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Carolina Panthers

Rivera's remarks: WR Smith injured


Comments from Carolina Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera.

STEVE SMITH UPDATE: I'm not sure which one of the fingers. But he split that little section (webbing between fingers) there and he had to have some stitches. Once he's comfortable with it and it starts the healing process, he'll get an opportunity to get back out. I don't when it's going to be. No dislocation.

On what happened to wide receiver Steve Smith: Something to do with his finger. I'm not sure if it was dislocated or sprained, but they took him up. They want to check it out and they may get an X-ray.

It was a little concerning, but the thing I was told was they wanted to get him up and get a picture of it. We'll see. I'm not sure what happened. It obviously happened downfield somewhere, and trainers went to him immediately. Then, the next thing I knew he was heading up.

On if he was happy with the intensity of practice: Yes and no. We had our moments. We were too inconsistent, which was one of the things that we talked about, wanting to make sure we practice and play consistent. We weren't very consistent today. We had a period where we weren't as fluid as I would have liked us to have been. We made some mistakes. We turned the ball over too many times offensively. Defensively, we made some things happens and then we gave up some big throws. Just way too much inconsistency. If we are going to win in this league, we've got to be consistent.

On if quarterback Cam Newton's low throws are a product of his technique: I would say it is. (Quarterbacks coach) Mike (Shula) is going to evaluate the tape and let me know. Mike and I have talked about his techniques and the things that he does sometimes when the ball sails - not getting over his front foot, too much weight back, stuff like that. There are probably some technical aspects of his game that he's working on and trying to get better at, and it's just a matter of time.

On how the quarterbacks looked in practice: I thought Jimmy (Clausen) had a really good practice, very consistent. Cam was inconsistent - threw some nice balls and threw some balls that were a little bit late, threw off his back foot, stuff like that. Again, it's a work in progress for both of them. Derek (Anderson) got an opportunity to do some stuff today, and he threw the ball extremely well. Real pleased with that. That's a big part of the reason he's here.

On if he is ready to name a starting quarterback for the preseason opener versus the New York Giants: No. The big reason is we want these guys to continue to work. We'll start working on Giants stuff tomorrow, and probably tomorrow will be a little bit of an indicator of the direction we're headed. We're going to meet tonight as far as that is concerned in terms of who's going to play where, what the depth chart will be and what the number of plays will be.

On if it's possible that Clausen will start one game and Newton the next during the preseason: Most certainly. We want to see how each guy looks with each offensive line. It would be unfair to have one guy with the ones, one guy with the twos, one guy play against a one defense, the other guy play against a two defense and say one looks better. So we're most certainly going to mix and match, and we have to so it's a fair competition.

On what he is most looking forward to seeing in the first preseason game: To see how we handle the situation and circumstances. One of the things we talk about is maintaining our composure, and I want to see how we do that under a game situation. We've got a lot of guys that are performing well but we haven't been stressed by being in a game situation yet. That's probably the biggest thing I'm looking forward to more so than anything else.

On defensive end Eric Norwood working with the first team: Right now he's probably ahead of Everette (Brown). He's kind of established himself as a dynamic, physical player, where you see Everette with a little bit more finesse, a little bit more speed on the outside. I think both guys most certainly bring something to the table. Both guys have a unique ability to rush the passer on the edge. So it's going to be exciting to see how those guys perform when we get in a live situation.

On what defensive end Everette Brown needs to do to take his game to the next level: It goes back to consistency. You can't rush the passer great one time and then get blocked for a run around the end. That's what you're looking for. You're looking for a guy who can rush the passer and can be consistent keeping the run contained. More consistency than anything else. And it goes for us as a team. We're just not consistent enough.

On how defensive tackle Corvey Irvin is progressing: Corvey looks to have done an outstanding job in his offseason - the things that he's done, coming to camp the way he has and performing the way he has. He's earning the opportunity to be with the ones and show us what he can do come this game against the Giants.

On doing different things offensively to get the ball in playmakers' hands: One thing you don't want to do is line up where everybody knows where you're going. You don't always want to be throwing the ball to the same guy or handing it to the same guy. You also want to create different looks - stress your opponent a little bit - and that's a big part of what this offense is about. It's a great challenge for our guys because it's a lot to learn. But at the same time, they've got to be able to learn under these circumstances and they've got to be ready to play come game time. We could take the approach that it's just one thing over and over, but it does us no good because we never grow as an offense, defense or special teams.

On how a player's role on special teams affects keeping an additional player at a position: Any time you start talking about fifth or sixth receivers, third or fourth tight ends, or fifth, sixth and seventh linebackers, they have a huge role. Their role has to be able to not just contribute as a defensive or offensive player but as a special teams guy, and they've got to be at least a three or four phase guy to help you on special teams. If all you do is one thing, you're value to who we are as a team becomes limited.

On retaining defensive backfield coach Ron Meeks from the previous coaching staff: The biggest thing Ron's done for me is he knows these guys. You need somebody that knows the character and the personality, knows what these guys' hot buttons are, what it takes to get these guys going in the right direction. That's what we're getting from him.

On what intrigues him about putting wide receiver Armanti Edwards in the shotgun formation behind center: His elusiveness, his athletic ability and his ability to throw the ball. If you can put some doubt in people's mind as to what he's going to do, it's going to help you offensively. Also, Armanti can become a guy that when he comes onto the field it's not always in a Wildcat situation. Now you don't know how to prepare for him. One minute the quarterback is under center with Armanti as a wide receiver. The next thing you know Armanti is there. Is he going to run or throw it? It can add to what we want to do offensively.

On how much extra time he spent preparing for an offense with the Wildcat when he was a defensive coordinator: Too much. It really does. For a team that may only go one or two or three times, it's a huge distraction. That's why OTA's and mini-camps are so important, because that's really when you get the bulk of your work. When you get into training camp you're going to come in and flash through it a couple of times, but you really won't focus on it as much as you need to until you start look at who you're playing and if they have a history of playing the Wildcat. We'll face Miami in the preseason, and I imagine Miami will run it just because that's what they do, and everybody knows they do it. So we'll have to spend about a good 10-minute period preparing for it.

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