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April 26, 2009

Panthers' post-draft press conference

    Panthers general manager Marty Hurney and coach John Fox met with reporters, including the Observer's Charles Chandler and David Scott, on Sunday after making the team's selections in the NFL Draft. Here is a transcript of highlights from the press conference. Some questions and answers were edited for clarity and brevity: 

   Q: Could you break down the players you drafted today?

   Hurney: In the third round, (DT) Corvey Irvin, we think has quickness. He's disruptive inside. We think he gets good penetration. We think he's a very good player. (RB) Mike Goodson is an explosive player -- makes big plays, has good hands, can be a receiver out of the backfield. He can move around in spots. (FB Tony) Fiametta is just a very good fullback. He's athletic. He blocks well. We thought he was a very good fit for us. Duke Robinson is a guy who is extremely talented. We  just thought in the fifth round, he was an extremely good value there. He fits what we want to do on the offensive line. He's a powerful blocker and we thought he was a good get there in the fifth round. Captain Munnerylyn,... we had higher on the board (than Round 7). He's very quick. He's a very competitive  player. We feel like he was an excellent pick in the seventh round.

   Q: Do you see Goodson and Munnerlyn as possible kick returners?

   Hurney: We'll see. There are possibilities. We'll just see how that plays out.

   Q: John, where do you think you helped yourself the most?

   Fox: It's hard to say until we get them here. I'll know a lot more Friday (when minicamp starts) and through the weekend. I'm anxious to see them play. I've seen them play on tape. We'll see how they fit into our system. I feel like (Hurney and the scouting staff) have done a good job over the last few years and I don't think it'll be any different this time.

   Q: John, could you talk about getting some help for your defense, snce your first three picks in this draft were defensive players?

   Fox: Well, last year, we went primarily offense. I think it was about time we injected some guys in there on defense and we'll see where that lies.

   Q: John, could you talk about Everette Brown, since you're obviously fond of pass rushers?

   Fox: He's young. I think he's still growing as a football player. He's shown the ability to have a knack to pass rush. There's a skillset. It's not just size or speed; it's a combination. He exhibited that very well this past year and we're looking forward to working with him.

   Q: How many of these guys are immediate impact players?

   Fox: I don't think we would have drafted them if we didn't expect them to help us. As far as what level of that it is, that's why we practice.

   Hurney: We hope every one of them can come in and contribute in some way, but until you get going, you don't really know.

   Q: Was Irvin an especially good fit for you since he wasn't rated as high as the third round in many pre-draft projections?

   Hurney: I think, especially this year, there were a lot of people who had a lot of different views. I think you could see (that) by the way the draft went. Pre-draft ratings, we had him on our board basically where we took him. He's a good fit. He's a good football player. He was basically in that area from Day 1 for us, and when I talk about Day 1, I go back to September and October, so we're very happy to get him.

   Q: Goodson's career was interesting. His stats went down every year and he went through a coaching change, but he also reportedly had  some friction this past season with coach Mike Sherman. Could you talk about that?

   Hurney: We talked to people there (at Texas A&M). We did our research on him. Obviously, we felt good about him because we took him. We think he has a very good approach to it. We think he's a hard worker and we think it matters to him. Again, he has the ability to make big plays.

   Q: Were there any areas you were hoping to address that you weren't able to address?

   Fox: We'd like to have about 10 more picks. Unfortunately, we don't have them. I thought from what we had and getting extra picks, I thought Marty and his bunch did a good job.

   Q: You came into the draft needing offensive line depth and only drafted Duke Robinson. Do you feel like you'll need to sign some veteran free agents?

   Hurney: We feel good that we've got our starting five back for the first time here in a long time. We feel good about Mackenzy (Bernadeau) and (Geoff) Schwartz (draft picks last season) and then we added Duke Robinson. You know, you're always looking. If the right opportunity comes up, you're always looking to get better, but I think we feel like we made a good addition today and we felt good about who we had coming into today.

   Q: Who could you put at left tackle right now to spell Jordan Gross?

   Hurney: Well, that's something (we'll) go into. There will be options there. But Travelle (Wharton) has played left tackle. We'll have some options  there. Again, we lost some depth on the offensive line. We knew that was a priority coming in. Hopefully, we helped ourselves some and we also had some young guys coming back from last year.

