« Baker on leaving UNC: 'I mean, it's Dallas.' | Main | Mayock: Be wary of individual workouts »

February 10, 2011

Rivera: Smith part of the plans "right now"

Ron Rivera has been on the job for a month.

He's spent most of that time hiring a staff, familiarizing himself with the Panthers' personnel and looking at homes and neighborhoods in Charlotte.

Rivera found his coordinators, found a home (on the south side of town), but is still formulating the personnel decisions that will shape his first Panthers' roster.

Rivera said he had a good conversation with veteran wideout Steve Smith, who has hinted at wanting out of Charlotte (and had his house on the market last year). Smith, who has two years left on his contract, could be stuck if there is a prolonged lockout.

Rivera indicated he expected Smith, at a minimum, to participate in the team's minicamp (provided a new CBA is in place in time for teams to stage minicamps).

We have to go through the process and see how things fit and where he sees it. It's a touchy thing,” Rivera said of Smith. “We're going to have to wait until everything's cleared up and see where he is.

But also, we've got to have our minicamp and all that when we get the opportunity and see how he fits with it, and see how it fits him and see if it's what we need and what we want, and we'll go from there. As far as I'm concerned, he's a part of what we are right now.”

Rivera said he appreciated Smith's candor and openness when they talked.

“We had a great discussion about him and what he would like and hopes to accomplish as a football player,” Rivera said.

Rivera said quarterback Jimmy Clausen chose to rehab in Charlotte following minor foot surgery rather than return to Notre Dame, where Clausen originally intended to finish his sociology degree this semester.

Rivera estimated he and his staff have talked to about 40 percent of the players from last year's team. Rivera had a good face-to-face meeting with tailback Jonathan Stewart when he bumped into him at a Dallas shopping mall before the Super Bowl last week.

“That was a really nice conversation. I really appreciated it,” he said.

“I'm excited. I think there's a great group of young guys. I had a real nice conversation the other day with (defensive end) Charles Johnson. You hope to get a chance to visit with everybody and talk to everybody and have them feel like they want to be here. I think that's important.”

But Rivera did not talk specifically about the team's plans for the draft or free agency, or any potential trades, saying officials are still in the evaluation process.

“We're breaking everything down. We're looking at everything,” he said. “It's a big mix right now. It'd be unfair to start predicting things without really having gone through that process of preparation.”

Rivera, who grew up in California and was San Diego's defensive coordinator before the Panthers hired him, said he has been well received in Charlotte.

“When I'm eating dinner or lunch or I'm walking through a mall or I'm at the grocery store, people have come up and wished me luck and told me they're behind us and they're expecting big things, which they should as our fans.”

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on February 10, 2011 at 06:59 PM | Permalink

Comments

just don't trade away any more picks.

Posted by: raising kane | Feb 10, 2011 7:29:30 PM

If they can't find a place for Steve Smith, Rivera should have never been brought in. Clausen is the problem child, not Smith.

Posted by: Nate | Feb 10, 2011 7:30:30 PM

Just please panthers....there is a super-star WR waiting to be drafted that is a good kid and from the SC area.....
AJ Green is the real deal
_______________________________________
now pick up shaun rogers at NT ....and please do not draft nick fairley....the guy is a bust and will be a wasted pick!!!

Posted by: Scott | Feb 10, 2011 7:34:05 PM

Psh...who WOULDN'T want to trade picks for studs like Armanti Edwards, destined to be the first player to be an All-Pro at QB, WR, KR, AND PR, if not coach and GM too. Just ask Darin and all the rest of the Appalaskies.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 10, 2011 10:01:40 PM

All these RACIST! journalist will be no where to be found when Cam Newton is Josh Freeman in 2 years. Alex Smith ran a RUN! read spread! offense in college and ran! all the time! but none of them had an issue with him as the number 1 pick! he's so "smart" and cam newton isn't "Smart" and can't "Read" defenses" and can't "think" the position...blk QB's have been getting unfairly criticized for a long time....just when you think the success of blk QB's in the nfl has ended that racial bias...it shows up yet again! I like Fairly....I do....but when you have the worst! starting QB in the NFL. (and we do in Clausen) then there is no such thing as "Reaching" if you say you'd pick Cam at 10 but not at 1 I do't understand that.....so what you pay him more $ than you think you should....what's the money we save going to do for us....when our QB sucks again! and the team doesn't win! and Cam newton is making plays....or Mallet Whom I really like as well.

