Ex-Patriot learns of Panthers pickup through Twitter

Ex-Patriot learns of Panthers pickup through site

Staff WriterSeptember 8, 2011 

Darius Butler had been an ex-Patriot for only a couple of hours Tuesday when he jumped on Twitter and learned he had a new team.

"People started tweeting me and started welcoming me" to Carolina, said Butler, a third-year cornerback who was claimed after New England waived him Tuesday. He practiced with the Panthers on Wednesday.

After saying this week he was not interested in bringing in any corners similar to those already on the roster, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the 5-foot-10, 190-pound Butler has two qualities that made him attractive.

"He's got top-end speed. He's a 4.3 guy. And that's always intriguing," Rivera said. "The second thing is he's got long arms. A long-armed corner that plays very physical and stout at the point."

Butler started eight games in two years in New England. He had three interceptions as a rookie, but lost his starting spot early last season.

Butler will be competing with a friend at one corner spot. Butler and Captain Munnerlyn trained at Deion Sanders' Prime U facility in Dallas before the '09 draft. Both said their friendship would not interfere.

"We all know it's a business. It's a production business. And guys are fighting for jobs every day on every team," Butler said. "So it's nothing new to anybody. So I'm going to come in and work and make my impact on the team where I can."

Said Munnerlyn: "We're good friends. But when we come on the field, both of us have to handle some business. If he's coming for my spot, he's got to come with it. I'm tough to beat out there."

Beason practices: Middle linebacker Jon Beason's consecutive starts streak could be extended. Rivera expects Beason, who underwent minor foot surgery Aug. 22, to play against the Cardinals.

Beason, who has started all 64 games of his career, practiced on a limited basis Wednesday. A defensive captain last year, Beason has the top four single-season tackle totals in franchise history.

"He'd be a huge boost," Rivera said. "He's a playmaker. He's a guy that has a tremendous amount of ability. He looks great on tape when you watch him from last season. He's a dynamic football player that will help us defensively."

Considine's travels: It's been a wild week for safety Sean Considine. After being released Monday, Considine returned home to Illinois before finding out the team planned to re-sign him.

"They let me know they were going to try to get me back here, and sometimes that doesn't always happen the way you expect them to," Considine said. "Fortunately, this time it did."

The Panthers cut safety Stevie Brown, who they claimed off waivers, to clear a spot for Considine.

Extra points: Rivera said he is still deciding between Jimmy Clausen and Derek Anderson as the No. 2 quarterback. The two have been splitting reps behind starter Cam Newton. ... The Panthers only have three defensive tackles, but Rivera said starting defensive ends Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson could move inside if needed. ... Rookie receiver Kealoha Pilares (high ankle sprain) and rookie cornerback Josh Thomas (thigh) did not practice; offensive lineman Mackenzy Bernadeau (toe) was limited.

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