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Ron Rivera would choose a blocker over a receiver

New England Patriots v Carolina Panthers Getty Images

The Panthers held their pre-draft press conference on Tuesday and, like every other team, they mostly played it coy about their intentions in May.

General Manager Dave Gettleman acknowledged the need for offensive tackle and wide receiver help, but said he wouldn’t be bound by positional need if a “blue goose” came along at a different position. Coach Ron Rivera was a bit more forthcoming about what direction he would go if given a choice between the team’s two biggest needs.

I think protecting [quarterback Cam Newton],” Rivera said, via Steve Reed of the Associated Press. “You have so many opportunities to get playmakers on the field. Other than the quarterback there are five other guys who can make plays for you. I think right now what we’ve done is bring in guys who have the ability to make plays for us. I feel very comfortable with that.”

Rivera may not feel as comfortable with the team’s receivers as he claims, but it’s got to be more comfortable than he feels about the prospect of playing with better receivers and no Newton. The Panthers’ goose, regardless of color, would likely be cooked if Newton missed any significant time and that’s as good a reason to find some blocking as you need.

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23 Responses to “Ron Rivera would choose a blocker over a receiver”
  1. jjb0811 says: Apr 29, 2014 4:04 PM

    QB’s make WR’s not the other way around. Draft line!

  2. ill42 says: Apr 29, 2014 4:09 PM

    All the talk has been about WRs but O-line is a WAY bigger need in Car right now.

  3. micknangold says: Apr 29, 2014 4:13 PM

    If your two best options are Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant, you’ve got some big problems. They’re excellent supporting cast, but they’re not top options by any stretch of the imagination. Might be they want to make a move and draft a big time receiver, or think one they really like will fall to them, but they must be pretty convinced that’s the case, or they think they can just trot anybody out there at wideout.

  4. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 29, 2014 4:14 PM

    Most of the linemen in the draft have better hands than the Panther’s receivers anyway.

  5. officialgame says: Apr 29, 2014 4:20 PM

    Ron comes from the Andy Reid school of thought. You know the guy who went but lost 4 Championship round games with the likes of James Thrash and Freddie Mitchell.

  6. motsuret06 says: Apr 29, 2014 4:21 PM

    The Panthers current receivers are among the worst in the entire NFL. It would not take much to upgrade from the castoffs they have at present and young players will have to step up and shine now if they are to succeed. They have no time for a four or five year development project at receiver.

  7. geegumby says: Apr 29, 2014 4:26 PM

    I say draft BPA, we can use everything but a Q

  8. geegumby says: Apr 29, 2014 4:27 PM

    *everything but a QB and MLB

  9. micknangold says: Apr 29, 2014 4:34 PM

    Quarterbacks do NOT make wide receivers. You need to have a competent QB, and competent pass catchers. Look at Tom Brady’s early season struggles this year for proof of that, although Brady has been excellent with and without great receiving talent. Just undeniably better when he has more talent to work with. For a bit of history (Sticking just to guys drafted since the 80s):

    Montana & Young: Rice, Taylor (Montana also had Roger Craig out of the backfield)
    Marino: Clayton, Duper
    Kelly: Reed, Lofton, (and Thomas out of the backfield)
    Aikman: Irvin
    Manning: Harrison, Wayne, Thomas, Decker

    Rich Gannon was a so-so QB before he got to play with Tim Brown and Jerry Rice. Then he was the MVP.

    Kurt Warner was awful – truly, truly awful – on the Giants, but when he got to play with receivers who knew which end was up, he was a superstar. He wasn’t any less pinpoint accurate on the Giants, was he? That’s his greatest attribute – he threw everything on a dime, and made it easy for receivers like Bruce, Holt, Fitzgerald, and Boldin to just catch and run. Marshall Faulk is also arguably the greatest pass catching running back of all time. Doesn’t mean Warner wasn’t great, though. Just goes to show that a QB needs receivers like a fries need ketchup.

    A more recent example: Tony Romo has had an abundance of talent to play with – Terrell Owens, Jason Witten, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin – all guys who have been All-Pro or Pro-Bowl. Clearly Witten, Owens, and Bryant do not owe that to Romo, who’s a fine QB in his own right. Austin is very athletically gifted and could be productive when healthy on just about any team. Did Tony Romo make him? The other way around? Who really knows.

    Brett Favre is sort of an exception. His numbers were always gaudy, and he never really played with any superstars at receiver, nor did he have a great back other than Green. But he played with plenty of competent wide receivers who could’ve started on a number of teams, so it’s not like they’d have been nothing without him.

    TL;DR: QBs don’t make WRs, and WRs don’t make QBs. They make each other.

  10. djscottyb says: Apr 29, 2014 4:42 PM

    Fries need ketchup.

    If you dip in Mayonaisse or a Frosty, that’s like having Cotchery and Avant as receivers.

    Carolina needs ketchup!

    (Damn it! Now I’m hungry!)

  11. Straight Cash Homie says: Apr 29, 2014 4:54 PM

    So in other words they’re picking WR.

