Panthers hope WR Cotchery eases the loss of Smith

By STEVE REEDAP Sports Writer

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - Jerricho Cotchery doesn't mind being "the old guy" on the Panthers wide receiver corps - just as long as he's the productive old guy.

The 32-year-old Cotchery knows the team's younger receivers are looking to him for experience and occasional words of wisdom given his 10 years of NFL experience. Cotchery says he's fine with that, but his primary concern right now is proving to his new team he can still make plays.

"Teams want you to contribute," Cotchery says.

Cotchery was brought in to replace Steve Smith, Carolina's all-time leading receiver and a fan favorite.

He's been working with the starters alongside first-round draft pick Kelvin Benjamin in training camp and trying to get on the same page with quarterback Cam Newton, who is returning from ankle surgery.

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