Panthers assistant raves about Benjamin, Funchess


Kelvin Benjamin returned to the practice field Thursday after nursing a hamstring injury this fall.

The Panthers, rightfully so, are being cautions with Benjamin, as hamstrings are fickle injuries with a tendency to flare up if not fully healed.

Benjamin told reporters Thursday he is "coming along good" and can't wait to team with new rookie wideout Devin Funchess in a Panthers offense that boasts some interesting characteristics.

With 6-foot-5 Benjamin and 6-foot-4 Funchess, Carolina has surrounded Cam Newton with mammoth targets that even he should have a tough time overthrowing.

Panthers secondary coach Steve Wilks, whose unit must take on the two big targets daily in practice, believes defensive backs will struggle to cover both wideouts.

"Being the secondary coach and seeing everything from the back end, I think those guys are doing well," Wilks said, via the team's official website. "Having two 6-5 guys out there, that's going to be a nightmare for any secondary coach. I'm excited about what we have on offense."

Toss in Greg Olsen and Newton has plenty of tall targets to choose from.

While we need to wait for the preseason to ascertain the offensive line upgrades or how the lack of speed might affect the offense, it's easy to see why a defensive coach could shudder at the idea of facing two towering targets.

Wilk's comments jive with receiver's coach Ricky Proehl gushing about the new wideout group last week. As colleague Chris Wesseling pointed out, the added size has transformed the Panthers' receivers from a group of castoffs to one with a distinct identity.

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