Like the great quote from not the so great film 'The GodFather Part 3' Michael Corlene makes the comment; "Just when I think i'm out, they pull me back in." Well today I felt very similar when hearing Rivera's recent comments in a recent interview and it pertains to Brandon Lafell. Right when I think Rivera is comfortable with Lafell, he pulls me back in and makes me think otherwise.
First off, many of you already know the somewhat strange comment he made recently about how the Panthers shouldn't be thinking like Lafell that we have arrived and how we aren't out of the woods yet, (I paraphrase). So in other words Rivera seems to get the impression that Lafell seems to be entitled and how he thinks he has arrived already as a great NFL WR, again this is just my impression and sense I get.
But here is something more intresting I just stumbled upon on ESPN.com that Rivera also said in the interview when speaking about Cam and the sophmore slump; "I also think the guys around him have to continue to step up,’’ Rivera said. "Our running backs have to continue to go. I think the addition of [Mike] Tolbert gives us something extra because it’s now a fullback that’s a multitalented and versatile guy. Our tight end situation with Greg Olsen is solid. We have [Gary] Barnidge and Ben [Hartsock] sitting there -- guys that give us a different kind of look. And the continued development of our receiving corps. The young guys have got to step up, whether it’s David Gettis getting back to 100 percent, whether it’s Kealoha [Pilares] taking the next step, whether it’s Armanti [Edwards] stepping up, Darvin Adams stepping up, Joe Adams becoming a part of that.’’
Now take a minute and tell me what stands out most about the above quote.. Still cant figure it out? How about the fact that Rivera pretty much names every single offensive player on the roster minus Lafell. Now ofcourse Smitty, D Will and Jonathan Stewart did not get mentioned because they are no brainer starters for us. He mentions every single WR on the roster aside from Lafell. Tolbert? Check. Olsen, Barnidge and Hartsock? Check. Even Armanti Edwards, Darvin Adams and Joe Adams get mentioned. But nope, no Lafell. As a married man I am forced to watch the bachelorette with the wife from time to time. Well that above quote from Rivera reminded me a lot of The Bachelorette. Rivera naming off the names of the guys that get the rose while Lafell is standing out in the cold.
I have been saying for awhile now that I just get the impression Rivera isnt a fan of Lafell. I just cant quite explain it. It seemed like it was like pulling teeth for Rivera to finally give Lafell significant playing time last season. I might be thinking too much into this, but lets not forget what happened to the last guy that didnt get a honorable mention from Rivera, his name was Jason Shirley. Now im not saying Lafell will get cut of course, but I think it speaks volumes how Rivera completely snubbed him in that quote.