Robert E. Smith, Jr. – Four Questions/Answers with Panthers Fans
Question 1: Who is the ‘x factor’ in Sunday night’s game between Carolina and Pittsburgh?
Thomas Dixon: Kevin Benjamin. Newton needs a reliable target to throw the ball to. Benjamin is the best wide receiver on the roster.
Brad Edwards: Johnathon Stewart. His size and speed can create a problem for the Steelers defense especially when he is able run off tackle.
Question 2: What is the Panthers’ main weakness heading into Sundays game against the Pittsburgh Steelers?
Thomas Dixon: I would say lack of depth at wide receiver. Outside of Kevin Benjamin and Jericho Cotchery, none of the others receivers scare a defense.
Brad Edwards: The offensive line for sure. Cam Newton has been hit more than any other quarterback since entering the league. His ribs are already injured and he can’t afford to take extra hits.
Question 3: Who on the Pittsburgh Steelers team do you fear the most?
Thomas Dixon: Antonio Brown. The guy is a dual threat at receiver and punt return. Very shifty and has sure hands.
Brad Edwards: Ben Roethlisberger without a doubt. He has been productive for so long and knows how to read any defense.
Question 4: When you think of Steelers football what comes to mind?
Thomas Dixon: A physical team who now has speed on both sides of the football.You know you are in for a smash mouth game playing the Steelers
Brad Edwards: A team that will bring it for 60 minutes. A team that is well coached and knows how to stop the run and pressure the quarterback.
Christina Rivers’ – What the Carolina Panthers are saying about the matchup
Carolina head coach Ron Rivera on the Panthers’ running back situation:
Against Detroit – DeAngelo Williams (thigh), fullback Mike Tolbert (injured in-game), Fozzy Whittaker (quad) – leaving just Jonathan Stewart at RB.
“Mike is OK,” Rivera said on Monday. “We’ll see how he progresses with his treatment. He kind of hyperventilated on the field because he couldn’t get a clean gasp of air. He’s pretty sore because he took a nice shot to the sternum.”
Whittaker pulled his quad, and Rivera classified the injury as “week-by-week.”
Williams is expected to return to practice this week. “DeAngelo is looking pretty good,” Rivera said. “We’ll see how he is on Wednesday on the practice field.”
Center Ryan Kalil on Panthers’ offensive front:
“I think we have a good enough group to have a good running game, but I don’t think we’ve been consistent enough to make that go,” Kalil said. “We just have to be better. We can’t have a, ‘My bad,’ from one guy on one play and another, ‘My bad,’ on the next play. A lot of it is just not communicating properly, and that is something we can work on and get better at.”
Head coach Ron Rivera regarding safety position:
“We like to rotate based on situations.”
In Week 1, Charles Godfrey played 71 percent of the defensive snaps at strong safety, with Roman Harper playing just 34 percent. In Week 3, Harper played 90 percent and Godfrey just 10 percent.