Carolina Panthers

Panthers put Kurt Coleman, Roman Harper in secondary together

Carolina Panthers safety Kurt Coleman, left, and cornerback Charles Tillman walk to practice last month. Coleman signed a two-year deal with the Panthers during the offseason and will compete with Roman Harper at strong safety.
Carolina Panthers safety Kurt Coleman, left, and cornerback Charles Tillman walk to practice last month. Coleman signed a two-year deal with the Panthers during the offseason and will compete with Roman Harper at strong safety. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

When the Carolina Panthers signed Kurt Coleman during the offseason, the thinking was the six-year veteran would compete for the strong safety spot with Roman Harper.

But the two were on the field together Saturday, when Coleman intercepted a pass for the second consecutive practice.

Coleman, 27, who signed a two-year deal with the Panthers in March, worked with the first-team defense at strong safety while Harper shifted to free safety. Tre Boston, the starter at free safety at the end of last season, took the second-team reps.

Secondary coach Steve Wilks said he plans to rotate players during camp to create competition.

“In the secondary that’s one thing we talk about all the time. We’re going to continue to compete and put the guys out there that are making plays,” Wilks said. “It was nothing unusual to rotate some guys and give Coleman an opportunity.”

For the second day in a row, he made the most of it.

During team drills, Coleman came down with an underthrown pass from Newton to tight end Greg Olsen along the sideline.

Said Wilks of Coleman: “He’s smart. He’s physical. He’s putting himself in position to make plays.”

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson

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