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Yahoo Team Report-(Panthers)


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INSIDE SLANT

The Panthers wrapped up their final OTA session on Thursday in a steady rain, but as is likely the case for other teams, optimism about the work done in the past three weeks reigned supreme.

"I'm seeing some things that give me reason to be happy and excited about what we can be as a football team," coach Ron Rivera said after the team's final workout. "We got through all the installations that we planned, and we went through some situational football. We seemed to pick things up well."

While the Panthers began their voluntary OTAs with perfect attendance, that slacked off the past couple weeks with the absence of Greg Hardy. The defensive end wasn't at Thursday's practice, and he was also missing from the May 30 session that was open to the media.

After a breakout season in 2012, Hardy is looking for a contract extension, but it's unclear if that relates to his absence. For his part, Rivera at least made it sound like he's OK with Hardy taking "personal time."

"Remember, this is all voluntary," Rivera said. "But when he's here, he's doing everything hard and doing it the right way. So I'm pretty excited about that."

Rivera was also excited to get his two Pro Bowl offensive linemen back this week. Tackle Jordan Gross, who is coming off ankle surgery, and center Ryan Kalil, who underwent foot surgery, slowly worked their way back into team drills.

Jon Beason is also coming along well in his recovery from ankle and shoulder surgeries. The linebackers even are a little bit ahead of schedule.

"At this point, I couldn't be more happy with it," Beason said. "We're going to work in (team drills) a little bit in minicamp. Training camp was the goal, but it's feeling so good they're going to let me work in a little bit, so I'm excited about next week."

Running back Jonathan Stewart (ankle) and cornerback Captain Munnerlyn (abdominal strain) spent most of their OTAs on exercise bikes on the sideline, and it's unlikely they'll do much work in next week's mandatory minicamp.

But even if it is just the typical optimism every coach claims to have at this point in the year, the third-year coach may have his team on a pretty good track.

"The biggest thing is we went through the 10 installations we had planned, we went through situation football (during OTAs). We seemed to pick that up pretty well, so I'm excited to see how things go during minicamp," Rivera said. "Minicamp will really be about execution. All the installations are in, we've gone through all the things we wanted to go through. Now we give the guys a chance to go fast and see how they do."

NOTES AND QUOTES


  • Ten OTAs didn't do a whole lot to clear up the Panthers' murky situation in the secondary. Not surprisingly, coach Ron Rivera confirmed that free safety Charles Godfrey is the only player in the unit to have a starting job locked up. The other spots will be up for grabs at least through the start of training camp.
    While the defensive backfield is certainly the Panthers' biggest potential trouble spot, Rivera continues to claim they'll be better than many expect back there.
    "The improvement we made at defensive line, I think that's big for us. And I do think bringing Drayton (Florence) in and bringing D.J. (Moore) in gives us some guys with some veteran experience, and I think that can be passed onto the young guys," Rivera said.
    Florence and Moore were signed as free agents this offseason, and they'll join a cornerback battle that includes Captain Munnerlyn, Josh Thomas, Josh Norman and James Dockery.
    Meanwhile, at strong safety, free-agent addition Mike Mitchell will contend with D.J. Campbell and Haruki Nakamura to decide who will start alongside Godfrey.

  • Considering he'll start the season on one of the hottest seats in the NFL, coach Ron Rivera probably isn't spending too much time thinking about social media. But with Saints head coach Sean Payton and Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians recently starting accounts - joining Seattle's Pete Carroll, St. Louis's Jeff Fisher and Detroit's Jim Schwartz on the service - could we soon see a Rivera Twitter account?
    Probably not.
    "Right now my daughter's the one who gives me the heads up on Twitter, so if any of our players are doing anything, she'll text me," Rivera said.

Quote To Note:

"The thing that I really like is the progression of our quarterback. I think Cam's done a really nice job. I think his rapport with the rest of the team has been really good, and I'm seeing some things that really give you a reason to be happy."

- Head coach Ron Rivera, on one of the Panthers' positives coming out of OTAs.

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Guest Masbinacci

Hardy.... Forgot about him wanting an extension.

I wonder how Newtons contract will end up affecting this.

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After a breakout season in 2012, Hardy is looking for a contract extension, but it's unclear if that relates to his absence. For his part, Rivera at least made it sound like he's OK with Hardy taking "personal time."

