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Rivera's remarks: Bell, Connor ready

Comments from Carolina Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera.

On the status of tackle Jeff Otah: Jeff did not participate (in practice); we're listing him as doubtful.

On linebacker Jon Beason: Jon Beason's surgery went very well, so we're real excited about that. That was a plus.

On the recovery time for an Achilles injury: I'm not sure on that but I know guys have come back in less than a year.

On if he hopes to have Beason back for training camp next year: Absolutely. That's the hope.

On having someone like Dan Connor to step in at middle linebacker: To be honest with you, that's a huge plus for us. Again as I said though, it will be middle linebacker by committee. Dan does some things very, very well. Other things he's not quite as good at, but it gives us an opportunity to have somebody else play that position. Our first- and second-down guy will be Dan. Short-yardage and goal-line will be Dan. Then when we get to sub packages it will be James Anderson. I feel very confident in both of those guys in terms of their abilities. One thing that we're really also going to be missing is that emotional leader. Other guys will have to step up.


On if rookie Byron Bell is ready to start at right tackle: I believe so if it does come to fruition. He's had a good week; he's been working hard. The thing that's been good to see so far is the guys around him have stepped up. That's what you usually hope will happen. When you lose somebody, the guys around them step up. That would be a good thing for us.

On if the Panthers would need to help chip with Bell: You can chip; you can line the tight end up to that side; you can put the fullback over in that direction. There's a whole bunch of things that people will do. And not necessarily because of the individual that's in there but really schematically, also. You've got to look at what they do and who typically lines up to that side and where they typically run their pressures. Do they favor running pressures to that side? There are so many things that you have to look at in terms of what your gameplan is. We could do those things but we would do those things on the other side as well.

On how close Armanti Edwards is to cracking the wide receiver rotation: We have five receivers - three of them are wide receivers and two of them are tight ends. It's not like we do a lot of four (wide) receiver packages. And that's the thing that a lot of people don't understand. Based on who we have and how we use them, we're not going to use a lot of four wide receiver packages. I think necessity right now dictates that we can go three wide outs, two tight ends and be successful with that as well.

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