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Brian Burns turns heads at Carolina’s rookie minicamp

Former Florida State defensive end Brian Burns hit the practice field for the first time as a pro on Friday and it didn’t take him long to impress. The First-Round selection of the Carolina Panthers got a chance to go through meetings, on-field drills, and meet with the media during the opening day of rookie minicamp.

The hardest part about the first day for Burns? 90-minute meetings to go over assignments, playbooks, watching film, and more. The Fort Lauderdale native noted the Panthers meetings were a lot longer than the ones he dealt with at FSU.

“Ninety-minute meetings. I was like, ‘Geez, that’s a long time,’ ” Burns said according to Panthers.com. “Football is football, but being a pro is the things you do off the field as far as taking care of your body, getting into your playbook more, watching film and learning from the vets.”

After meetings, Burns and the other Panthers rookies hit the field to show off their skills and get instructions from the coaching staff. The 6-foot-5 defensive end spent most of his time working with defensive line coach Sam Mills and defensive coordinator Eric Washington. Considering he also lined up at outside linebacker during the practice, it’s safe to assume he got a little advice from former ‘Nole and assistant linebackers coach Everette Brown.

Head coach Ron Rivera has praised Burns’ versatility, hinting that he’ll move around from defensive end to linebacker depending on the type of defense Carolina is lining up in. Rivera wants to use multiple defensive looks, switching from the 4-3 to 3-4 as needed during games.

The lethal pass-rusher got an opportunity to show his speed off the edge in drills and 9-on-9 action and it sounds like he didn’t disappoint despite rain affecting the practice for much of the day.

Burns was pleased with Carolina’s rookie class on day one. He knows it doesn’t mean a whole lot at this point but it’s certainly a start.

“It’s nothing I’m not used to; I’ve done it before,” Burns said according to Panthers.com. “No big deal, but I like what we’re doing.”

UPDATE 5/12:

Brian Burns spent much of Day 2 working at outside linebacker. As mentioned previously, Rivera wants to take advantage of is versatility on defense.

He started off the morning in some lateral and backpedal drills that end with the player catching a pass. Burns looked smooth in the drill as Everette Brown looked on.

Later in the practice, the former Florida State star spent some time being coached up by defensive coordinator Eric Washington. The coaches have reportedly already been impressed with the quickness Burns has flashed thus far.

The hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker also got an opportunity to match up with Second-Round offensive tackle Greg Little, an Ole Miss product. The two had some fun battles at Saturday’s practice and Little mentioned that they faced each other for the first time back at The Opening in their high school days. Little won offensive line MVP at the camp but Burns got some revenge on the former five-star prospect a few months later when the Seminoles beat the Rebels with an epic second-half comeback to open the 2016 regular season.


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