   Q: Do the defensive players you drafted point particularly to what new defensive coordinator Ron Meeks wants to do?

   Fox: I don't think we've changed much philosophically. You've still got to tackle and run to the ball, all out of the same concepts. From a real physical element, I don't think there's much change from what it's been here in the past.

   Q: Goodson can play as a slot receiver. Do you see him possibly at the position of wide receiver?

   Hurney: That's what John and (offensive coordinator) Jeff Davidson and our coaches will figure out as far as having him around, but he does have some flexibility to move and do some different things. He does bring a different dimension and he does have big-play ability.

   Q:  You have traditionally kept one pure fullback on the 53-man regular-season roster in Brad (Hoover). Is there room for Brad and Fiammetta on the active roster at the same time?

   Fox: That's why we practice so they compete and see, and hopefully (we'll) keep our best 53. Sometimes that varies. Last year we kept two kickers, which is a little unusual as far as the league is concerrned. We've gone into the season with two quarterbacks. That's why we practice and that's why we compete. They're all competing for one of those spots.

   Hurney: Obviously, certainly, there is room for that.

   Q: Meeks had undersized defensive ends when he was the defensive coordinator in Indianapolis. Since Brown is also undersized, is that a preference for Meeks?

   Fox: No. We just felt like (Brown) was a guy we liked a lot.  ... Whether he's 6-4 or 6-1, as long as a guy can play and be productive, it doesn't matter. We haven't changed that philosophy. We liked him as a football player.

   Q: Duke Robinson was projected to go much higher than he did. Where did you have him rated?

   Hurney: (With) projections, you can look at 10 and they're all different. We can get Ds and Fs tomorrow in all the (post-draft) grades, but it just matters whether guys come in and help you win.  I do think there were a lot of people who had him rated higher, but we just thought in the fifth round, that was a very good value for him.

   Q: John, do you expect Julius Peppers to be at minicamp Friday?

   Fox: Again, I have not communicated with him.  I'm sure Marty addressed that yesterday, but we'll keep you posted.

   Q: What about guys like Jon Beason and guys who've been hurt? Will they be ready to participate in minicamp?

   Fox: We'll meet with the medical people later this week and find who's going to be in and who's going to be out. But it'll be just medical. If they don't make it, they're just not ready to go. But I don't see it being long-term. It could be for the camp, but I don't really know the exact player-by-player grade on that yet.

   Q: Marty, have you had any communication with Carl Carey (Peppers' agent) since yesterday's press  conference regarding whether Peppers will attend the minicamp?

   Hurney: Not since I talked to you last night,  no.

   Fox: Have you been busy, Marty? (Fox laughs).

   -- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on April 26, 2009 at 07:15 PM | Permalink


wow worst GM and coach in the NFL

Posted by: g8panther96 | Apr 26, 2009 8:19:31 PM

really g8panther96? worse than the raiders? and cowboys? ok...just look at our draft pciks under Hurney and Fox, and tell me they suck. If you can, you're no football fan

Posted by: Teej | Apr 26, 2009 8:31:17 PM

You sir are an idiot. I think about 28 teams would take what Fox and Hurney have done together the past few years.

Posted by: Mikey | Apr 26, 2009 8:31:24 PM

I thought giving up this years first was a big mistake, but that turned out fine, so I trust this move will turn out the same. Personally, I don't mind not having to pay some rookie 40 million dollars before he has ever played an NFL Game. I would much rather get the 2nd and 3rd rounders for less money with something to prove.

Posted by: panthers96 | Apr 26, 2009 8:39:19 PM


Posted by: Grace | Apr 26, 2009 8:40:36 PM

Steve-o: So Marty, why do you insist on gambling the next GM and Head Coaches 1st round draft picks?

Hurney: What do you mean?

Steve-o: Well, I guess I mean you're a tard who just gave up the team's 2010 first rounder for a 3rd down DE

Fox: (Fox laughs)

Hurney: Like I said, if you project a guy as 1st round talent, and he is there in the second round, you have to take him, then you get a whole year to develop him, and that makes him more valuable than a real first round pick.

Steve-o: That makes no sense?

Fox: (Fox laughs)

Hurney: Huh?

Steve-o: What?

