Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers No. 2 RB spot competition tight

Carolina Panthers linebacker David Mayo (55) gets past Cameron Artis-Payne (34) during a drill at Carolina Panthers Training Camp on Monday.
Carolina Panthers linebacker David Mayo (55) gets past Cameron Artis-Payne (34) during a drill at Carolina Panthers Training Camp on Monday. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

There’s a strong competition brewing for the Carolina Panthers’ No. 2 running back position between Fozzy Whittaker and Cameron Artis-Payne.

Artis-Payne, a rookie from Auburn, has improved dramatically since summer workouts and is positioning himself to unseat Whittaker as the team’s No. 2 back.

But Whittaker, who last year flashed for the Panthers and even scored a playoff touchdown, isn’t going to just hand his spot over.

“There’s always competition, and that’s how I view it,” Whittaker said. “I’m always competing with (Jonathan Stewart), (Mike), Tolbert, Brandon (Wegher), Jordan (Todman). Everybody that’s on the football field I’m always competing (with). At the same time, the pressure that somebody may feel from me, I’m feeling it from them as well.

“Everybody knows that this is a business at the end of the day. But also at the end of the day they’re pushing me to get better as hopefully I’m pushing them.”

Whittaker is still better out of the backfield catching passes but Artis-Payne has shown great vision and patience as well as a strong ability to cut back on carries.

Where Artis-Payne must improve was highlighted Monday when he went up against rookie linebacker David Mayo in pass-rushing drills. Mayo beat Artis-Payne all three times they went against each other, including flattening the running back on his first rush.

  Comments