Minter's move to Free Safety permanent

It appears S Thomas Davis will remain at strong safety this season for the Panthers. The Panthers opened training camp on Saturday with the nine-year NFL veteran S Mike Minter working exclusively at free safety, a position he hasn't played since his rookie season in 1997. Minter has spent the past seven seasons at strong safety, but he's being moved to accommodate Davis, the team's first-round draft pick out of Georgia.

Davis opened camp working with the second team at strong safety behind S Colin Branch, who has also switched positions after starting 15 games last season at free safety. However, it's likely Davis will win that job.

The Panthers experimented some with Minter at free safety during minicamp, but the move now appears permanent.

"We wanted Mike to be in a position where he can start and where Thomas and Colin are battling each other," said defensive coordinator Mike Trgovac. "Our safeties are pretty much interchangeable. So it wasn't a big switch for Mike because he's done both."

Trgovac said the purpose is to get the best 11 players on the field, and clearly he feels like Minter is one of them.

"Right, that's why we're going to let Colin and Thomas battle it out," Trgovac said.

Davis will also play some linebacker on third downs.

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