Mini Camp: Notes and Quotes

Like a number of other rookies at Bank of America Stadium this past weekend, running back DeAngelo Williams walked away from the team's three-day mini-camp with his head spinning a little bit and knowing he has plenty to learn before Carolina's Sept. 10 regular season opener against the Atlanta Falcons.

"It's fun because I'm learning new things right now," Williams said. "It's all about learning. I don't really know the offense that well, but as far as everything they've installed this weekend, I've learned. I know it like the back of my hand. But I know you've got to learn the playbook and it's important to stay on top in this league."

And he also knows that this past weekend was just a start - an appetizer.

As the Panthers prepare for three weeks of coaching sessions beginning May 31 and two-a-day practices at training camp and four preseason games, he'll get the main course. But so far, Panthers coach John Fox has been pleased with what he's seen from Williams and his seven other draft picks.

"It looks like a good class," Fox said. "It was without pads, but watching how they go about their business in the meetings and on the practice field I think we have some smart, tough guys. We weren't starting out saying, 'What were we thinking?' Of course, we'll know more when we get to camp."

With DeShaun Foster still nursing an ankle injury, Nick Goings worked with the team's first-team offense during mini-camp and Williams split most of the remaining carries with Eric Shelton and Jamal Robertson.

But despite his limited reps over the weekend, Fox likes what he sees from Williams, the NCAA's leading rusher last season.

"He looked good," Fox said. "He picked things up and he looked good in his pass pro(tection) and he looks to have the quickness and the elusiveness we thought he did."

The 5-foot-8 1/2, 207-pound Williams said he amazed at the size of the some of the linemen on the roster. He said he never saw such big linemen while playing in Conference USA.

"These guys are huge, especially on the offensive and defensive line," Williams said. "I talked to Kris Jenkins and he's a huge guy. I asked him what position he played and he said D-tackle. Of course, I know what position he played because I had read his bio. But it's interesting once you get to know these guys."

Carter Shines

If there was a star of mini-camp, it had to be wide receiver Drew Carter, who scored at least five touchdowns while making some terrific downfield receptions.

Fellow wide receivers Steve Smith, who also practices like he plays, and Efrem Hill also looked good, as did cornerback Richard Marshall, the team's second-round draft pick.

Fox Impressed with Seventh-Rounder

Coach John Fox has been impressed so far with seventh-round draft pick Stanley McClover, a defensive end from Auburn.

McClover, who sports long dreadlocks hanging out of the back of his helmet, had 15 1/2 sacks in two years with the Tigers, but turned pro with two years left of college eligibility.

"He's got explosiveness, which is a key element to a pass rusher," Fox said. "I thought he picked things up really well with our defense, on top of that. Even though he had minimal experience in college, he impressed us in this camp."

McClover could battle with former high school teammate Jovan Haye for the team's No. 4 spot at defensive end. He could come in and be a sack specialist for the Panthers.

Baker's Job is Safe

If rookie mini-camp is any indication, punter Jason Baker doesn't have to worry about losing his job to Micah Knorr.

Knorr was terrible, repeatedly shanking punts and kickoffs.

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