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Rivera's remarks: Anderson to compete, teach


Comments from Carolina Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera.

On where things stand with free agent quarterback Derek Anderson: (General manager) Marty Hurney right now is in the throes of working that deal out. We met with Derek this morning; it went very well; and I think Marty is visiting with his agent right now. Something should be forthcoming.

On what he likes about Anderson and what his role will be: As we get Derek here, we are going to go through and see where he is in terms of the system and we'll go from that point. The only thing I've always said is we're going to compete at that position for sure. He'll become part of a competition.

On if he spoke to Anderson about being a role model and teacher for the team's young quarterbacks: Without a doubt. And he talked about it as well, having done that when he was in Arizona last season. He understands the situation and the set of circumstances. But at the same, I told Derek that's no reason to accept a back seat. So I think his whole approach, his whole attitude about everything is he's going to come in and compete, and that's what I told him I wanted him to do.

On Anderson's familiarity with the offense, having played for offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski previously: Chud obviously goes back to the year (2007) that he had when he was with him in Cleveland and the success that they had up until he got injured. Chud spoke very highly of his abilities. We had an opportunity and watch tape on him from when he played last season and visit with him. The conversation was very good and what we watched on tape was good.

On if Anderson will have to wait until Aug. 4 to practice: Unfortunately, yes. As you know, we have a number of guys like that. As I've told the young guys, now is a chance to take advantage of this opportunity, so that's how we'll approach it.

On why quarterback Tony Pike did not practice: Tony is a medical (situation) right now. Whatever the situation is, I'll be apprised on that when I get in.

On if Pike's injury is related to last season's season-ending arm injury: I'm not going to talk about that until I get a chance to visit with (head athletic trainer) Ryan (Vermillion). So we'll go from there.

On if the Panthers would need to bring in a fourth quarterback in addition to Anderson if Pike is going to be out for a significant amount of time: That's something that we would have to look at in terms of our total numbers. Again, I'll visit with Marty on that situation once we get apprised from Ryan and his folks.

On using the walkthroughs to get things installed: It changes the way you practice basically. Normally, you'd have a morning practice where you're in pads and then you'd have an evening padded practice. Now that you can't with the rules change, we're using this practice as a teaching tempo more so than anything else where the coaches are really getting involved with their players as they're going through the motions in terms of their movements pre-snap and then their movements after the snap. I think it's pretty good. It also gives our special teams a chance to slow down and go through the way they're going to practice in the afternoon. So we're trying to take full advantage of that.

On guard Duke Robinson: I'm very happy with Duke. Duke came in, he passed our conditioning test. He's practiced very well, doing a lot of good things for us, and we're excited for him. I think he's a young man that if he continues to work hard and keep doing the things that we need done, he can be a benefit for us.

On Robinson's commitment: He's been very committed. I think the big thing is he's got to mature. He's a young man, and as he grows and matures and becomes a football player, he can be a guy that can help us.

On his role in the defense with defensive coordinator Sean McDermott: So far, Sean is doing the installations. I'll be involved as we get into the game planning. For the most part, Sean is in control and Sean will handle the defensive side. He and I will work together; we'll talk about things because we share in philosophy. We both grew up in the same system for the most part. The one thing is Sean asked me about having input, and I told him I'd be more than happy to visit with him on things and make sure we go through how we want to attack our opponents.

On having a healthy Jeff Otah: All you've got to do is put the tape on and watch the '09 season versus the '10 season and you see a huge difference in what this offensive line can be and what we can accomplish as an offensive football team. Two seasons ago you had two guys rush for 1,100 yards. I think we have an opportunity to get ourselves back in that position. The running back combination we have with what we want to do offensively, I think it can help us tremendously. Again, I think Jeff's got the kind of abilities that you're looking for in an NFL football player. All you've got to do is go back and watch the tape.

On what he sees when he watches Otah on tape: I see a big, powerful, physical football player. I see an aggressive, attacking offensive front. Last year, things were different obviously because of certain situations. But when he's on the football field, it helps that group of guys, and I think their mentality, their focus is a little bit different, too.

On why cornerback Chris Gamble did not practice: He had a stomach illness.

On how important Gamble is to the defense: A cover corner is very important to what we want to do. It's one of the six core players you have to have on defense. Hopefully, this is just a little setback in terms of his health, the stomach illness.

On if he talked to Gamble about putting his 2010 season behind him: I basically had a conversation with everybody about that, and he heard that. We're coming in, and there are no perceived notions about anybody. I think that's the most important thing. Everybody's coming in with the attitude that the slate is clean and you have an opportunity to show us what you're capable of.

On if recently signed draft choice Terrell McClain is subject to an acclimation period before he can practice: There's not a sit out period . I think there's just the helmet issue, so we have to find that out. Depending on what the rules are, we'll most certainly abide by them.

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