"Remember, this is all voluntary," Rivera said. "But when he's here, he's doing everything hard and doing it the right way. So I'm pretty excited about that."

He should wait till after this season to ask for that. If he can have another good season, thats more money he can get.

Rivera shouldnt be happy with him not being there. He should be with his team working on his game!!!

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He should wait till after this season to ask for that. If he can have another good season, thats more money he can get.

Rivera shouldnt be happy with him not being there. He should be with his team working on his game!!!

Rivera strikes me as not being the brightest bulb on the NFL Head Coaching tree.

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HE'S BEGINNIG TO BE MORE COMFORTABLE AS THE TOP DOG. HE GETS KIND OF ITCHY IN CRUCIAL SITUATIONS. GIVEN THE CHANCE, HE'LL MAKE HIS MARK.

Well when you have 12 mill or so payed to RB`s and you drop games in the 4th Q because you do everything but use them. Its kinda odd.

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I CAN'T ARGUE THAT!

Even though we could put the blame on Cam for his fumble vs us. Thats just a coaches call on that 1. He shouldnt have been scared to let cam run it again. But he did just fumble right before that and the odds where not in our favor to march down the field.

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Rivera makes me think of Wayne Fontes in Detroit or Jim Mora in Atlanta.

They both had a Ferrari and they really didnt know how to drive it and never quite figured it out.

There may be playoffs in the future for Rivera... Cam is the kind of player that can make it happen with 1 or 2 more weapons.

But the coaching will always be the downside.

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Rivera makes me think of Wayne Fontes in Detroit or Jim Mora in Atlanta.

They both had a Ferrari and they really didnt know how to drive it and never quite figured it out.

There may be playoffs in the future for Rivera... Cam is the kind of player that can make it happen with 1 or 2 more weapons.

But the coaching will always be the downside.

Great comparisons. I can see Cam (if he grew up..hint hint Sergie's newbies) if he had the weapons they've surrounded Freeman with, completely lighting it up, but of course that also would include a higher level of coaching.

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Great comparisons. I can see Cam (if he grew up..hint hint Sergie's newbies) if he had the weapons they've surrounded Freeman with, completely lighting it up, but of course that also would include a higher level of coaching.

and experience.

experience goes a long way.

proves staying power if ya ask me.

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and experience.

experience goes a long way.

proves staying power if ya ask me.

Which is a big reason so many are perplexed by Freeman. The dude has plenty of experience now. If it doesn't show this season, I'm volunteering to help him pack.

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Yeah, I have a hard time with Freeman too.

Those years under Raheem had to really throw him for a loop.

Hopefully, he studied hard and becomes Sciano's game manager.

That's pretty much what they're setting him up for this season. I like the way Schiano's set up the offense with Martin and a solid O-line. Syllivan has set this O up very similar to what they've done in New York, but the Giants never had a back like the Hamster, but we're stuck with Freeman, instead of Eli.

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That's pretty much what they're setting him up for this season. I like the way Schiano's set up the offense with Martin and a solid O-line. Syllivan has set this O up very similar to what they've done in New York, but the Giants never had a back like the Hamster, but we're stuck with Freeman, instead of Eli.

Plus another year of OTAs with Freeman and Jackson getting their route timing down... I saw the Bucs live last year, they were gamers.

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Well when you have 12 mill or so payed to RB`s and you drop games in the 4th Q because you do everything but use them. Its kinda odd.

What concerns me most about the panthers isn't their willingness to run, but their abilty. IMO, the OL has been easily the most overrated part of the team for the last two years.

I'm speculating, but I think that's why Chud relied more heavily on the run-option early in the season. They struggled to gain consistency too often, early in games; and that left little confidence in the OL to suddenly impose it's will late in the contest.

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What concerns me most about the panthers isn't their willingness to run, but their abilty. IMO, the OL has been easily the most overrated part of the team for the last two years.

I'm speculating, but I think that's why Chud relied more heavily on the run-option early in the season. They struggled to gain consistency too often, early in games; and that left little confidence in the OL to suddenly impose it's will late in the contest.

If that be the case the contracts given to Stewart & Williams was a mistake of epic proportion, because it could haunt them for several more years.

Edited by jb 3.0
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What concerns me most about the panthers isn't their willingness to run, but their abilty. IMO, the OL has been easily the most overrated part of the team for the last two years.

