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August 05, 2011

Rivera sends message to young WRs


The Panthers sent a not-too-subtle message to their young receivers with the addition of veteran wideout Legedu Naanee: Don't get complacent.

Brandon LaFell and David Gettis combined for 75 catches last year as rookies. But first-year coach Ron Rivera said Naanee was brought in to increase the level of competition at the No. 2 spot opposite Pro Bowler Steve Smith.

“Probably the biggest thing is we've had nobody step up other than Steve. We've got to find guys that are going to step up and challenge for the position,” Rivera said today. “So this is an opportunity to have a guy that understands the system, knows the system, can help show the young guys how we do the system. What it takes to be a pro.

“He's been a good pro. He's been a guy that's been on the field for a Chargers and was successful for them.”

Naanee, who agreed to terms on a 1-year contract, is expected to arrive today to take a physical and sign a contract. Rivera said he could join the team for this evening's practice.

Naanee, 6-2 and 220 pounds, played his first four seasons in San Diego, where Rivera and Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski were on staff.

Rivera called Naanee a “big, physical guy” who can also help on special teams.

Rivera has singled out second-year receiver Armanti Edwards several times as one of the biggest surprises from the first week of training camp.

As for the message to LaFell and Gettis, Rivera said: “I think this is a clear-cut thing and they understand that this is all about competing and when you get your opportunity, you most certainly do have to take advantage.”

In other news …

--DE Greg Hardy, injured last month in a motorcycle wreck in Tennessee, no longer is wearing bandages on his arms and left leg, which were badly skinned in the crash. Rivera said he hopes Hardy can begin practicing soon.

--The Panthers are awaiting the results of the medical tests on rookie OL Zack Williams, who was injured Thursday night at practice and was carted off the field.

--Rivera said the Panthers would practice at Saturday's FanFest in Charlotte, but would not scrimmage.

--Joseph Person


Posted by Observer Sports on August 5, 2011 at 12:35 PM | Permalink


No disrespect to Naanee, but if they wanted to send a message to the younger guys they should have gotten an established guy like Derrick Mason.

Posted by: Fatty McButterpants | Aug 5, 2011 1:24:06 PM

Hmmm. Negative comments basically, straight from the Riviera. I agree with you Fatty, a receiver with 63 balls caught in 4 years doesn't strike fear all that much. But if it'll work to inspire Lafell and Gettis, I'm all for it. Nannoo is this years version of David Clowney. The only plus he's got is he played for the team Rivera coached with last year. However Nanana was on offense (where he was the fifth option), and Riv was the D-Coordinator. Bottom line...the price was right.

Posted by: Randy Mess | Aug 5, 2011 1:32:28 PM

Dude, why even take a chance on Nannee when you got malcolm floyd, a proven starter and 2nd option, hanging around out there and could be grabbed with a measly $3-$4 million/yr? I say why even sit and hope when you push all in and give Cam mo' options?

Posted by: DieHardCat | Aug 5, 2011 1:42:10 PM

AND Malcolm floyd knows the offense well. Prob better knowledge than Nannee.

Posted by: DieHardCat | Aug 5, 2011 1:44:10 PM

Agreed...and how about we send a message to our defensive backfield? Are we seriously going into the season with Gamble and Munnerlyn as our two starting CBs? How exactly is that going to stop the likes of Roddy White and Julio Jones?

Posted by: Fatty McButterpants | Aug 5, 2011 1:45:03 PM

Good pick up, this is a great signing that will encourage our young WRs to get pumpin!

Posted by: Dusty | Aug 5, 2011 1:55:06 PM

Come on, Malcolm Floyd??? He was a big disappointment when he had the opportunity to be the #1 guy in San Diego last year. His numbers were very nice, but with Mr. Rivers slinging the ball, he will be able to inflate anybody's stats.

Naanee is an OK option, but I don't think he will be able to push the 3 receivers not named Steve Smith for playing time. Armanti sounds like he figured out the formula to play receiver while Gettis and LaFell can produce if they continue off of last year's growth.

Posted by: Really People... | Aug 5, 2011 2:26:07 PM

You guys are missing the point. The purpose of bringing in Nannee is not to have him play #2 WR, but to force LaFell, Gettis, and Edwards to step it up. That's why you don't invest money in a Mason or Floyd.

