Tag:Ron Rivera
Posted on: March 27, 2011 5:26 pm
Edited on: March 27, 2011 10:51 pm

Rivera: 'Why can't you take a corner first?'

Posted by Will Brinson

People don't draft a cornerback with the first pick in the NFL Draft. It -- literally -- doesn't happen.

But it could change this year, if you're willing to listen to Ron Rivera, the head coach of the Carolina Panthers, who, via Dan Pompei of the National Football Post, seems to think LSU's Patrick Peterson is a viable option at No. 1.

"Why can’t you take a corner first?" Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. "A shutdown corner, or a very, very good corner who can harass the receivers, throw off their timing is important as it is because it's turning into a passing league. How is he going to impact your defense? Can it also help the offense? There are a few really good ones out there. Does he help our pass rush? Does he help get the ball back and get our offense back on the field?"

Of course, the reason no one takes a cornerback No. 1 overall is that it's tough to justify the use of salary on someone who's not guaranteed to shut off half the field.

NFL Draft
But there's a good chance that this year's No. 1 selection will be subject to a rookie wage scale. And if that's the case, then it doesn't matter nearly as much if the Panthers make history and draft Peterson with the first selection.

Or, alternately, this could just be further subterfuge by Carolina regarding what they plan to do with the top pick. Really, that may be the safest bet of all.

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Posted on: March 20, 2011 9:57 pm
Edited on: March 20, 2011 10:00 pm

Panthers won't signal what they'll do with No. 1

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Panthers coach Ron Rivera was discussing quarterbacks and the positives displayed by the cornucopia of signal-callers that will be available in April’s NFL draft. Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Mallett are some of the guys at whom the Panthers are looking.

But Rivera, who’s said that the team is really focusing on eight players for the No. 1 pick, revealed that five of them are NOT quarterbacks. Great news, by the way, for Jimmy Clausen. For now, at least.

Panthers decision

“We have a number of positions that we've identified as needs. We're trying to get to that point where we can start filling those needs as the time is appropriate,” Rivera said, via the Charlotte Observer. “If you can fill a need through free agency, we're going to do it. If we have to go through the draft, we'll do it. If we've got to make a trade, we'll do it.”

Some names thrown out there by staff writer Joe Person include defensive linemen Da’Quan Bowers (though his stock certainly had dropped since the NFL combine), Marcell Dareus and Nick Fairley. In reality, any of those players could go No. 1, though Fairley also isn’t as highly-rated as before.

Or, like Rivera said, the team could go the trade route and address another team need – like WR or CB.

“Anything's possible,” Rivera said. “We've got to finish the process and see where it all fits.”

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Posted on: March 17, 2011 11:56 pm

After strong Pro Day, Gabbert could go No. 1

Posted by Rob Rang

A strong throwing session from Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert could push him to the No. 1 overall pick.

According to a Twitter note from Dave Matter of the Columbia Daily Tribune, Gabbert completed 44 of 49 passes and characterized "at least three" of the incompletions to drops by the collection of D-II receivers organized for the workout. With Missouri having no draft-eligible receivers, he was left to rely on others, rather than former teammates to catch his passes.

A source on the scene characterized Gabbert's workout as a "8" when asked to score it on a scale of 1-10. The source pointed out some "little issues intermediate and deep." But also noted "good velocity and accuracy on the move."

Gabbert's "little issues" on deeper passes wasn't unexpected. This was a primary concern based off of the largely horizontal (rather than vertical) passing he was asked to do while operating Missouri's spread attack.

In demonstrating good footwork from under center and accuracy while on the run, Gabbert helped alleviate concerns about his ability to translate to a more traditional pro-style offense.

As expected, the Missouri Pro Day was well attended by NFL decision-makers, including Carolina head coach Ron Rivera, Jets' head coach Rex Ryan, Ravens' head coach John Harbaugh, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, Bengals' head coach Marvin Lewis, and Jaguars' head coach Jack Del Rio.

This post was cross-posted from Rob Rang's NFL Draft blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: March 7, 2011 12:52 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2011 2:45 pm

Rivera, Elway to see Newton, not Mallett Tuesday

Posted by Andy Benoit

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera and Broncos new football czar John Elway will be on hand for Cam Newton’s pro day on Tuesday. Let the rumors start flying.

Rivera’s attendance is not super significant given that the Panthers will have Newton (projected to go No. 1 overall in Rob Rang's latest mock draft) visit their facility at some point. Elway's attendance is more noteworthy given that he seems to have some hesitations about Tim Tebow.

Because Rivera and Elway are attending Newton’s pro day, he won’t get to see Ryan Mallett’s C. Newton (US Presswire)pro day. Auburn and Arkansas pro days are both slated for Tuesday.

Overlapping pro days are problematic because not only will scouts/coaches/front office execs not get to see both players (and thus compare both players), but they could also be tipping their hand to other teams. (If a team sends its GM, head coach and VP of college scouting to Newton’s workout while having its offensive coordinator and regional scouts go to Mallett (projected by Rang to go 12th to the Vikings), which player would you say they’re most interested in?)

Peter King wrote about it in Monday Morning Quarterback.

