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Carolina Panthers

Brooks is taking charge of the mental game for now

Running back Jonathon Brooks, drafted in the second round by the Panthers, is sidelined for now as he recovers from an ACL injury last November. While he waits to jump back into practice, he’s still running around, albeit as a self-appointed errand boy.

“For me, it’s just being a teammate, being there for them getting the running backs, O-line, whoever is watering, just doing as much as I can for them,” Brooks said Friday. “I can’t be physically there to help them. But being able to help them off the field means a lot to me.”

However, that doesn’t mean he isn’t also locked into the playbook. While each of the running backs on the field is making plays, Brooks is never far behind and takes things at a more medically approved pace.

“It’s good to see the NFL pace and the plays here,” Brooks said. “It’s a lot different than the system I came from. So hearing the plays, basically just learning the playbook and getting a lot of mental reps and seeing myself do it visually. So when the time comes, it’s time for me to make my first practice rep “I’m not just lost in a whirlwind, the screws are flying out of my head.”

The Panthers currently have a bevy of running backs on the roster, including one undrafted free agent. Canales and run game coordinator Harold Goodwin have both preached numerous times that they want a full stable of backs on the roster. The head coach reemphasized this belief on Friday, telling reporters: “In my experience, we need all the backs, we need them all to contribute.”

So even if Brooks can’t work on the field right now, he wants the rookie to participate in every facet he can, giving him as much as he can before implementing him into drills later in the offseason and learning what’s needed. expected of him now.

“Just the fact that we’re aware of those things and also the work ethic, the demands we’re going to put on him, which is that he can be on the field just to see what the drills look like and how we do it putting it all together. And in class, of course, it’s all about those core concepts.

“So those are the things. If we can get rid of that in this camp then that will be a success before he gets back into the full fold on Monday.”

Brooks added: “There’s always something to prove, but for me I just have to get healthy and learn the playbook and do what I have to do, just get healthy and perform well for the season.