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Chico@4:15 on WFNZ today.

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Posted

Yeah his anti cam statements were pretty uninformed. I agree that the only way Cam fails is if he doesn't put the work in. He hasn't really given me a reason to think he won't work.

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Posted

these guys flip flop like crazy, now they are on the Cam wagon after one interview with Morts. Maybe it was made to go that way?

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Posted

the guy doing that interview does not like cam newton and was trying so hard to get mort on his side but mort said he believes newton would be the pick and everytime the interviewer knocked cam mort was right there to correct the guy...haha

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Posted

I'll do Mort's later tonight. Here's Rivera's:

The Drive: How much time spent on #1 pick?

Ron Rivera: Every moment of the day, except today since I'm talking to you two.

D: Have you narrowed your list?

R: We've met with the coaches and all the scouts and we've gone through that list and now we're addressing the process of shortening the list, and we will finish that evaluation sometime next week.

D: Quesiton marks on D, you're a defensive guy, #1 D last year @ San Diego - or are you looking at QB? Cam Newton?

R: What we've done is identified the needs that fit the tema the most right now... How does that player impact us as a defense? does he just help that side of the ball? does he impact the other side of the ball on offense? Does he have special teams value? in about a week week and a halfs time, we ahve to really believe that guy is going to have an overall impact on the organization as well

D: 2 weeks from draft night. Would you possibly consider trading out of #1 pick? getting 2nd rounder?

R: Take a look at all possibilities; scenario we've talked about. Who would possibly make that call that they would love to trade with you? What value is there pick? Some very good players at a few position that WILL be there in the 2nd round. We're trying not to create a guy that is not going to be that guy (hmm), we have to be 100% sure, and we have to listen too.

D: You did say a couple weeks ago you were around 8 different guys you were considering? Do you have a number right now?

R: No, first day we're doing it, little break right now. GOing through the process right now. Next week we should come to a conclusion about top 3, then try to finish those guys by end of next week and by start of that week we will make final questions on those last few guys... Marty & Don have set things up interesting for us to look at these guys... Not sure people know how deep we've had to go... Good group of guys, situation where you've got to make sure how you feel about a guy at the end of the day.

D: Feels like an incredibly important decision for Panthers. Said impact player has on entire organization. Interesting because when I think about that, how important is playing right away?

R: Player will come in and make an impact right away, but certain circumstances may dictate otherwise depending on the guy you pick obviously. Guy that comes in will be young coming into a young group, will be a learning process, but we believe we can make in roads and start winning. Guy has to make impact, has to be ready to make sacrifices.

D: Has anyone called about trades?

R: Nobody directly has done that, nothing solid (Interesting). We are aware that is part of what could happen.

D:How tough is it? Back when you played, having coached, now all of a sudden #1 pick isn't as prestigious as it used to be when you played?

R: When I played, #1 picks didn't need to get on the field, but now when you get taken 1st/2nd/3rd round, you have to get on the field right away. When I was taken in 2nd round you didn't need to play right away - special teams... first start came 3 years after drafted... was around a #1 pick that didnt start until 2nd year... not sure why people get pushed out to start... some guys who can get on the field right away like Dan Marino, but not a lot of guys that are ready for the rigors of playing in the NFL.

D: Lack of patience?

R: Money has changed the game. Salary cap, players have to get on the field since they are replacing players really quickly.

D: Cam Newton causes phones to go crazy for 4 hours. Do me this favor: We'd say Newton is a great athlete, engaging personality, questions about past, his ability to adapt from spread to NFL. Add or subtract anything.

R: I think what you've done is addressed is part of the question we have. It's not just him, but also Blaine Gabbert, but everyone talks about him in the same vein because he's come from a spread. Lots of same questions on both he and Blaine, whether it be D-Lineman or corner, there are questions about every guy because they are coming from different situations coming in to a place where guys are equal or better.

D: One read and run and shotgun spread formation - are you going to look at your biggest need or best player on board?

R: Combination. The one thing that we get when you are first pick, you don't have to worry about the best guy not being there. In our situation, we get to decide what is our biggest need, what is our truly biggest need, but later on then you go back to that.

