Posted August 02, 2012 on AP on Fox
For the first time in 18 seasons, the Carolina Panthers enter the preseason with their kicker and punter positions both up in the air. After years of stability with kicker John Kasay and punters Jason Baker and Todd Sauerbrun, the Panthers have an open competition at both spots. Veteran kicker Olindo Mare, who had a pair of costly late-game misses against Minnesota and Atlanta last season, is trying to fend off former CFL kicker Justin Medlock for that job. Rookie Brad Nortman, in whom the Panthers invested a sixth-round draft pick, is hoping to hold off veteran Nick Harris for the team's vacant punting spot. Coach Ron Rivera acknowledges it's a little unsettling not knowing who his kickers will be, but says the competition has been ''excellent'' at both positions.
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