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New coaches, newcomers impress


How would you rate the coaching staff that Coach Ron Rivera has assembled? – John in Charlotte

Before you hear from little old me, here's what first-year general manager Dave Gettleman had to say on the matter.

"I'm really pleased," Gettleman said. "They're teachers, which is huge in this business. A lot of times, these kids come out of college, and they're not fundamentally sound and they need work. We have to train these guys. Ron's staff is loaded with very good teachers."

The additions this offseason have only served to strengthen the staff. Both running backs coach Jim Skipper and assistant special teams coach Bruce DeHaven have 26 seasons of NFL experience. That's invaluable. On the other end of the spectrum, wide receivers coach Ricky Proehl once shared the huddle with Steve Smith, and quarterbacks Ken Dorsey did the same with Derek Anderson. Their mix of youthful exuberance and football IQ has energized their respective rooms. They, along with new linebackers coach Al Holcomb (pictured above), are good at getting their points across and then getting out of the way and letting the players do their thing.

Just wondering if you could tell me how our local guy, A.J. Klein is doing in camp? – Dave in Kimberly, Wisc.

The Panthers' 2013 fifth-round draft pick, who hails from Kimberly (population 6,468), is off to a solid start. Klein (also pictured above) is taking advantage of the extra reps he's had with the starting linebackers in the absence of Jon Beason and Thomas Davis. Klein's most direct path to playing time as a rookie will be on special teams, but the time he's spent on the field with Luke Kuechly will have him as prepared as possible if circumstances call for him to play defense. He is listed second at strongside linebacker on the team's initial depth chart.

Hey Bryan, I've heard a ton about the new TE Brandon Williams. Do you think he is worth the hype? – Matt in Kokomo, Ind.

There's a place called Kokomo, as the Beach Boys crooned a quarter-century ago, but it's not off the Florida keys. It's in Indiana.

You may not be aware that Williams is from a neighboring coastal paradise - Illinois. He is off to a strong start at camp, especially considering that he hadn't played football for more than two years, even before a knee injury sidelined him for organized team activities. He more recently played basketball, and the likes of Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez and Jimmy Graham have crossed my mind while watching him. Obviously I'm not saying he's in their category, but I will say his potential has me fascinated. You can read about his unlikely path to this point on

I'm coming to the first preseason game. What is this about only clear bags allowed in the stadium? – Mary Louise in Sheffield, Ala.

The NFL is implementing a policy at all of its stadiums to make the process of getting to your seat speedier and safer. To that end, the size and scope of bags allowed into the stadium, starting with Friday's game against the Chicago Bears, is now limited. You can find out what is and isn't allowed, but my best advice would be to come empty-handed. It's no fun lugging a lot of stuff around, and your hands will be free for trips to the concession stand and celebrations following each Panthers' trip to the end zone.

Just wanted to be among the first to say Panthers Camp Daily is sweet! A tremendous addition to the website and a awesome plus for fans. Especially us fans from across the nation! – Craig in Omaha, Neb.

Craig, I'll credit you with being the very first to share such kind words, especially since I believe I received your email approximately 27 seconds after the debut episode went off the air. Camp Daily is the latest way to get Panthers news fresh and fast. For those who haven't checked it out, there are two more chances before training camp wraps up: tonight at 8 and Monday night at 7 only on

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