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Funchess "light years ahead" entering second season


CHARLOTTE – As soon as Devin Funchess was mentioned, head coach Ron Rivera perked up.

The 2015 second-round wide receiver from Michigan doesn't look like a rookie anymore. Far from it.

"Oh, he's light years ahead of where he was," Rivera said. "He's confident, he's very comfortable in our system, he understands it. He's shown his abilities, and they're really coming through very nicely.

"If you ask me who is having a good (offseason), I'd say he is."

Funchess has wowed coaches, teammates and spectators with some acrobatic catches throughout OTAs. The 6-4, 225-pounder is also making the routine plays look routine – another positive sign for the young wideout.

"It's just being more confident and more comfortable with it, knowing what I have to do and where I have to be," Funchess explained.

Funchess is building off a strong finish to his rookie year. After a hamstring injury stunted his development early last season, he gradually picked up the pace and made an impact down the stretch, catching five touchdowns in the last nine games.

That production gave him plenty of confidence, and it continues to show.

"(The game) started to slow down back in the second half of last season," Funchess said. "Everything is coming to me a lot more smoothly. Everything is second nature to me."

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