I'm speculating, but I think that's why Chud relied more heavily on the run-option early in the season. They struggled to gain consistency too often, early in games; and that left little confidence in the OL to suddenly impose it's will late in the contest.

Then it's Dumb speculation on your part. There is a reason why

1. The Offense starts running a traditional run game and not all the read option stuff and the team starts to win.

2. No player was crying when Chud got the job in Cleveland.

3. That Chud has a history of doing the same stupid "trying to reinvent the wheel" thing like he did in Cleveland after a good year of play calling. Costing him his job up there.

4. All the comments from the HC about "better communication in the coaching staff". Which means Chud wasn't listening to his position coaches. Or "simplifying the verbiage during play calling". Which means he didn't have good communication with his players.

I felt like this team had a total disconnect between coaches and players last year. Hopefully if Shula does anything he is a better listener and communicator then Chud was last season.

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Which is a big reason so many are perplexed by Freeman. The dude has plenty of experience now. If it doesn't show this season, I'm volunteering to help him pack.

I'M STILL A FREEMAN GUY. WHY? I DON'T KNOW? MUST BE BECAUSE I SAW HIM SO MUCH IN COLLEGE AT KANSAS.
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Christ, reece. Can you address any topic you disagree with, without being a ****? I clearly prefaced my statement with "IMO" and "speculating". I didn't profess it to be gospel.

"1. The Offense starts running a traditional run game and not all the read option stuff and the team starts to win."

It may be worth noting that the last six teams in that winning stretch, had a combined win percentage of .385. I'd argue that's as large a factor as any philosophical shift on the field.

"2. No player was crying when Chud got the job in Cleveland."

As oppose to the countless occasions you've seen a player lament a former coach pursuing his dream opportunity, elsewhere? Did you expect flags to be lowered at half-mast?

"3. That Chud has a history of doing the same stupid "trying to reinvent the wheel" thing like he did in Cleveland after a good year of play calling. Costing him his job up there."

I don't know the circumstances of why Cleveland's offense dropped so heavily, so I won't lay assumptions; however, considering neither Anderson nor the Brown offense has come close to that level of proficiency since, suggests to me that Chud (by in large), gets the most out of his players. Anecdotal, I know; but no more speculative than your reasoning.

"4. All the comments from the HC about "better communication in the coaching staff". Which means Chud wasn't listening to his position coaches. Or "simplifying the verbiage during play calling". Which means he didn't have good communication with his players."

Better communication doesn't suggest there was a problem to begin with; rather, a more effective way of doing something. I had a better day today, than yesterday. It doesn't necessarily mean, yesterday sucked.

Part of the Observer article on "simplifying the verbiage":

“We want to be up-tempo, we want to practice up-tempo and get things going up-tempo,” Rivera said Thursday at organized team activities. “That’s what you see, you see more of that in the last couple weeks in these OTAs.”

Quarterback Cam Newton mentioned the simplified verbiage as a big difference between the philosophies of Chudzinski and Shula, who took over at the offensive coordinator in January after Chudzinski took the Cleveland Browns head coaching job.

Newton said when streamlining the play-calling, players can play faster.

Rivera said there were too many words for certain calls. Now, the team is creating words that combine certain calls.

“I think it’s a mouthful,” Rivera said. “...Now what you’ve done is you’ve taken these words and you’ve grouped them together. That was the whole idea. If this means this, and this means this with these two together, then let’s just combine those.

“And that’s kind of what they’ve started to do. They’re really shortened the calls a lot simpler. The less you have to memorize, the easier it is.”

Again, this speaks to being more efficient. Not an exorcism of Chud's philosophies.

I'm not saying the panthers won't be better this year, I believe they will. I'm not saying they can't or won't overcome their deficiencies.(perceived or otherwise)

My concerns, unfortunately have been proven to be more valid than not the last few years. So make of it what you will.

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I'M STILL A FREEMAN GUY. WHY? I DON'T KNOW? MUST BE BECAUSE I SAW HIM SO MUCH IN COLLEGE AT KANSAS.

But Rev, he never did anything @ K State either. At this point my biggest problem with Freeman, aside from his inconsistency is his record against winning ball clubs. Sure he guides us to a few wins here & there against good clubs, but a prime example is our record since against winning ball clubs since he took over. I'm not sure what his record is and I'm too lazy to search it, but I know it's not good. Perhaps one of the Trolls that are following these threads will look it up for us.wink.png

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