Carolina Panthers rookie receiver Devin Funchess knows what he did wrong on a few dropped passes last week against Seattle, and says he feels like it’s easily correctable.
Funchess, Carolina’s second-round pick, said he was focused too much on getting yards after the catch rather than actually catching the ball when he dropped as many as three passes against the Seahawks in the Panthers’ 27-23 victory.
“I was just trying to do too much with the other ones,” Funchess said. “I just calmed myself down on the sidelines and just played my game.
“It was about just trying to make the play and just go with it and get as much as I can possible getting YAC. I’m all about YAC so I want to do that, but I’ve got to catch the ball first.”
Funchess had his first drop in the first quarter on a pass that was slightly behind him. The second came late in the third quarter when he slipped on a comeback route but regained his feet and missed another Cam Newton pass.
The last one came on a 20-yard dig route on Carolina’s next-to-last possession when he tried to catch and run with it. The ball bounced off his hands and into the air and was nearly intercepted.
Funchess then came back later that drive and caught an 8-yard pass on second-and-5 to continue to scoring drive. And on the final drive he hauled in a 16-yard pass across the middle that got Carolina into Seattle territory.
Though the rookie had the drops, Panthers coach Ron Rivera was encouraged by how Funchess had taken the next step by getting more separation from defensive backs on his routes.
“That’s what I’ve been working on,” Funchess said. “Working on those sudden movements. I was always rolling into a route and never really noticing it using my size. Now I’m using those sudden movements to get space.”