Apparently, our fearless leader likes what he saw over the weekend, particularly from our draft picks. In his comments on the Panther site, BAMF speaks about the players performances individually, and how he feels after his first OTA with this year's rookies. He does admit that he still needs to review film and compare notes with the other coaches and Hurney, but he's not holding back on his initial evaluations.
Coach Rivera discusses the importance of special teams, including the hiring of Richard Rodgers to help coach them up. He also talks in more general terms about performance of the PFAs (Priority Free Agents), and other relevant topics. I would encourage you to check out the article, but if all you want to know is what Rivera said about the draft picks, then just read more...
... after the jump
On Luke Kuechly:
I was very pleased with what we got out of (linebacker) Luke (Kuechly). Luke played inside and outside for us this week. At the same, he showed that he is a sharp football player
No real surprise there. We knew he was sharp, but it's reassuring nonetheless.
On Amini Silatolu:
(Guard) Amini (Silatolu), he had a slow start, but today he looked like he was starting to get it and understand. So that was a huge plus.
That's much better news than we got yesterday. I'm glad the big guy's coming around.
On Frank Alexander:
Very, very pleased with what (defensive end) Frank (Alexander) gave us. You saw the quickness, the explosiveness that led to him being the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. He did some really nice things.
That's some pretty effusive praise for someone many think was the biggest question mark in the draft. It makes me very happy.
On Joe Adams:
Very pleased with (wide receiver/punt returner)
Joe Adams. He caught pretty much everything that was punted to him. One thing that you would like to see him do is work a little bit more on his receiving abilities. Because once that ball is in his hands, he is a dynamic player. We saw it a couple of times today. He caught a couple of slants and quick ins over the middle, and there were some really good things that caught your attention. If we can get the ball in his hands on the offensive side of the ball with his ability to make people miss, you've got some plays that can be made.
This is starting to be music to my ears... already moving beyond just the return expectations and showing flashes as a WR. Fantastic.
On Josh Norman:
Really good with what we got out of (cornerback)
Josh Norman. I thought Josh looked very good, very solid. A corner with that kind of size and those long arms, he really flashed for us today.
Onward and upward we climb. There's a battle brewing for the #2 CB slot.
How about Brad Nortman:
I really liked what we saw out of (punter) Brad (Nortman). Brad boomed the ball. I think his average hang time was anywhere between 4.8 and 5.2 (seconds). So there are some positives as far as that's concerned.
You draft a Punter, that's what you want to see. Good show, Badger.
And finally, D.J. Campbell:
We liked what we got out of (safety)
D.J. Campbell. He did a nice job, showed that he's a smart football player. But one of the things that we are watching is his play on special teams. With the limited drills that we are allowed to do, I thought he handled those very well.
That's all you can expect from your final pick.
I know these are the very early returns, and as such we shouldn't read too much into it. Nevertheless, for BAMF to single out every draft pick and give his honest evaluation ... well, it inspires hope: Hope for the rookie draft picks, and hope for us as fans. Hope leads to dreams of success, and if you can dream it, you can achieve it. GO PANTHERS!!