D: Should impact on the community/jersey sales/how much the Panthers attention get? is that factored in?

R: That is a great question for those guys (front office personnel), but the biggest thing is that IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITY has to be huge. Has to be ready to give back. Always believed that. Ditka emphasized that when I was with the Bears and I believe. Whoever that is has to understand that you are part of a community and you have to give back to it. Not a discussion.

D: Jags pass on exciting "hometown guy", Jags not just about selecting tickets and jerseys. Are we?

R: Bottom line is winning football games sells jerseys and tickets, main focus needs to be about winning. THis team was 2-14 but every game was sold out. And that to me is a huge tribute to the community, and also we've got to work to put a better product on the field this season, faster, better, but most of all smarter, and give back to the community now. Worst I've ever been is 5-11 as a coach, and it's hard on the fans, but if the fans keep showing up to support you, you HAVE to give back to them.

D: How do you prepare for 3rd or 6th round pick?

R: That falls right in line; if we go in this direction, what is the next direction we need to go? If we go QB, do you go offensive lineman? DL? Corner? or WR in 3rd?

D: Do you rank them? Top 30 for each position?

R: Yeah, you also clump players where you think they will fall, and you have to spend time with the guys who you think will fall to you so you dont' waste time on guys you don't think you'll get the chance.

D: What was transition to coordinator to coach?

R: When I transitioned from LB to D-Coordinator, had to go from one group to full defense. Now I'm talking to the whole team. Watched kickers, long snappers work out. It's a change.

D: Not talking to players, not getting ready for minicamp. Must feel weird.

R: Would love to have met everyone talked to everyone. Trying to take a step ahead of the process so we're ready to go when it's time to go.

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Posted

thanks for the write up mav.

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Posted

Mav...use the button that says enter!! :)

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Posted

Mav...use the button that says enter!! :)

There are line breaks, but I added an extra one between each question - should make it easier to read :)

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Posted

Jay Weezie: Welcome to the Drive

Chris Mortensen: Panthers on the clock.

JW: Spoke to Rivera... couple things he said... Are you set? Are you taking offers? Exploring all options.. Do you think there are any suitors out there that want the #1 pick?

M: Not that I've heard. Other teams would be hard pressed to pass on Cam Newton. If you hit on him, you're hitting on him. There's still risk. I mean, Rams were open to all suitors and Rams were the only suitor... but now there may be a rookie wage constraint which complicates pick...

JW: If no trade, who #1?

M: I think it will be Cam Newton because there is not a prospect in this draft that... there are no absolutes... No matter how good PP, Von Miller is, no absolutes... when you have #1 pick, you have a chance to be a superstar, and Cam Newton has a chance to be a superstar.

JW: Really?

M: Really. Dilfer was a skeptic during SEC season. I follow a lot of SEC football, and I told him I'd never seen anyone like Newton. VY, The Golden Calf of Bristol, NOT like this guy... Dilfer watches 5 game tapes and says I'm starting to be a believer here... When you watch game tapes, it projects well to the NFL. Then he went down to workout in San Diego to see it in person and walked away from it absolutely convinced that the guy had a chance to be a superstar. Things have to come together for it to happen. But when you have a guy like that, it's very tough to pass on that player... IF you can't trade out of there.

JW: Some skeptics, ala me... Boom could be big Ben part 2, bust could be Akili Smith part 2... Am I off by saying that?

M: Akili Smith is a terrible comparison... Don't take it as a bad criticism... Akili Smith had a baseball windup... not a one year wonder, was his release... Cam's got a natural release, nothing unnatural about it. That's been true on quarterbacks for the past 35-40 years. John Elway is the only one that didn't have a lot of guys knocking him. People knocking Manning, said his ball wobbled, didn't spin ball wobbled. Carson Palmer wasn't good until Norm Chow got there... Sam Bradford, is he durable? All these guys have some kind of risk/reward, but this guy's reward is so high, and then I think the problem you run with the risk... are we going to have rookie wage constraints in place? Probably yes. Under those circumstance, not needing to pay $50 mill guaranteed, but hey Bradford will only be 15th highest paid QB in league in 3 years. If Newton flops, it won't be due to physically. If you talk to people, they say he is good in locker room, is a worker, if he has a desire to be great, then that's where the reward is. Risk with every player. Now certainly where the debate is... Panthers have hired Rob Chudzinski and he is a GOOD ONE... and that system is TIMING and ANTICIPATION... Do you draft for a system that may not be there in 2-3 years? Moore actually *ran that system* at Oregon State. Jimmy Clausen *will be better* in that system. But in 2-3 years, what if that coach isn't there and Cam Newton is out playing great football, there will be a lot of pressure. Who would YOU take?

