Comments from Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox following the team's summer school practice.
On rookie defensive end/linebacker Eric Norwood: He's a DPR - designated pass rusher - for sure. When I think of Eric the thing I think of is motor. He's relentless to the ball. He's got a good first step in his pass rush. He's built pretty strong. Even though he might be a little short in stature he's pretty well put together and he's got extremely good explosion.
On if Norwood will play more defensive end or linebacker: A little bit of both right now. I think the more a guy can do the better. He'll be an integral part of the kicking game as well as pass rushing in passing situations. We're putting him at linebacker to utilize some of his abilities there as a pass rusher when we do bring him.
On what makes Norwood an effective pass rusher: He's got real good leverage. He's got good power. He can go from speed to power pretty quick. That athleticism and that feel for that, to change direction on your way to the passer, is something that is probably under looked a little bit. Everybody looks at speed and those kinds of things. You don't want to run around the pass blocker, and he's got the ability to go through them on a straight line.
On fullback Tony Fiammetta: Jim Skipper, our running backs coach, brought him along last year. The fullback position is a pretty heads up position as far as how it fits in the running game, cleaning up for the o-line and making adjustments on the move. Tony showed that ability as the season wore on last year a lot in practice to pick that stuff up and understand what we're doing in the run game. I think he's ready to take that next step.
On how the team did after a long weekend: Good. Most of them just didn't go sit on the beach and relax. There was probably a little bit of a break, but they came back in good shape and ready to roll.
On players needing to improve from their rookie season to their second season: I think everybody does. As a football team from game one to game two, you try to get better all the time. Especially young players, there is usually a big growth spurt from year one to year two or year two to year three, and we're counting on that with a bunch of guys.
On why young players play better physically once they understand the game better mentally: This game is about playing fast. It's a lot mental, and the more you know the faster you can anticipate things happening and you end up playing faster. That's why these OTAs are important to get the young guys out here to learn the system, so by the time we get to camp and start the preseason games they are playing faster.