Wide receiver Jarius Wright is entering his second season with the Panthers after making 43 catches for 447 yards and a touchdown last season.
How has it been to have Cam Newton out on the practice field?
You know, it’s really good to be able to have Cam out there throwing. It’s very encouraging. Especially after everything, not so much we went through, but everything he went through as a quarterback. Wanting to play. Wanting to help the team. Not being able to because of his shoulder. Everything he went through. It’s good to see, not only your quarterback back up and doing good, but a friend.
How much did you know about his injury last year?
You know, we knew he was hurting. He told us he was hurting. But, you know, a guy who’s knowingly hurt and he knows that he can only do so much. Going out there each and every Sunday and putting it on the line for us… you can’t say enough great things about a guy like that.
How did it impact his velocity?
I wish I could tell you but I’m not in his head. So, I can’t exactly tell you. I mean, if you ask me, he’s throwing with some velocity. His fundamentals. I’m not a quarterback coach. This is all my opinion. Let me throw that out there too. But if you ask me, he’s doing great with his fundamentals. He’s throwing the ball with some zip.”
Does it give you confidence that he's playing during camp?
It’s good, man. It’s good. It’s encouraging. The way the offense has come out and played is very encouraging. We have a great defense. If we can move the ball on our defense and we can get good players on our defense, then we should be able to do it against anyone in the league.
How have the receivers adjusted to the offense?
Man, I’ve been with Norv (Turner) for about five or six years. Really, I’ve been with Norv probably most of my career. So, as far as me adjusting, I know. I know the offense. I know when he calls a play, what he’s calling a play for. What we’re trying to get done on plays. So, it’s all about me being able to help use my knowledge with the younger guys and help bring them along faster. In this league, you’re only a rookie for so long. Even though you may be a rookie, you might have to grow up fast.
How would you assess Curtis Samuel's improvements?
You know, he’s always been quick, he’s always been fast. Just he’s gotten a lot better at his route running and also great hands. Some of the catches he’s been making are just great catches. And you know, he’s still a young player and getting older, so it’s only room to grow for a guy like that.
Do you feel out of place with this young wide receiver group?
You know, sometimes when you’re messing with other guys it could be tough, but you know, with guys like DJ (Moore) and Curtis (Samuel) they mesh in so well. They embrace having me as an older guy. You know, I actually think they enjoy having me. But you know with guys like that it’s so easy. I might go tell them something and they don’t take it any way, they don’t get pissed off, they don’t act like, 'Oh I’m not listening,' and turn their back. They listen. And then I see them try to do it on the next round, on the next play. That shows me that what I’m telling them they’re trying to implement. It’s not hard with those guys. They make it really easy on me.
Does this team need a No. 1 wide receiver?
You know, the ball is being spread around. There’s no one, you know everybody is like, 'Who’s the number one wide receiver?' Everybody is going to be in this offense. From the running back all the way to the third and fourth receiver, whoever’s in at tight end, if Greg (Olsen)’s in, if Greg’s out, it’s whoever. The ball is spread around. There’re no selfish guys. It’s not a selfish type of offense. There’s no 'Throw me the ball on this one play,' because whoever’s open, that’s who Cam (Newton)’s gonna throw the ball to.