  12. qdog112 says: Apr 29, 2014 5:06 PM

    If Gettleman hadn’t run off Gross, Hangartner and Wharton, he’d have adequate blocking and we could take a top notch WR first.

    Both Rivera and Cam should be concerned about the Gettleman Plan. Letting 18 players go, off a 12-4 team is incredibly insane.

  13. tahnoonzee says: Apr 29, 2014 5:21 PM

    they actually should think about drafting a QB in the first round instead.

  14. rhinojr says: Apr 29, 2014 5:24 PM

    I hope the Panthers brass doesn’t think that Cam can MAKE a receiver because that WONT happen. He is not an accurate passer – That’s a FACT.

    Once the Panthers pay Cam it is basically over bed/ there won’t be enough Cap Space…

    Seriously, who is gonna catch passes for this team?

    Marvin McNutt….

  15. ncphinsfan says: Apr 29, 2014 6:34 PM

    The Panthers have very good WR’s… Oh wait, I was thinking of last year. This will be a painful year for them as the Falcons snap back from taking last year off. This coming from a fan of neither team.

  16. rando74 says: Apr 29, 2014 7:06 PM

    Yeah because came newton needs more blocking protection. He needs more time to run around and throw to nobody. Smh

  17. my1voice57 says: Apr 29, 2014 7:20 PM

    I originally thought that O-Line was going to be the choice for the first pick but now more than ever I think that the pick will be a WR. Rivera would likely not have answered the question about which one he would prefer over the other. In looking at the available OT’s by the time Carolina picks at 28, there isn’t likely to be one that they can just plug & play immediately. Conversely, the potential available WR’s at 28 could.

    I think that whatever OT they choose at 28 will be a longer term project and quite frankly I’m not convinced that they would initially be better than Byron Bell.

    JUST SOME FOOD FOR THOUGHT!!!

  18. drs12522 says: Apr 29, 2014 7:46 PM

    My mock draft has Carolina taking WR Donte Moncrief (Mississippi) in the first round and OT Antonio Richardson (TN) in the 2nd round. If they want a top rated WR, I have Cooks going at 27 to NO. They could probably jump up to 21 by trading with GB. I have Marqise Lee going at 22 to PHIL. They could trade with CHI(14), PITT(15), DALL(16) or BAL(17) to get ahead of the NYJ at 18, where I have Beckham going. If PHIL likes one of these guys much better than Moncrief, it might be worth a 3rd round pick. The draft prospects get iffy toward the bottom third of the 2nd round. I don’t see PHIL getting ahead of the NYG at 12(Evans) or TB at 7(Watkins). JAC at 3 might bite for a first and second round pick. They have so many needs.

  19. darrellpotts2014 says: Apr 30, 2014 12:18 AM

    As long as the reciever has size, then I am satisfied. Preferably 6-3…but above 6Ft will do. I say go WR or CB in round 1. Then double up on OLs. We can really address reciever again, LB, & CB in later rounds. This is a good time to build depth at each position. The rookies will have to develope fast, but it is possible

  20. houston0220 says: Apr 30, 2014 12:36 AM

    If there isn’t enough protection to give Cam time, then what’s the point of good receivers? This is a deep WR class, panthers can get a good WR second and/or third round. Here’s some historical examples just from the panthers administration. Jordan gross was a great first round pick. Rae Carruth was also first round, and was a terrible pick (he never produced), Steve Smith was taken in the third round that same Draft as Carruth, and we all know how Smitty turned out.
    There you have it folks.

  21. panthergf says: Apr 30, 2014 11:51 AM

    We need a LT but at 28 I am not sure out of those 9 to 10 OT and WR that Gettleman graded as 1st round prospects that there will be a LT he has a first round grade on if you count all the ones that will be taken early.

    He made it clear he is going BPA for CB, OT, WR but I wouldn’t count out taking a Guard if its BPA though if we did go O-Line. Voth had a quote the other day that said you don’t take RT in the first round and most the OT that will fall at 28 won’t be able to step in as a LT and would more then likely go to RT to start.

    I would look for WR or CB if he goes by those 9 to 10 players he said he gave 1st round grades to if hes going BPA. I just doubt one of those LT falls to 28 as much as I would like one. Wish they would just trade back to early 2nd gain more picks due to how late in the first we sit.

  22. jgedgar70 says: Apr 30, 2014 12:31 PM

    houston0220 says:
    Apr 30, 2014 12:36 AM
    Steve Smith was taken in the third round that same Draft as Carruth, and we all know how Smitty turned out.
    _____
    Carruth was the first-round pick (#27) in 1997. He had a very good rookie year, was injured most of his second, and spent his third plotting the demise of his baby mama. Smith was drafted in the third round in 2001. That year, Dan Morgan was our first-round pick and Kris Jenkins our second-rounder. We also got Jarrod Cooper in round 5, who was a good DB for a few years until he ran afoul of the law. We went 1-15 that year, but got some good players out of that draft.

  23. virgiltab says: Apr 30, 2014 1:17 PM

    Thank God none of you are a GM of an NFL franchise!! Go Get’m Gettlemen.

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