Posted by: Cheven | Feb 10, 2011 10:06:43 PM

@Cheven - I would pick up McNabb, draft Fairley.. Cam Newton might be a good QB in 3 years, but the Panthers need a QB now. McNabb is a much better QB at this point.

Posted by: Catsnmbr1Fan | Feb 10, 2011 10:15:29 PM

Procton, Edwards has a nice degree unlike that nice GED that you have framed.

Posted by: sam | Feb 10, 2011 10:20:28 PM

Procton, Edwards has a nice degree unlike that nice GED that you have framed.

Posted by: sam | Feb 10, 2011 10:20:28 PM

Newton is a good qb right now. He'll be a great quarterback in a few years. Clausen is destined to be a career backup, if that. No improvement from his first game to his last after getting the 1st team reps in practice doesnt speak well towards a bright future. Our defense is not the number 1 priority, so why start the draft on defense. Draft the best available player at the position of greatest need. That player is Cam Newton.

Posted by: blank | Feb 10, 2011 10:23:56 PM

I can't defend or criticize the Armanti pick yet. How about you let him play for a coach that isn't too chicken sh*t to play a rookie before you judge? It took Moose's retirement and Jarrett's 2nd DUI for Gettis and LaFell to see the field, and they've played WR their whole lives.

Posted by: Mike | Feb 10, 2011 10:52:00 PM

I can't defend or criticize the Armanti pick yet. How about you let him play for a coach that isn't too chicken sh*t to play a rookie before you judge? It took Moose's retirement and Jarrett's 2nd DUI for Gettis and LaFell to see the field, and they've played WR their whole lives.

Posted by: Mike | Feb 10, 2011 10:52:00 PM

I hope we either take the best player available at #1 or trade down. Also, if Rivera doesn't think Clausen is the guy, and believes Newton can be, then he should draft him #1 or trade down a few spots and get Newton. Don't let Hurney try to convince you that Clausen is the guy, just because it was Hurney who drafted him. Hurney is the guy giving away basically 1st and 2nd round draft picks the past 3 years (and not getting equal value). I remember when the Jets moved up in the draft to #5 to get Sanchez and I don't remember them even giving away a future 1st round pick. We trade a first round pick for the 40 something pick in the draft. I just don't understand.

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 10, 2011 11:17:50 PM

OH my God!!!!! IF I here one more person talk about drafting Sham Newton I will lose it. TO the earlier poster it is not a racist thing. Look around the leauge. How many running Qbs are playing for championships. NONE!!! In the NFL you need a qb that can read coverages quickly and deliver the ball accurately. Cam Newton did neither of those in college. The offensive style they played did not require him to make those pre snap reads. Also anyone who believes that Cam did not know what his father was doing in trying to get paid is extremely naive. THis is a red flag to his character. Everyone wants to compare him to Mike Vick. How many titles has Vick one? None. As for bringing in a Mcnabb that is another temp fix and that kind of thinking got us in this mess in the first place. Clausen is ot the answer but neither is Newton, Try trading for Kolb or Palmer. Maybe it is next year before we get our qb but lets plan for the long term not the here and now.

Posted by: JLeonard | Feb 11, 2011 12:44:36 AM

Cam Newton worked out for the media yesterday in California. He got rave reviews from Trent Dilfer who said he's the real deal. Trent stated that Cam made every throw that you need to to be a successful qb in the league. He said that Cam had good footwork, squared his shoulders and completed pass after pass. Nice tight spirals. He also said that Cam had an arm. If I was the Panthers; I'd draft Cam and bring in McNabb to tutor him for a few years. If you can get a special player as Cam; you go for it! As a Panther's fan; I'm tired of having a mediocre qb!

Posted by: Tyrone | Feb 11, 2011 7:51:34 AM

anon @ 11:17 -
so Carson Palmer has more upside than Cam Newton? Palmer had one good season in 2005. He's looked like Jake lately throwing it to the wrong team.

Posted by: Tim | Feb 11, 2011 8:13:46 AM

I don't think anyone is questioning whether or not Cam can make the throws. He's got a rocket for an arm and has shown the ability to make all the throws needed in the NFL. The biggest drawback is whether he can do it from under center while dropping back avoiding rushers and reading coverage. That's a BIG difference from already being 5 yards behind the center in the shotgun where his height further enhanced his vision. I really like Cam and would love to see him become successful. In order for that to happen as a Panther though, we'd have to have a veteran QB to mentor him and play until he'd be ready and/or a MUCH better QB coaching staff that actually develops the players at this position which we did NOT have with the last staff!

