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Brenton Bersin: Could this be The Year?

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Brenton Bersin has joined the Carolina Panthers at Spartanburg for Training Camp for the past three seasons. This year, it seems Bersin is getting lots of reps and chances to prove himself. Is the third time the charm for the former Wofford Terrier?

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Two seasons ago when Bersin joined us he needed a miracle or two to even be considered for the practice squad, let alone the active roster. The Panthers had many young receivers for whom they'd used draft picks on (David Gettis, Brandon LaFell, Armanti Edwards, Kealoha Pilares, etc) that would take precedent over a tryout player like him. Fast forward two seasons later, and Bersin is the second most tenured receiver left with the team. Bersin's first season ended with being cut, his second season ended with him making the practice squad. Could his third season end with a 53 man roster spot?

Measurables

Bersin currently stands at 6'3", the third tallest receiver on roster (and that includes a UFA Marcus Lucas). We've seen that Cam has been starting to favor the taller receivers in camp, as Kelvin Benjamin, Marcus Lucas, and nearly all of the tight ends are having tremendous camps. His more prototypical size coupled with good hands and decent route running ability has likely kept him around all of these years. Bersin isn't the fastest, having posted a 40 time in the 4.6 range, so he will need to be a technically sound receiver to find any place in the NFL. Bersin has tenure going in his favor, as Ricky Proehl continually stresses that Bersin could be a darkhorse for a receiver spot.

Situation

Bersin and the other receivers been competing for time in camp with 1st round rookie Kelvin Benjamin and FA acquisitions Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant, and Tiquan Underwood, who are all almost a lock to get a roster spot. Among those other receivers are Tavarres King and Marcus Lucas, who are both having great camps. Bersin needs to try and set himself ahead of the pack to gain a roster spot. His chances are a lot better after multiple poor showings by Tiquan Underwood, but the fact remains that spots are few and far between. Bersin's been through these battles before but never really got to see the field or makes plays during the preseason. 2014 could be a different story.

With an unfortunate but thankfully not serious injury to Kelvin Benjamin, somebody from the pack of receivers needed to step up and take the reps that are now available and work with the ones. Cotchery and Avant are still getting their reps, but one guy has been consistently brought in by the coaches to take those extra reps. You guessed it, it's Bersin.

Bersin is a good fit for this team from a strengths and skills perspective. He's not a burner but he posseses enough speed and good enough hands to be a good possession receiver. He will need to continue to refine his technique, and he is blessed with a perennial depth/3rd receiver in Proehl, who made his mark with good technique and consistency. He's a good blocker, a skill that the run-first tendency of the Mike Shula playbook sorely needs. Having good size, good blocking ability, and the traits of a possession receiver are all critical for an offense that drains the clock and feeds on time of possession. If Bersin can step up and secure a roster spot, he has the potential to be a solid contributor to the team, whether it's on offense or on special teams. The kind of player that Panthers tradition loves.

If Bersin makes the roster, this could be another feel good story for the 2014 Panthers. Even though he failed to secure a roster spot his first two seasons, Bersin kept working hard and honing his craft, and his hard work was noticed by Proehl. Proehl sees that Bersin Kept Pounding, he sees that he Keeps on Pounding. That's the kind of player an organization wants, and the kind of player our motto stands for. Keep Pounding Bersin, and good luck.