Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and coach Ron Rivera didnt need to be apprised Wednesday of recent comments by former Panthers receiver Brandon LaFell.
Newton and Rivera demurred when asked about LaFell, now with New England, saying the Patriots work a little harder than the Panthers.
Thats Brandon, said Newton, who added hes happy for LaFell and his new three-year, $9 million contract with the Patriots. If thats how he feels, thats how he feels.
I will always say I beg to differ. But thats just me talking. ... I feel as if the Carolina Panther way is we dont do too much talking. We have to prove it.
LaFell, who was drafted by the Panthers in 2010 and played his first four seasons with Carolina, said last week he was impressed with how New England quarterback Tom Brady demands the most out of the offense. When the Patriots signed him in March, LaFell said he meant no disrespect to Newton but he was glad to be able to play with a future Hall of Fame quarterback.
The way we work, the way we practice, is all new (to me), LaFell said last week. Its not like we didnt work hard in Carolina, but we work a little harder here.
Rivera didnt say much, either.
Thats fine. Hes in New England. Thats his opinion, Rivera said. Im not going to comment on a guy whos not here anymore. I love the guy, he was a great player for us, and you move on.
I think we work hard. I think we do exactly what we need to do. We do things were supposed to when we come out to practice and we work to get better.
Neither Newton or Rivera have been with the Patriots, but Panthers safety Roman Harper has. In 2010 and 2012, the Patriots would practice against the Saints Harpers former team before they played a preseason game.
He said he didnt see anything special about the way New England practiced compared to New Orleans or Carolina.
(Practicing hard) doesnt guarantee you any wins at the end of the day, Harper said. That doesnt guarantee you anything. It guarantees you opportunity that you might have a chance. Ive actually practiced against the Patriots. They practice just like pretty much everybody else. Its nothing too crazy. I know New Orleans practices hard. I feel competitiveness-wise, we definitely get after it (in Carolina). We compete every day.
Jones: 704-358-5323; Twitter: @jjones9
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