Local News

Panther Free Agents Battle for Positions

Posted July 28, 1999

— Some of the Carolina Panthers -- the rookies, quarterbacks and veterans who were injured last year -- have already been working out at the Panthers Training Camp in Spartanburg, S.C.

A lot of starting jobs will be on the line this summer, but the rookie free agents have a lot more at risk, they are just fighting for a job.

Wilmington native Reggie Shuffert played at North Carolina A&T last year, now he is trying to fulfill a dream and make a living as a Panther.

"I just came out here to play hard and do my best, and I don't even worry about my chances really," say Shuffert.

Shuffert is one of seven un-drafted rookies gone free agents. All of them are trying to battle the odds and make the team.

"You're trying to bust your butt and not leave anything out there, that's basically what you do," says free agent Dan Best.

"I don't look at it like pressure," says free agent Jeff Flowe. "I look at it like I go out here and do my job, and whatever happens, happens. I wouldn't call it pressure really, not right now anyway."

There will be plenty of pressure Friday -- that is when the veterans hit the field. They will get most of the practice time, and the rookies will not have much of an opportunity to showcase their skills.

"When you're making plays out there, you know that the coaches are seeing you make those plays, that's when it's fun," says free agent Tony Booth.

It will not be a lot of fun for the free agents in a couple of weeks. That is when the cuts take place. Even if Shuffert does not make the team, he still will cherish his time in Spartanburg.

"I don't really worry about the odds and ends of it, I just go out there and give it my all, so I won't have any regrets within myself," he said.

The entire team was required to report by Thursday at 5 p.m.

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