Panthers HC Dave Canales explains why Xavier Legette was on gunner drills

In 2019, the Carolina Panthers—to quite a bit of criticism—occasionally assigned their first-round pick Brian Burns to gunner responsibilities during actual regular-season games. Well, some fans may have experienced a rough flashback to that on Saturday—with this year’s first-rounder Xavier Legette practicing the role during rookie minicamp.

So, is this something worth keeping an eye on?

Head coach Dave Canales was asked about the wide receiver’s involvement on special teams drills following the outing.

“Special teams is a premium for us,” he replied. “This is something, that on game day, we just don’t get a lot of players. Something that our players have to get used to is that when they come into the NFL, we have these many helmets today. So if something happens, they all gotta be ready to contribute.

“That’s how we were able to build great teams in Seattle. Doug Baldwin is a starter early on—he was playing on teams, on cover units. And he can get in the vice. And just making sure Xavier has that starting point. He’s such a natural athlete. Watching him take his first couple steps, it was really cool. And (special teams assistant) Daren Bates is doing a really good job there down with the gunners.”

Take a breath, Panthers fans.

Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire