Q: The Panthers no longer pursue high-priced free agents. Do you agree with the strategy?
RICHARDSON: Of course. The times that we have gone out and been aggressive on free agents and paid substantial amounts of money I can't really think of one player that has justified the money we spent or the cap room he took up. (One free agent who did pay off, says Richardson, is running back Stephen Davis, who signed in 2003. Davis' contract was laden with incentives, and Davis, he says, attained them.)
Q: Who, or what kind of player, do you expect to select in the draft?
RICHARDSON: What I hope we can do is get a football player that can be a starter and a tough football player. I think toughness is important and compatible with Ron's (head coach Ron Rivera) coaching style. I don't think we'll be drafting a finesse player.
Q: Who do you consider tough? RICHARDSON: Thomas (Davis). There are others but in my judgment he's No. 1. (Davis, an outside linebacker, has torn the ACL in the same knee three times and is trying to come back.) I saw him (working out at Bank of America Stadium Wednesday) and I said, 'Every time I see you you're in here' and he said, 'Mr. Richardson, I'm going to be in here every time. And I'm going to beat the odds.' And I believe him.
Q: How did you react when you heard Indianapolis fired president Bill Polian, Carolina's general manager when you started the team?
RICHARDSON: I'm not the right person to ask about that. Q: I'd like to throw out some names and ask your opinion. Wide receiver Brandon LaFell? RICHARDSON: I think he's got great potential and I think David Gettis does as well.
Q: Armanti Edwards?
RICHARDSON: He's in a strange spot because he's not getting a chance to play, primarily because of the two guys we brought in from the Chargers. We're not going to know until he gets playing time, real playing time.
Q: Chris Gamble?
RICHARDSON: I think he's extraordinary. His tackling's improved. I think our whole team's tackling has to improve.
Q: Sherrod Martin?
RICHARDSON: What about him?
Q: What do you think about him? RICHARDSON: I think he plays safety.
Q: Steve Smith?
RICHARDSON: He was fabulous.
Q: DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart?
RICHARDSON: I can't imagine that you could have two better running backs for our team from those two.
Q: Jeff Otah?
RICHARDSON: I think the ball really is in his court. We put him on IR this year at our own risk. We possibly could have held on and gotten him playing time. But we wanted to see if he really can be the player that we hope he can be. So far they're telling me he's working out and doing what he's supposed to do.
Q: Jack Del Rio, the former Carolina defensive coordinator whom Jacksonville fired as head coach in November?
RICHARDSON: He did a great job for us and since then I don't even know what his record was.
Q: What do you like about your coaching staff?
RICHARDSON: They respond to the rule changes and try to use them to their advantage. An example is the fans who drive from Wilmington and they sit there for 3 hours and we score 7 points or we score 10 points. Unless you win that's a long ride home. Conversely, if we score 35 points and we lose the game at least they've been excited and the trip isn't quite as long. We as a league want high-scoring games because that's what our customers want.
Q: A mid-level free agent you signed before the 2011 season is tight end Jeremy Shockey. How would you assess his impact?
RICHARDSON: He doesn't know how to fake anything. He's what you and I would call old-school football. I talked to him about his reputation off the field, more specifically his reputation off the field at night. And he said he had grown up. He turned out to exceed anything I would have thought. If a player made a bad play he'd almost always go to the player. I don't know what he said, but I suspect it was helpful.
Q: Will he be back?
RICHARDSON: I hope. I think it'd be a big loss to lose him.
Read more here: http://www.charlotte...y#storylink=cpy
Props to Raging Bull for posting the link
Edited by jtgreensboro, 05 January 2012 - 12:38 AM.