Fox: (Fox laughs)

Steve-o: Hurney, you are clown-shoes. So what you're saying is that a guy who only projects in the early to mid second round in 2009 can in fact project to be a middle to late first rounder in 2010?

Hurney: Exactly

Steve-o: So how high of a 1st round grade did our 2008 2nd rounder get this year?

Hurney: We didn't have a 2nd round choice in 2008...

Steve-o: Really? See where I'm going with this Marty?

Fox: (Fox laughs)

Hurney: Well, well, I think Charles Godfrey turned out to be an excellent future 2nd round prospect Steve-o and this interview is over!

Posted by: Steve-o | Apr 26, 2009 8:45:25 PM

Has anyone even considered the fact that the only way the panthers re-sign Peppers is to have a huge contract available for him. So their not paying 1st round money this year or next to set up a megadeal for Pep. They probably had this planned all along(to trade next years 1st round pick). I had mixed feelings about Pep this whole offseason and after seeing this draft, it remined me that 6'6 physical specimens of DE don't come around often! Sign Pep to a long term deal during or after season!!! Fox & Hurney know what they are doing and they are doing it very well!!! Since 2002 only 1 team in the NFC has more wins than Carolina(Philly). Some people forget what 1997-2001 were really like. Now 99 wasn't that bad but...didn't make playoffs!! Great Job to Fox and Hurney!!!

Posted by: wowo | Apr 26, 2009 8:49:47 PM

We signed Heygood out of Purdue

Posted by: Nate | Apr 26, 2009 8:51:58 PM

Yala dumbitchs

Posted by: Pole Smoker | Apr 26, 2009 8:55:09 PM

It's interesting to hear Hurney (and Fox) indicate they could keep both Hoover AND Fiammetta on the roster. I think a lot of these draft picks (including Fiametta) could displace some of our 2nd and 3rd stringers who started on special teams last year.

Training camp competition is going to be huge this year. Guys who just didn't get it done in the return game (blocking and tackling)...and guys who didn't perform very well as backups on offense or defense could find themselves released this go-around.

Posted by: NSpicer | Apr 26, 2009 10:09:15 PM

I mean we trade a first rounder for Brown.. who granted fits Meeks system better than any other than maybe Orakpo, which we had no chance to get, but Michael Johnson from Ga Tech could have been had without giving up a future first rounder...Martin in the 2nd round is one I'm still trying to understand.. only b/c i'm not familiar with him

Posted by: ClayB25 | Apr 26, 2009 10:22:08 PM

To whoever posted the comment about Fox/hurney trying to stack money for pep. No my friend, they already offered him the chance to be the HIGHEST! paid! Defensive player EVER! he turned it down! so again this pep thing is not about Money! and that's why I think it's stupid to not have traded him. Since I believe him when he says he's not playing for fox again. Of course he hasn't signed the Tender which I understand because if he signs the tender and doesn't show up to games practices ect. they can fine him more than 10 million on the year! But as long as he doesn't sign it he's not contracted! to play for the panthers so he doesn't have to without getting fined. Given he can't play for anyone else either...but pep has 40 mill in the bank! and doesn't "love" football anyway so the panthers! are the only one's losing for being stubborn in my opinion.

Posted by: Cheven | Apr 26, 2009 10:42:28 PM

Cheven what this is with Pep is his agent telling him what to do or say. If he wanted out he would have signed it. He knows Carolina is going to get something for him. The reason he has not signed it, is cause he doesn't want to go anywhere. I understand he doesn't want to get fined but I also understand he WANTS to make 1.1 mil per game. Even if he sits out it is the same as being fined. If he does'nt play he gets no pay!! He WON'T walk away from 16.7 mil next season I gurantee you that. Think about it Haynesworth got 44 mil guranteed on a 6 year deal. Peppers will earn 40% of that in 1 year by being tagged. This is a business move. Thats why both sides have stayed professional and careful to not burn any bridges. Watch Peppers will get in with the new defensive coaching staff and be ready to stay a Panther. I'm not so sure he hates football and neither are you are anyone else who post's on here. So that comment does'nt reall interest me. Does he have the personality and motor of a Jared Allen, NO but he did have 14.5 sacks and 6'6 285 pound Defensive Ends don't just grow on tree's either. This is what the "AGENT" does to the game. Don't get off the Peppers bandwagon just yet.

