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Found 6 results

  1. Jeremy Igo

    Damiere Byrd Turning Heads

    In June I reported that undrafted rookie Damiere Byrd out of South Carolina was making plays during OTA workouts. Now, in August, I can tell you that Damiere Byrd is also making plays in training camp. During a fully padded practice,, Byrd was able to sneak behind Colin Jones in the secondary and make an impressive reception from Cam Newton. However, the NFL officials at practice called him out of bounds. Byrd will need to work on the small details of the position like dragging your feet and tapping your toe when near the sideline. The good news for Damiere is that much like last year's Corey Brown, he is an undrafted receiver getting reps with the first string.... and producing That is something not to be taken lightly. Byrd has the kind of speed that cannot be taught. During the final play of practice, it was again Byrd who snuck into the back of the end zone behind safety Robert Lester, this time bringing his feet down in bounds for the touchdown. Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera has said the Panthers would keep 6 or even 7 wide receivers. Six receivers is fairly common across the league. Seven, however, is not. Could Rivera have had Damiere Byrd in mind when he made that comment? Could be.
  2. In June I reported that undrafted rookie Damiere Byrd out of South Carolina was making plays during OTA workouts. Now, in August, I can tell you that Damiere Byrd is also making plays in training camp. During a fully padded practice,, Byrd was able to sneak behind Colin Jones in the secondary and make an impressive reception from Cam Newton. However, the NFL officials at practice called him out of bounds. Byrd will need to work on the small details of the position like dragging your feet and tapping your toe when near the sideline. The good news for Damiere is that much like last year's Corey Brown, he is an undrafted receiver getting reps with the first string.... and producing That is something not to be taken lightly. Byrd has the kind of speed that cannot be taught. During the final play of practice, it was again Byrd who snuck into the back of the end zone behind safety Robert Lester, this time bringing his feet down in bounds for the touchdown. Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera has said the Panthers would keep 6 or even 7 wide receivers. Six receivers is fairly common across the league. Seven, however, is not. Could Rivera have had Damiere Byrd in mind when he made that comment? Could be. View full article
  3. One of the more interesting stories of the 2015 Carolina Panthers OTA sessions has been the improvement of Corey Brown at the wide receiver position. A few days ago during practice I was standing next to Bill Voth of BBR discussing Brown's improvement. We came to the conclusion that the best sign of his arrival as a player was the fact that we were no longer really taking note of his receptions. Meaning, Corey Brown making plays had become routine, not noteworthy. That is a true sign of a player's growth. After the final Panthers OTA practice, I wanted to speak to Corey about his growth and his thoughts of the receivers group as a whole. So I waited, and waited, and waited a bit more. You see, Corey was across the field catching one handed passes with the defensive backs. The receivers group was not doing any extra reps after practice, so Brown took it upon himself to find another group to work with. Once I did catch up with him, I asked him how he went from an undrafted free agent in 2014 to one of the more impressive receivers early in 2015. "All I can control is what I do." Brown said of his improvement. "Staying focused, not letting anything that happened last year get to me." Brown had some success as a rookie, but clearly he is focused on building on his achievements, not reminiscing over them. Brown understands the numbers with this 2015 receivers group. Even though he has been playing mainly with the first team, he knows his roster spot is not guaranteed. For the first time in a long time, talented receivers are not going to make the Carolina Panthers roster. For the team, that is a great thing. For the individuals, it provides extra motivation. "Its a way more competitive group this year, from top to bottom. There is nothing but skill at the receiver position. There is a lot of competition this year." Part of the increase in skill level was due to the Panthers trading up for receiver Devin Funchess in the second round. The Panthers had Funchess graded as a first rounder, and it has shown on the practice field. Corey Brown has been impressed. "I've known Funchess, he played at Michigan so I have been watching him for a while. He is picking up the offense fast." Brown remarked. "He is going to be huge for us this year." If you look at the above photo again, the other player in the photo dressed in all black is Gamecocks rookie Damiere Byrd. Like Brown in 2014, Byrd is an undrafted receiver trying to make his way. Clearly he has taken note and is looking at Brown's work ethic as an example of what it takes to succeed. This is the first look we have gotten at Corey Brown the mentor. "I told (Byrd), sometimes you may not get one rep the whole period" Brown said. "You can't let that get you down, because then when it's your time to go you aren't going to mentally be able to perform. I told him many times just wait until camp. Once camp comes around you are going to get as many reps as you need."
  4. One of the more interesting stories of the 2015 Carolina Panthers OTA sessions has been the improvement of Corey Brown at the wide receiver position. A few days ago during practice I was standing next to Bill Voth of BBR discussing Brown's improvement. We came to the conclusion that the best sign of his arrival as a player was the fact that we were no longer really taking note of his receptions. Meaning, Corey Brown making plays had become routine, not noteworthy. That is a true sign of a player's growth. After the final Panthers OTA practice, I wanted to speak to Corey about his growth and his thoughts of the receivers group as a whole. So I waited, and waited, and waited a bit more. You see, Corey was across the field catching one handed passes with the defensive backs..... View full article
  5. Jeremy Igo

    Punt Returners Shaping Up

    Punt returners became a bit clearer at OTA practice today, and kept the same rotation throughout practice. In order... Ted Ginn Brenton Bersin (Don't shoot the messenger) De'Andre Presley Damiere Byrd Obviously, Ted Ginn is the favorite to win the starting punt return position. He has proven effective there in the past for the Panthers. For me, the most interesting prospect here is Damiere Byrd. During rookie camp I noted the Panthers would probably be taking a look at him at punt returns. South Carolina Gamecock fans were quick to point out the fact he had never attempted punt returns in college. None the less, the Panthers appear to be giving him a shot. And with his quickness, why not. Any hint of daylight and Byrd could be in the end zone. Byrd looked pretty comfortable for a guy that had never fielded punts before. I saw no drops on any catchable punts. Ted Ginn did drop an easy punt. Go figure. It will be interesting next week to see how this unit is shaping up.
  6. Punt returners became a bit clearer at OTA practice today, and kept the same rotation throughout practice. In order... Ted Ginn Brenton Bersin (Don't shoot the messenger) De'Andre Presley Damiere Byrd Obviously, Ted Ginn is the favorite to win the starting punt return position. He has proven effective there in the past for the Panthers. For me, the most interesting prospect here is Damiere Byrd. During rookie camp I noted the Panthers would probably be taking a look at him at punt returns. South Carolina Gamecock fans were quick to point out the fact he had never attempted punt returns in college. None the less, the Panthers appear to be giving him a shot. And with his quickness, why not. Any hint of daylight and Byrd could be in the end zone. Byrd looked pretty comfortable for a guy that had never fielded punts before. I saw no drops on any catchable punts. Ted Ginn did drop an easy punt. Go figure. It will be interesting next week to see how this unit is shaping up.
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