Panthers don't sign Breitenstein
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
He got that chance over the weekend when he attended the Carolina Panthers' rookie minicamp. By the time the weekend was over, Breitenstein did not make the 80-man roster that will report for training camp in July.
It's not like Breitenstein, the two-time Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Year is bitter. Instead, the 5-foot-11, 230-pound fullback was grateful to get the chance to try out.
"I gave it my best shot and performed well," Breitenstein said. "It didn't work out, but I'm fine with it."
Breitenstein, despite rushing for over 2,000 yards for Wofford in 2012, went through the NFL Draft undrafted. He also did not receive an undrafted free agent contract, but got an offer to attend the Panthers rookie camp on a tryout basis.
It was a long shot, but not impossible. Eight players were signed to the roster, which is currently at 90 players.
Breitenstein knew he was a long shot, especially since the Panthers signed Penn State fullback Michael Zordich to an undrafted free agent contract. Zordich and Breitenstein learned the playbook together, and Breitenstein wishes the 6-1, 236-pound fullback the best.
"They already had a guy who was a fullback," Breitenstein said. "I thought I did well, but I wasn't above and beyond. He's a good guy and a smart kid."
The rookies went through walkthroughs on Friday and Saturday in the mornings, which were followed by practices in the afternoon on both days. They went through just a practice on Sunday.
Breitenstein said the practice sessions were typical, which included both team and individual work.
"I thought I did well. I caught everything they threw at me," he said. "I knew the playbook pretty well. I made one mistake when I walked up to the line and didn't know what I was supposed to do, but I said hold on and looked at it and we ran the play correctly."
Breitenstein said there were no other immediate options to get on other teams. He's not very interested in either playing in the Canadian Football League, or in an arena league just yet, but did not count either of them out either.
Instead, Breitenstein will take some time to relax before making his next move.
"I know that I'll land on my feet," he said. "I'm going to take some time and take a little vacation I haven't had in a few years. I'll land on my feet somewhere."
The Panthers signed defensive tackle Linden Gaydosh, receiver Brenton Bersin, receiver Taulib Kiharo, receiver R.J. Webb, tight end Logan Brock, center Brian Folkerts, Linebacker Ben Jacobs and defensive end Louis Nzegwu.