For veteran players like strong safety Mike Minter, the last month has been anything but a vacation.
"I don't relax at all," Minter said. "These five weeks are the most important, I believe, in your whole season. It's important for you mentally and physically. I think this is the time when you really need to hit it."
Quarterback Jake Delhomme agrees.
"You get away from it, but this is when I go to get in really, really good shape -- especially down in south Louisiana," Delhomme said. "It's not going to be that nice of weather, I can tell you that.
"But you go and enjoy family time, but mostly you get yourself ready to go -- because hopefully when you do go to training camp, it's going to be a long season. And I mean that in a good way. I mean that I hope we play an extra month or month and a half longer than most of the other teams."
It's a different story for the coaching staff.
The Panthers reached the Super Bowl last season, playing into February. The front-office staff hit the ground running in their shortened offseason and immediately began preparations for free agency and the draft. That was followed by a minicamp and the three weeks of coaching sessions.
So head coach John Fox has no qualms about taking a five-week rest.
"This year I've kind of crawled to the finish line," Fox said. "This is a time where myself and our staff really do get away, because we have not stopped. The brain is the most important muscle in the body -- and when it shuts down, it all shuts down. So we're going to relax and get in some family time and try to get recharged before the grind of training camp starts."
Minter, who will be entering his eighth NFL season, said that he didn't even completely believe it himself until last season -- when an injury forced him to miss the June coaching sessions and, in turn, gave him no choice but to step up his conditioning in the weeks before camp.
"I worked hard the next five weeks and I felt better than I did the previous year, when I worked harder leading up to those five weeks and then sort of slacked off before training camp. So I think this is the time you need to kick it up a notch," Minter said.
"Without a doubt," Delhomme said. "Anytime you're on the field running plays, it helps. We ran probably 55 or 60 plays a day. Anytime you can run plays like that, that's what I like. You're out there and you're running your offense. That's especially helpful for young guys."