June 6th, 2011, 6:03 pm · Post a Comment · posted by sreed
During a recent visit to Fort Bragg, Panthers coach Ron Rivera stopped and talked to members of the media. Here is what he had to say, according to Fayetteville Observer.
Q: You’ve spent a lot of time on Army bases. What was it like being here today?
A: “It was really neat for me, personally, having grown up in the military and spending 18 years with my Dad. Then, having the opportunity to come back and give back to military is the least I could do. The thing that really struck me the most was the ’please’ and the ’thanks yous.’ People were thanking me, and I kept thinking to myself, ’Gosh, I should be thanking you folks for what you guys do.’ But it was tremendous. It brought back a lot of good memories because I really enjoyed my time growing up as Army brat.’’
Q: What was your father’s rank and job in the Army?
A: “We traveled all over, but our home base was Fort Ord (California). We were never stationed here (Fort Bragg). He was a chief warrant officer. He was an engineer, support. We did time in Panama, we did time in Germany, both coasts, Fort Lewis (Washington) and Fort Meade (Maryland).’’
Q: Your players conducted a workout on their own earlier this week. How did that make you feel?
A: “Honestly, I’m very proud of them. Just the fact guys have stepped and shown some leadership and taken ownership, which I think is very important. I think it’s part of growing as a team. When you have a piece of you invested in things I think you tend to make more of a commitment, and that’s what these guys have done. They had 54 guys out there, and that’s outstanding.’’
Q: What does it say that Cam Newton showed up for that workout?
A: “I think it says a lot that the young guys get an opportunity to come in and be part of what they’re trying to establish right now for the Carolina Panthers. I think that was huge and it was very important. I understand a couple of other young guys were there and that was important.’’
Q: How frustrating is it that you have to find out from other people how what your team is doing?
A: “It is tough. But I understand. This is the business aspect that basically the owners and players and trying to get taken care of.’’
Q: The longer this lockout goes, though, are you starting to look at the calendar and realize how much work you have to do?
A: “I am anxious about this, most certainly. But everybody will have the same set of circumstances. We just have to make sure when we do get together we do it the right way and we’re ready to go when the times comes.’’
Q: When this thing is over, obviously, free agency will be open. What are the big things you need to take care of right away?
A: “Well, I think there are a couple of positions we most certainly need to make sure there are some good veteran depth there. We’re going to look at some of the defensive positions. We made a couple of moves here in the draft, but we’d still like to see if we can find a veteran defensive line guy who could help us. You look at our linebackers and we’ve got a couple of guys who are coming back after injuries, so we’ve got to see if there’s potentially a veteran guy we could bring in. The same thing with the defensive back position. Offensively, we feel pretty comfortable with our offensive line and our running back situation. We’ve got to resolve the wide receiver position and see how all that unfolds once this is done. Our quarterback position is what it is right now. We’ve got to talk about where we want to head as far as the veteran back up is concerned.’’
Q: Are you planning the wide receiver position without Steve Smith?
A: “We’re planning, when this all breaks, to sit down and visit and come to a decision. One thing I did tell Steve is we’ll make a decision we feel is best for the team, and at the same time keeping in serious consideration what’s best for him as well. I don’t want to put words in his mouth. It might be in his mind (to leave), it might not. I do know we had a great conversation. He was honest and and forthright. He did kind of leave me at a point where I was wondering exactly where did he want to go with this. But I’ll wait until we can sit down and talk when the time comes.’’