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Carolina Panthers

Williams steadily improving


SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Head coach Ron Rivera wishes second-year offensive tackle Daryl Williams would push Mike Remmers more for the Panthers' starting right tackle spot.

The fact that he isn't just yet, though, shouldn't be construed as an indictment on Williams. Rather, it's an indicator about Remmers.

"I would love to see him push Remmers even more, but the truth is that Remmers is having a really good camp," Rivera said. "Mike had really good OTAs and minicamp, and he's continued that pace. Daryl has improved, but a lot of it has to do with Mike's continued improvement and growth.

"The big thing we seem to forget is that when Mike came to us, he had no real NFL experience. He's still a young guy who is still growing as well. He's going to get better and better."

When the Panthers signed Remmers off the St. Louis Rams' practice squad midway through the 2014 season, he had appeared in one game in his first year-and-a-half in the league. A month after coming to Carolina, Remmers found himself in the starting lineup, and the Panthers are 17-2 in regular season games since.

The bulk of that, of course, came last season when a line that added Michael Oher at left tackle paved the way for the Panthers to lead the league in scoring offense and compile a 15-1 record.

"Mike Remmers is good, and as a group they're good – together they won 15 games and won playoff games and went to the Super Bowl," Williams said. "It's very tough."

Still, Williams wants to make it as tough as possible on Remmers, and he appears to be heading in the right direction.

"He's a big physical guy who has a lot to learn, but the more he learns, the better he gets," Rivera said of Williams. "We have to find a way to get him some opportunities."

Williams' first opportunity of the preseason didn't go as planned. Lined up at left tackle with the second-string offensive line Thursday at Baltimore, Williams was beat for a strip-sack on the first snap for him and quarterback Derek Anderson. Williams is much more experienced and comfortable on the right side, and as Anderson explained after the game, the situation is rarely as simple as what meets the eye.

"In a team setting (at practice), defenders aren't really finishing to the quarterback, so in practice they're not really worried about people getting to us," Anderson said. "Taking individual pass sets is a lot different.

"It was the first game, and for the most part I think they did quite well. Coach (John) Matsko would probably say differently, but for the most part I think they did a good job."

Williams, too, was pretty pleased with the opening effort for him and the rest of the reserves. But, much like his head coach, Williams wants to be better.

"I graded out good, but I expect more from myself," he said. "The coaches expect more too, so I'm going to try to play better next game, of course. I want to be more dominant.

"Mike is the starter, and I'm just trying to push him by competing at camp and trying my best."

View photos of Carolina's 14th day of practice at training camp.

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