Posted by: Authority | Aug 5, 2011 2:32:51 PM

Hey, What about me? I can catch!

Posted by: J. Delhomme | Aug 5, 2011 2:36:11 PM

Personally, I don't like the Panther's blue jerseys. What do you think?

Posted by: Tacho | Aug 5, 2011 2:36:23 PM

I heard Kyle Orton say "It is what it is" on Sportscenter this morning. Oh, man - that is precious.

Posted by: Cosmo | Aug 5, 2011 2:38:41 PM

There is talent there but can it translate into production.

Looks like guys have worked in the offseason. Lets hope they can take the hard work and make it happen on game day.

Go Panthers


Posted by: Pam | Aug 5, 2011 2:53:50 PM

We should make a play for Jerrico Cotchery if he's still available. Proven vet with local ties who can still be productive. Come on Marty, this is important!!

Posted by: Diddy | Aug 5, 2011 2:57:41 PM

What about trading Mike Goodson for a stud reciever? Just a thought but i bet we could get something good out of him.

Posted by: Diddy | Aug 5, 2011 3:02:56 PM

What happened to this morning's story of how great Armanti looked? Now, 10 hours later, no WRs have stepped up?

Posted by: SM | Aug 5, 2011 3:03:08 PM

Bringing in Legedu in to "motivate" Lafell and Gettis? So let me get this straight, you're a WR in the NFL and getting paid millions but you need someone to motivate you to do your best?

Posted by: Lee | Aug 5, 2011 3:20:23 PM

Hey Diddy, Cotchery is coming off back surgery and on PUP right now. Not a safe move at this point I wouldn't think.

Posted by: Lee | Aug 5, 2011 3:35:04 PM

Yo geniuses, the Chargers have resigned Floyd so stop griping about why we didnt sign him. sheesh.

Posted by: Rick | Aug 5, 2011 3:48:19 PM

SM- I think Rivera is still saying that Armanti is stepping it up...he just has a longer way to climb. I was hoping to read that Gettis and LaFell were showing the same kind of improvement that Edwards has shown this offseason. Those three are poised to be a serious threat to defenses if they realize their potential.

As for Naanee...I think he is an insurance policy at WR and in special teams. Clowney is outta here after camp, Charly Martin has not shown he can stay healthy nor has Wallace Wright. Rivera basically got an inexpensive insurance policy.

Posted by: AppGrad04 | Aug 5, 2011 3:57:18 PM

I think everyone has been to quick to build up this WR crop...yuck...Naanee will be our #2

Posted by: Scott | Aug 5, 2011 4:26:48 PM

1.OK so we are suppose to forget the fact that Smith Admitted he isn't a leader & Has been a Ass Hole for the last 2 yrs
2.Armanti Edwards had to go & get help from a Retired WR to learn the spot
3. the Great Steve Smith Refused to show up to the Player run Practice & yea his wife was sick well to Bad if he don't like the shot don't make it
4.Gettis Done Great for a 6th RD pick who had to learn from Coachs who didn't give a dam & a Vet WR who didn't care much either

So As my Grandma used to Say down stir up the Fire if you don't want get hot

Posted by: Kepickle | Aug 5, 2011 4:32:28 PM

We're doing it right. There are at least 10 WRs on the team and only one secured spot. Naanee has (1st)dibs on the other spot. Armanti has come a long way, but from where to where? He won't dress this year. Lafell, Gettis and Adams and Palares are in a battle. They will carry 5, maybe 6 WRS. There are about 8 guys fighting for 4 spots. The plan is to spread the ball around, so when your chance comes, you'd better catch it and look good doing it.

Posted by: qdog112 | Aug 5, 2011 5:08:33 PM

Yea a ST coming to save the DAY at WR Gettis will put Naanee in his place On the Bench

Posted by: Kepickle | Aug 5, 2011 5:21:33 PM

Not a key acquisition. Legedu Naanee has had brushes with the law and lost his welcome in San Diego.

Posted by: par404 | Aug 5, 2011 5:32:22 PM

Newton will have to be moved to WR or ride the pine learning how to run pass routes and block. He will replace long washed up Smith who'll be traded or cut. Edwards will be used as backup and special team returns. Clausen turning out to be the smarter more competent QB with a much stronger more accurate arm as most expected.

Posted by: sam cooke | Aug 5, 2011 5:32:38 PM

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