Comments from Carolina Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera.
On who will start at quarterback at the Cincinnati Bengals: We're going to start Cam (Newton) this Thursday against Cincinnati. What it will do is give us an opportunity to see how he'll handle the whole game experience, and we'll go from there. But he will start on Thursday as we go through this mock game week.
On if that makes
On if Newton will play three quarters against the Bengals: Yes. We're going to play three quarters, probably, with Cam, depending on things go, obviously. We're going to use a game plan. (Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski) Chud will script it as if it was a regular week and utilize the things that we're going to use for this game. We're not looking toward Arizona; we're looking toward Cincinnati as an opponent. So we're not doing anything for future reference; we're doing everything for now.
On what he wants to see out of Newton in the third preseason game: The thing he has got to continue to do is he has got to make good decisions. We had an opportunity to break the tape down and really saw some good things. It didn't show, obviously, but the biggest thing was he was making good decisions. Any time you see the guy make the decisions that you're supposed to make, the next part of it is delivering the ball on time, the next part of it is hitting the receiver in stride. His big thing that has to improve is his mechanics, and that is one thing that has actually been surprisingly good. I think that's the one thing he's getting better at. If you put the tape on and watch his mechanics from the game to what it was our first day of camp, you would go, "Wow." That was one of the nice things talking to (quarterbacks coach) Mike Shula about him was that mechanically he has gotten better. There is a lot of promise. What we need to see though is consistency, also.
On if the defensive starters also will play three quarters: It will be the same thing on the defense. We're game planning how we would play this team. So that's what defensive coordinator Sean McDermott will do on the defensive side of the ball.
On being in a game week mode at home instead of preparing from training camp: Tomorrow will be a much better indicator. Today was to finalize the Miami stuff, to go through the tape with the guys in the morning, and then in the afternoon, this practice, was to go through the mistakes that we made - mentally correct and physically correct those things. Starting tomorrow, we'll start focusing on Cincinnati and the way a regular game week preparation will be. So I'm looking forward to that experience as far as this team is concerned, to see how we handle that and see if it is a distraction.
On getting defensive end
On if Hardy is a starter or pass-rush specialist: Yes, he's an every down defensive end for us. He'll work himself back into shape, and when he's ready to go he'll be one of our starting defensive ends.
On if Hardy will be ready for Week 1 of the regular season: We hope so. We're going to work him like that. The nice thing is the last couple of weeks what he has been doing other than rehabbing is he has been doing his conditioning. So today did not look like it affected him that much. We'll see how he is tomorrow and how sore he is, because this is the first time he did any football work. So it will be important to gauge that.
On if he has some flexibility with defensive end
On if guard
On wide receiver
On how concerning is it that linebacker
On running back