NFL: Panthers Notebook
SPARTANBURG, S.C. ó J.J. Jansen spent the past five summers working out in Phoenix with veteran long-snapper Jason Kyle, hoping to one day snag one of those jobs in the NFL.
Now Jansen has apparently accomplished that goal ó by taking Kyle’s old spot with the Panthers.
Jansen is the only long-snapper left on Carolina’s roster after Nick Sundberg was waived last week. Jansen was acquired in the offseason from Green Bay for a conditional 2011 seventh-round pick after the Panthers decided not to re-sign Kyle to save salary-cap space. Kyle has since signed with New Orleans.
“I was a little nervous because for a friend and a guy that I look up to, I felt like I was kind of stepping on his shoes a little bit,” Jansen said Monday. “But he was nice to me and congratulated me. He made it easy on me.”
Jansen, a Phoenix native and Notre Dame product, met Kyle through a strength coach in college who knew Kyle from his days at Arizona State. Kyle helped tutor Jansen, who went undrafted before signing with Green Bay in 2008.
After spending last season on injured reserve with a torn knee ligament, Jansen is ready for the challenge of replacing Kyle, who didn’t have a botched snap in eight years with the Panthers.
“He was always telling me to slow the ball down. Jason always had a smooth crisp snap and (punter) Jason Baker liked it,” Jansen said. “In Green bay John Ryan wanted the ball as fast as I could it to him. Now I’m here trying to slow the ball down. Not so it’s a lollipop but so it’s a smooth consistent snap and Jason can move into it a little bit to help the timing.”
Jansen said Kyle has been supportive, and it’s not as awkward because Kyle got a new job. They’re scheduled to meet twice this season in the NFC South.
“We talked a little bit and he told me what to expect. He was real open with me,” Jansen said. “As you know he’s a great guy and he’s been very accommodating for me. I think he understands.”
OFFENSE STUMPED: With DeAngelo Williams (toe) sitting out practice and fellow running back Jonathan Stewart (Achilles’ tendon) held out of the first full-contact goal-line drills of the preseason, the defense stopped most plays short of the end zone Monday morning.
“I think we’re doing some decent things,” quarterback Jake Delhomme said. “I know it’s very different defensively, going against our defense. This is something new.”
Delhomme acknowledged the offense has been stumped at times by new defensive coordinator Ron Meeks’ aggressive system.
“They’re really doing a good job of disguising coverages,” Delhomme said. “That’s great, that’s awesome. I was able pick up something last week and they changed it this morning. Those are the little things you try to pick up. Any little thing you can do out there. But yeah, it’s good, it’s very healthy.”
Williams has insisted his injury is not serious, but it left rookie Mike Goodson getting most of the work with the first team at running back. The Panthers are looking for a spot to play the speedy, versatile fourth-round pick.
“He’s very talented, and he’s getting a lot of reps with the ones, which is a good thing,” Delhomme said. “We’re using him a good bit. He’s a guy I think can really help us this year.”
BEASON RECOVERING: Jon Beason spent the offseason doing intense workouts in the Florida heat in hopes of being in top condition. A strained left hamstring on the first day of training camp left the middle linebacker watching practice ó and falling behind.
“I feel like everybody else is in better shape than me, and I don’t like that,” Beason said.
After missing his ninth straight practice Monday morning, Carolina’s leading tackler the past two seasons returned for the evening workout.
“It feels good,” Beason said before that non-padded practice. “I’m going to get out there and get back in shape and back in the swing of things.”
Fellow starting linebacker Thomas Davis remained sidelined with a sprained right knee. Safety Nate Salley (knee) and guard C.J. Davis (ankle) also sat out.
EXTRA POINTS: Coach John Fox said he was pleased with how the team responded after the first off day of camp. “I think they came back fresh,” he said. “Right now we’re in that mode where you’ve got to transfer the things from small drills, the techniques and fundamentals, to 11-on-11 football.” … RB DeCori Birmingham and LB Jeremy Leman got into a brief shoving match after Leman took Birmingham to the turf in a non-tackling drill. … The Panthers avoided the brunt of the near-100-degree heat by practicing in the morning and evening. They have one workout Tuesday at 3:10 p.m. … WR Muhsin Muhammad, who was promoted to the Panthers’ union representative after Kyle wasn’t re-signed, said he expected K John Kasay would become the alternate rep.