New Falcons HC Arthur Smith was not pleased with his team’s performance in practice recently and let them know exactly what he is looking for out on the field.
“We’re not trying to do anything stupid,” Smith said, via Tori McElhaney of AtlantaFalcons.com. “We’re not going all-out, full-speed scrimmage, but we expect speed and we expect the guys on the other side of it reading the cards to be professional and to get lined up. I’m not down, and it’s not going to ruin my Friday. It’s just knowing what the expectation is, and these guys are responding. I expect it to be better the next time we have a Friday practice. We’re trying to make sure the vets are getting ready. Yes, some may play more than others (on Sunday), but we’re really – ultimately – getting them ready for September 12. Then we have the young guys who we have to prepare to play Sunday night and make sure they’re in a rhythm in what an NFL week would feel like. I wasn’t very happy with it, but it picked up at the end and I just let them know. It’s my job to get this thing rolling the way we believe in and the way we see fit… You’d rather go through that today than on Week 1.”
- The Athletic’s Joe Person says the sense is the Panthers will go with QB P.J. Walker as the backup and cut former third-rounder Will Grier, as the staff likes Walker’s mobility and ability to provide a “spark” if he enters the game.
- Person expects the Panthers to carry sixth-round WR Shi Smith through roster cuts to put him on injured reserve, then to explore a waiver claim for depth at receiver.
- He adds linebacker is another area the Panthers are a little shallow at but they have positional flexibility with guys like Jeremy Chinn and Haason Reddick that could help offset that.
- Panthers HC Matt Rhule is impressed with K Ryan Santoso: “I think what he did yesterday was really hard … so we feel excited about where he’s at.” (Person)
- Rhule also had high praise for RB Trenton Cannon as a special teamer: “He’s one of the top gunners in National Football League, if not the best. He has the potential to be a weapon.” (David Newton)
“Russ and I have definitely formed some kind of camaraderie, to a great degree,” Everett said, via Adam Jude of the Seattle Times. “Russ is molding me to become a better person, honestly. We share the same religious beliefs — we’re both high in faith and we both take that into account on and off the field.”
Everett said he’s never played with a quarterback of Wilson’s caliber and wants to “take advantage” of his time alongside him.
“I mean, this is the first time in my career playing with a quarterback of his caliber,” said Everett. “I really want to take advantage of this opportunity, whether I’m here for the short term or long term. Every day is a blessing … and working closely with a guy like Russell, I just want to (home) in and make sure I become the player I’ve always wanted to be.”
Wilson commented that Everett is “super elusive” and is finding ways to consistently get open.
“Gerald’s super elusive — he keeps getting open,” Wilson said. “… He just finds a way to make plays. He’s been exceptional for us, and I’ve got great confidence in him.”