« Cam down 12 pounds after offseason challenge | Main | Cam Newton ranked 46th overall on NFL Network's Top 100 players »

May 30, 2013

Rivera: Offseason workout communication best it's been in three years

With a relatively healthy defense and no collective bargaining stalemates, the Panthers are enjoying the best communication they've had in offseason workouts since Ron Rivera became the head coach.

In 2011, the lockout meant no organized team activities for players and coaches. Last year, with Jon Beason injured at middle linebacker, the team had a rookie in the middle trying to communicate the calls.

But with Luke Kuechly coming off his Defensive Rookie of the Year season in 2012, Carolina's defense under Rivera is communicated better than ever. 

"That’s probably one thing we’ve lacked in the first two years," Rivera said of communication. "Last year it was a new middle linebacker. Now that Luke is much more comfortable and a lot more expressive in terms of the checks and calls he has to make. That’s been really good.

"Guys like (safeties) D.J. Campbell and Charles Godfrey have really stepped their game up in terms of what we’re trying to do. If you want to quantify it by learning, that’s what it’s about. These guys are getting more and more comfortable in the system."

The starting defense is relatively healthy, with Beason participating only in individual workouts due to shoulder and knee surgeries. 

On the offensive side of the ball, Rivera said he's seen better, more crisp routes by the receivers and better blocking schemes on the line. 

Of note, Jonathan Stewart continued to be very limited during OTAs, stretching with the team and then spending most of his day on the exercise bike alongside G Edmund Kugbila (leg), WR Lamont Bryant and CB Captain Munnerlyn (abdominal strain).

--Jonathan Jones


Posted by Observer Sports on May 30, 2013 at 02:44 PM | Permalink


Has Stewart ever participated in OTA's? I mean he's a monster when healthy, but that's like once a blue moon.

Thank god they worked something out with Williams and drafted Barner.

Posted by: D.W.G. | May 30, 2013 3:13:17 PM

Overall in the past 5 years,Stewart never really does much during preseason. With that being said he only has not played in about 9 games out of the past 5 years. Most of that was last year.

Posted by: Andre | May 30, 2013 6:07:55 PM

Yup. After all, who really cares about field time at OTAs, Training Camp, even the practice games we pay full price for? If the guy is durable and shows up come Sept, I'm all for it. It's better than the alternative: a pre-season stud who averages a few hundred rushing yards a YEAR. All I ask for is one home playoff game...PLEASE!!!

Posted by: PSL Owner | May 30, 2013 6:22:49 PM

Playoffs? You're talking about playoffs? Playoffs?!?

Posted by: concerned fan | May 31, 2013 11:10:25 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.