Posted by: NFL247 | Feb 11, 2011 8:41:16 AM

Coach Rivera... I for one support you and your staff. I like the way that you handle yourself and your coaching/teaching style will pay off for us. Dont let all of these negative so called "Panthers Fans" speak for everyone. These people that are criticizing our organizations every move this year, will be happy when they see our progress next year. After all... Winning changes everyones attitude.

Posted by: Chris Pressley | Feb 11, 2011 8:59:35 AM

Coach Rivera... I for one support you and your staff. I like the way that you handle yourself and your coaching/teaching style will pay off for us. Dont let all of these negative so called "Panthers Fans" speak for everyone. These people that are criticizing our organizations every move this year, will be happy when they see our progress next year. After all... Winning changes everyones attitude.

Posted by: Chris Pressley | Feb 11, 2011 8:59:35 AM

LOL, JaMarcus Russel had one of the best pro days anyone had seen. How'd that work out for him?

Posted by: DaveT | Feb 11, 2011 10:07:24 AM

If we trade Smith we better bring in a Vincent Jackson (or comp) to replace him. Smith would really need to garner at least 1 mid round first too.

Posted by: Brian | Feb 11, 2011 11:01:18 AM

Let's clear this up. Cheven your point is taken. I agree there is a quick rush to judgment about the ability of black QBs to understand the game, but I also think it's fair to look at Cam Newton and say he hasn't proven he can handle the responsibilities of a starting NFL QB. What I want to know about Newton is will he be willing to put in the time on and off the field to understand the QB position. Or will he be consumed by the spotlight and focus more on his birthday bash in Miami than the playbook. Even if Andrew Luck was being consider for the #1 draft pick that question would be relevant. If the answer is yes to that question for Newton, then draft him at #1. There's no doubt he has the physical talent he just has to demonstrate he has the dedication (not intelligence) to be successful. How smart do you think Phillip Rivers is? He doesn't exactly come off like Einstein.

Posted by: Jermel | Feb 11, 2011 11:37:40 AM

@Tyrone Yeah Trent Dilfer and his entire one super bowl ring. Screw that guy he doesn't know anything. I do not believe Cam Newton is the answer for us, he has to develop first. Im with the guy that wants to pick up McNabb and get Fairley. Kolb wont leave without a 1st round, because Philly does not truly believe in Vick and his running ways, so they will want to replace him. Trading Smith would get us a 2nd round pick maybe, look at Moss, he went out for a 3rd.

Posted by: Deezy | Feb 11, 2011 12:31:07 PM

@Tyrone Yeah Trent Dilfer and his entire one super bowl ring. Screw that guy he doesn't know anything. I do not believe Cam Newton is the answer for us, he has to develop first. Im with the guy that wants to pick up McNabb and get Fairley. Kolb wont leave without a 1st round, because Philly does not truly believe in Vick and his running ways, so they will want to replace him. Trading Smith would get us a 2nd round pick maybe, look at Moss, he went out for a 3rd.

Posted by: Deezy | Feb 11, 2011 12:31:07 PM

@Tyrone Yeah Trent Dilfer and his entire one super bowl ring. Screw that guy he doesn't know anything. I do not believe Cam Newton is the answer for us, he has to develop first. Im with the guy that wants to pick up McNabb and get Fairley. Kolb wont leave without a 1st round, because Philly does not truly believe in Vick and his running ways, so they will want to replace him. Trading Smith would get us a 2nd round pick maybe, look at Moss, he went out for a 3rd.

Posted by: Deezy | Feb 11, 2011 12:31:07 PM

@Tyrone Yeah Trent Dilfer and his entire one super bowl ring. Screw that guy he doesn't know anything. I do not believe Cam Newton is the answer for us, he has to develop first. Im with the guy that wants to pick up McNabb and get Fairley. Kolb wont leave without a 1st round, because Philly does not truly believe in Vick and his running ways, so they will want to replace him. Trading Smith would get us a 2nd round pick maybe, look at Moss, he went out for a 3rd.

Posted by: Deezy | Feb 11, 2011 12:31:07 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

Advertisements