but I feel like with Davone Bess playing for the Miami Dolphins, he has given a lot of people confidence in drafting players from Hawaii," said Pilares, a fifth-round draft pick who met Bess while undergoing physical therapy for a knee injury earlier this year. "I look up to him, and I'm trying to do what he's doing now."

SCOUTING DEPARTMENT TURNS PRO: The Panthers have added former NFL players Ken Dorsey and Don Warren to the team's pro scouting department. They will work closely with director of pro scouting Mark Koncz and will advance Carolina's upcoming opponents each week.

Dorsey played quarterback for six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns from 2003-08. He completed 214-of-408 passes for 2,082 yards and eight touchdowns with 18 interceptions.

He has both pro and college experience with Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski. Chudzinski was Dorsey's offensive coordinator for his final two NFL seasons in Cleveland from 2007-08 and last two college seasons at the University of Miami (Fla.) from 2001-02.

Warren played tight end for 14 seasons, all with the Washington Redskins, from 1979-1992. He posted 244 catches for 2,536 yards and seven touchdowns but was best known for his blocking role as a member of the Redskins' famed "Hogs" offensive line that won Super Bowls XVII, XXII and XXVI.

He has connections with Panthers general manager Marty Hurney, who first worked as a reporter covering the Redskins in the 1980s and then in Washington's public relations department for two seasons.

TUESDAY'S SCHEDULE: The Panthers will hit the practice field at 6 p.m. It's the final T-shirt Tuesday of training camp, as players will toss T-shirts into the crowd at the conclusion of practice.

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