After practice Monday, Ron Rivera walks to a bench beneath a tent and we hold our annual one-on-one training camp interview.
Wow. Well, (defensive end) Frank Alexander. He’s been the most consistent in practice day in and day out. I know he’s got some issues to deal with early in the season (He’ll sit out four games for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.) But hopefully what he’s doing will continue.
(Receiver) Tavarres King. I was concerned coming out of (organized team activities) and minicamp. But we put the pads on him and he’s catching attention.
(Receiver) Kealoha Pilares. He looks faster than ever.
I would say (rookie cornerback) Bené Benwikere, but this is what we expected from Bené.
(Linebacker) Jason Williams is starting to flash. This is his fourth year with us so you would expect him to take the next step.
And (cornerback) Josh Norman. The thing about Josh, compared to the past, is he’s doing things within the scheme. People would look at what happened in his first two years and say, wow. But a lot of that was freelancing. He was taking risks and then he’d get in a game and have to play less risky and with better technique and his technique wasn’t good enough. This year he’s doing things the right way. That’s when you know the kid has a chance.
I think of conversations I’ve had with (former NFL coaches) John Madden, Mike Ditka and Bill Cowher. I think of all the people I look to for advice in town: (businessmen) Cam Harris, Johnny Harris, Felix Sabates, Ric Elias.
I take something from all these guys whether they realize it or not. Felix has taken me aside and I’ve asked, “How did you do this with your race teams?” Just being around Michael Jordan (at Charlotte Hornets’ games).
There are so many resources (in Charlotte) that have reached out and helped me. So to sit in a room and say, “Yeah, you’re right, that’s right, that’s who I am,” doesn’t happen.
Today if (an outsider) found out he’d put it on Twitter and say, “Oh, look at these guys. I know they have a curfew and they’re all out hanging out.”
You’re lucky camp ends Tuesday. At least 50 players would think you’re talking about them.