JW: Patrick Peterson. do you think that is a better pick than the analogy to Akili Smith? Best player in the draft?

M: One of the best... Others like Von Miller... Best player in draft is Cam Newton according to how he played last year is Cam Newton... Who had more impact on their team... newton or patrick peterson?

JW: No doubt, I remember talking to you last year in Tampa and the big question was The Golden Calf of Bristol... never thought there would be more celebrated/criticized player than The Golden Calf of Bristol, and now there is Newton. I want to play devil's advocate with you. I gotta look at it from an objective stand point. If you pick a QB #1 and he busts, it can haunt your franchise for decades. Fair enough?

M: Decades is overstated. Not like you won't have fall back plans with both Clausen and Moore if Newton busts. Raiders are already rebounding from Russell. Eli Manning was a guy that had risk attached to him. Last year, The Golden Calf of Bristol had 1 or 2 teams with first round grades on him, and that was Denver. Majority of team have a first round grade on Cam Newton. Hurney has had same debate in his mind you've had. This is worthy of debate, is worthy of discussion, but at the same time... if Patrick Peterson is the guy you can put out there for 10-12 years at corner and play pretty good corner... No such thing as a lock down corner... Even Revis needs help (methinks someone is forgetting an Oakland free agent)... Of course, Nick Fairley was pretty impactful for Auburn too.

JW: Newton's perceived weakness... Decision making, accuracy, combine accuracy under 50%... bad footwork... biggest question, operating in a pro style offense, only one read and offense, one-read and run shotgun spread... Fair critique? How do you see him making that transition?

M: Combine thing never bothered me. Plenty of quarterbacks who have really gased at the combine. I throw that one out. Call Phil Simms, ask him what he thinks of Cam Newton. He said he was surprised, offense was more than one read but he has been working under center ever since. If he's a good athlete he can take it under center and learn to drop back. Decision making? Numbers look pretty good. Accuracy? Watching games on TV, this guy got better as season went on. Ran the ball a lot at first part of season. Malzahn got more comfortable with him throwing ball and he threw it more... I think Mallett is going to be a success in this league. But I know that Cam Newton has a chance to be really, really special. Will Panthers be set back if he isn't? I don't think it'll be as bad as some claim. Can always find a Marc Bulger to band aid it over until you find the right guy.

JW: Two final questions - on Al Davis' Christmas list?

M: Yes I am.

JW: Last chance to change your mind - Who do Panthers select #1?

M: I'll say Newton but keep the debate going, it's a great discussion.

Thoughts:

Interesting that he noted how Newton does not fit Chud's offense, despite what a lot of people here have said. Also interesting he has echoed what I've said for a while, that Jimmy Clausen could be better in it... but most interesting was that Matt Moore apparently worked in the same offense at Oregon State. Didn't know that.

It is also interesting he notes that if Newton busts you still have Clausen and Moore around. Guess he isn't giving up on those guys yet.

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Posted

Mav, I appreciate the write ups and all, but man, I don't want to sound like a dick or anything...

how much free time do you have man?

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Posted

Mav, I appreciate the write ups and all, but man, I don't want to sound like a dick or anything...

how much free time do you have man?

Not as much as I'd like, but probably more than I should have. :D

In all seriousness, I listen to every audio thing about the Panthers I can get once I get home from work, and I can transcribe while I listen, so.

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Not as much as I'd like, but probably more than I should have. :D

In all seriousness, I listen to every audio thing about the Panthers I can get once I get home from work, and I can transcribe while I listen, so.

you missed your true calling as a stenographer sir.

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