Posted by: wowo | Apr 26, 2009 11:15:44 PM

Pep also had 5 ff and a field goal block.

Posted by: bryant80 | Apr 27, 2009 12:23:31 AM

LB Anthony Heygood (Purdue)
OL Keith Grey (UConn)
OT Gerald Cadogan (Penn St.)
LB Brit Miller (Illinois)
OL CJ Davis (Pitt)
TE Kevin Brock (Rutgers)
WR Jason Cherry (UL-Lafayette)
DT Justin Kershaw (MSU)
OT Patrick Brown (UCF)

That is undrafted free agent that I found online...I m not sure and I heard some rumor that harrell but that all I see on that list. Please let me know if you find more

I didn't see about harrell it will be great! we will find out tomorrow

Posted by: Sean | Apr 27, 2009 1:52:44 AM

Graham Harrell haven't sign with carolina panthers or any teams...so those is the list, I found

Posted by: Sean | Apr 27, 2009 1:57:16 AM

"wow worst GM and coach in the NFL"? NO, that would be Detroit! Apparently, the gentleman who said that was watching Nascar instead of Football last year because I thought we were pretty good. Now, because of one bad outing, Jake is a bum? Not hardly, one only has to look at his record to see that's a load. Over the past 7 years, Fox and Hurney have proved that they know what they're doing. Will we win 12 games again this year? Probably not with the schedule we have to play. Will we end up in the playoffs? If we don't have too many injuries yes. Did we do ok in the draft? Who knows? All I know for sure is we won't win every game but we will be competitive. How much more can you ask?

Posted by: Airman | Apr 27, 2009 9:14:57 AM

I have never been a Hurney fan, But this was the best I have seen from him. He addressed the needs and took the best player available that filled a need. He covered all the bases and did not use the line "we could not believe that that guy was still there." Taking the best player available is not a good concept. It must be teamed with best player available that fills a hole.

Posted by: Steven | Apr 27, 2009 10:00:41 AM

Sean was right about Kevin Brock (TE) and Jason Chery (WR). I have seen these 2 confirmed elsewhere on the web too. Unsure about the others.

Posted by: Matt | Apr 27, 2009 10:38:38 AM

Sean here is the complete list I found:
LB Anthony Heygood (Purdue)
OL Keith Grey (UConn)
OT Gerald Cadogan (Penn St.)
LB Brit Miller (Illinois)
OL CJ Davis (Pitt)
TE Kevin Brock (Rutgers)
WR Jason Cherry (UL-Lafayette)
DT Justin Kershaw (MSU)
WR Larry Beavers (Wesley)
OT Patrick Brown (UCF)
LS Nick Sundberg (Cal)
QB Hunter Cantwell (Louisville)
RB Jamall Lee (Canada - Bishops

Love the pickup of Brock.

Posted by: Ben | Apr 27, 2009 11:07:07 AM

Idiots: g8panther96 & Steve-o (That was terrible, dude. just terrible)

Good posts: NSpicer, wowo & bryant80 (nobody ever mentions all the other stuff Pep does during Every Game)and Steven.

Way to go Panthers! Good Draft!

Posted by: whatever | Apr 27, 2009 12:09:21 PM

LMAO at Steve-o, even though I'm cool with this year's draft.

Posted by: emlit | Apr 27, 2009 12:53:03 PM

The problem is Peppers is just not mean enough to ever be worth $16 mil a year and everyone knows it. He is simply too nice of a guy. That is why no one has been willing to trade for him. Peppers is a very good player, but he lacks the personality to be worth so much money. If they can trade him they will, but that is a big if...

Posted by: jjr | Apr 27, 2009 1:37:19 PM

Peppers is amazing. I do not have a problem paying him 25 million a year. Give him what he wants. He will go down as the best defensive end in the history of footeball

Posted by: Michael Procton | Apr 27, 2009 4:36:25 PM

Right, Steven...we should probably give back Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams, Jon Beason, Ryan Kalil, Travelle Wharton, Charles Johnson, and Richard Marshall, since we had players ahead of them when we drafted. What TERRIBLE picks!

Ben, no chance Brock makes the team as a #4 TE.

whatever, most of the stuff Peppers consistently does "during every game" is loaf around and quit on the play if his first move doesn't work.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Apr 27, 2009 4:40:19 PM

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