Panthers missing familiar faces

There are a lot of familiar faces back on the field at mini-camp, but there are also some missing, including running back Stephen Davis, defensive tackle Brentson Buckner, center Jeff Mitchell, wide receiver Ricky Proehl, safety Marlon McCree, and Will Witherspoon.

Mitchell and Proehl are unrestricted free agents the team elected not to re-sign, while Davis and Buckner were released.

Meanwhile, Witherspoon left for big money in St. Louis.

Witherspoon's departure has left a big void in Dan Morgan's life. The two linebackers owned a business together and hung out so much together that last summer they dubbed themselves the "Withermorgans."

"I miss him," Morgan said. "He's a great guy. But we still talk just about every day on the phone."

On the field, Keith Adams is working with the first team at weakside linebacker, while Thomas Davis has replaced Brandon Short at strongside linebacker. Ma'ake Kemoeatu takes over Buckner's number and position at defensive tackle. And as of right now Shaun Williams is working at strong safety in place of McCree, who left for San Diego.

All of that means the Panthers will have four new starters on defense this season.

Justin Hartwig came to Carolina with a Mohawk and will replace Mitchell at center. The only other change on offense is Keyshawn Johnson taking over for Keary Colbert at receiver.

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