"Really drives me nuts,'' one top college scout told me Sunday. Not that there aren't going to be conflicts. But to see so many big schools loading up on such a small number of days. Today, one major school (Tulsa) has its Pro Day; next Monday, there are two (Central Michigan, LSU). Thursday, 13 major schools have Pro Days. Who plans this stuff?

I understand coaches and scouts want the weekend off.... And to get to Baton Rouge you'd have to travel on Sunday unless you were flying private. But for nobody to have noticed Mallett and Newton working out on the same day? Not good.

It doesn’t have to be this way. A little planning and coordination could take care of most conflicts. Colleges, of course, are not obligated to make their schedules convenient for the NFL. But it would be beneficial to them if they did. Obviously, the more players a college can get to the NFL, the easier it is for that college to recruit talent. The whole point of a pro day workout is to help get players to the NFL.

It’s not just about the top tier players, either. If Rivera or Elway, for example, were able to attend Mallett’s workout, they’d also get a firsthand look at the rest of Arkansas’ draft prospects. In the very least, that exposure could later be advantageous when it comes to signing undrafted free agents.

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Posted on: March 6, 2011 7:24 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2011 7:25 pm

Hot Routes 3.6.11: Are the Pats short-sighted?

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe thinks the Patriots are a bit short-sighted in the way they chose not to renegotiate a player’s contract until the final year of the old deal. He writes the club’s insistence on conducting business this way is one reason why the Patriots and All-Pro G Logan Mankins haven’t been on great terms lately. Bedard also points out that Mankins’ representation also hasn’t helped matters either.

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Posted on: February 11, 2011 2:33 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 2:35 pm

Rivera says Steve Smith part of plans 'right now'

Posted by Will Brinson

As it turns out, Carolina considered trading Steve Smith during the 2010 season. This isn't particularly shocking given the state of Carolina's team last year, but it begs the question, "What happens with Smith going forward?"

New coach Ron Rivera spoke to the Charlotte Observer's Joe Pearson on Smith's status and the plans for the wide receiver under the new regime (emphasis mine).

"We have to go through the process and see how things fit and where he sees it. It's a touchy thing," Rivera said. “We're going to have to wait until everything's cleared up and see where he is.

"But also, we've got to have our minicamp and all that when we get the opportunity and see how he fits with it, and see how it fits him and see if it's what we need and what we want, and we'll go from there. As far as I'm concerned, he's a part of what we are right now."

That makes sense -- it wouldn't behoove Rivera to come out and say that the Panthers were looking to move Smith right away. And maybe they're not trying to anyway.

It does seem logical that the Panthers, unless they plan on contending in a tough, tough NFC South in 2011, would consider moving Smith, though.

There are all sort of teams out there interested in beefing up their receiving corps, and while Smith's 2010 was entirely forgettable, he's still got a few good years ahead of him, particularly given his ability to break big plays.

Putting him in the right system, next to a big, strong wideout with a decent quarterback would probably equate to immediate rejuvenation of his career.

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Posted on: February 10, 2011 11:49 am

Hot Routes 2.10.11: Panthers the new Chargers?

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • Doug Farrar of Yahoo! Sports is whipping through a Top-40 list of NFL Draft prospects. Ryan Mallett (who checks in at No. 37) is at one point called a "statue with a cannon attached," if that makes you feel good about your team maybe drafting him. It shouldn't.
Posted on: January 27, 2011 8:32 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2011 9:29 pm

Even more thoughts on Fisher

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Here are some Fisher follow-up thoughts:

-  Just got finished doing Toronto radio, and host Bryan Hayes asked me about what Fisher will do this year. The more I talked while answering the question, the more it made sense that Fisher will not work at all.

There’s absolutely no reason for him to go to Philadelphia as the Eagles defensive coordinator, and as Foxsports.com is reporting, Fisher is going to get $8 million in 2011 not to coach Tennessee (though the Tennessean's Jim Wyatt says that number is greatly exaggerated and that the real buyout is maybe half that). At this point, why not just play golf and let your money grow in a safe investment strategy? Take a year off to recharge the batteries and see what's available in 2012.

- How in demand is Fisher going to be in 2012? Let’s see, an experienced, well-respected head coach and a guy who’s taken his team to the Super Bowl. I’d say pretty in demand.

If this year was the year of coordinators getting head coaching jobs (Ron Rivera in Carolina, Pat Shurmur in Cleveland, Hue Jackson in Oakland), 2012 could be the return of coaching big-wigs (Fisher, Jon Gruden, maybe Bill Cowher).

For teams that will have coaches on the hot seat – I’m looking at you Miami, Cincinnati, Houston, Jacksonville and San Diego – they could have a nice roster of potential new hires (if they’re willing to shell out the money, of course).

- Some player reaction has begun to filter in, including this wonderful quote from DE Jason Babin, who was upset when defensive line coach Jim Washburn left and who sent Rapid Reporter Bob McClellan this text message from the Pro Bowl in Hawaii:

 “It broke my heart when ‘Wash(burn)’ left and now they just poured salt on it. I’m going to miss that mullet.”

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com