Tom Sorensen

Panthers find a slot for Charlotte’s Brenton Bersin, who, well, knows things

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Brenton Bersin (11) has a slot, for now, with the team for another season.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Brenton Bersin (11) has a slot, for now, with the team for another season. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

The Carolina Panthers signed Brenton Bersin to a one-year contract Tuesday, which means he won’t be a free agent. Across Charlotte and other cities and small towns in Panther land, ABC store lines were out the door. If you weren’t invited to a Bersin’s Back party, it says more about you than it does him.

Based on what we see Sundays, you could make a case that no Panther does less with less.

When I think of Bersin, however, I think of a training camp practice in which he was unstoppable. He ran his customary good routes, continually broke free and on that day caught everything that came his way, and almost everything came his way.

After practice, we interviewed Thomas Davis about being Thomas Davis. We also asked him about Bersin, and Davis was amused.

He said that while the media might have been surprised by Bersin’s performance, his teammates weren’t. He said that what we saw that day he saw all the time.

Bersin grew up in Charlotte, in the same neighborhood in which Panthers owner Jerry Richardson lives, and played collegiately at Wofford, Richardson’s alma mater and the site of Carolina’s training camp.

Bersin caught only two passes last season, a rough season for Newton and the passing game. Greg Olsen and Ted Ginn Jr. were the only receivers to distinguish themselves.

Bersin played one game for the Arena Football League’s Arizona Rattlers, and spent a season on Carolina’s practice squad. In three seasons with the Panthers he has caught 24 passes for 287 yards and a touchdown.

Bersin is 6-3, and knows the offense. He went to Charlotte Latin as well as Wofford. So he knows things.

The Panthers are looking for another receiver, somebody to stick in the slot. Maybe it will be him.

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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