CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Carolina Panthers defensive end Kony Ealy has quickly adjusted to one aspect of being an NFL rookie: the off-the-field rituals.
Veteran Charles Johnson whistled Ealy over after Wednesday's workouts, handing the rookie his helmet to carry the quarter-mile walk from the Panthers' practice field to the locker room.
Ealy says, "Everybody's got to go through it."
Carolina's coaching staff hopes that Ealy - a second-round pick - adjusts just as quickly to his on-the-field responsibilities.
Ealy says the Panthers are getting "real deep into the playbook." He says now "it's a matter of balancing everything up, between knowing what to do when you're in the classroom and when you transition on to the field."