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Six-Pack: Rivera’s Absence, Benjamin’s Weight and More

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[tab_nav type=”three-up” float=”none”][tab_nav_item title=”RIVERA’S ABSENCE” active=”true”][tab_nav_item title=”BENJAMIN’S WEIGHT” active=””][tab_nav_item title=”ROOKIE REPORTS” active=””][tab_nav_item title=”KUECHLY’S DIPLOMA” active=””][tab_nav_item title=”ADDISON’S RIDE” active=””][tab_nav_item title=”OLSEN’S OPINION” active=””][/tab_nav][tabs][tab active=”true”]After leading the Carolina Panthers through a number of rough patches last season, coach Ron Rivera is again navigating difficult circumstances.Two days after his older brother Mickey lost his two-year battle with pancreatic cancer, Rivera made sure he was in Spartanburg as his team reported to training camp.”It’s been a series of ups and downs. We got back off vacation and we were moving back into our home, and then we got the word about my brother,” Rivera said.”For the most part he’s in a better place now. In Mickey’s mind he didn’t want to be a distraction, but the timing was not good.”Rivera will be on the field for the Panthers’ first practice Friday night. He’ll then fly to Reno for his brother’s funeral. Assistant head coach Steve Wilks will run practices and meetings Saturday and Sunday.”Ron’s a pro and we’re going to support him every which way we can,” general manager Dave Gettleman said. “We’re a family and we’ll get through it as a family.”

[/tab][tab active=””]One of the knocks on Kelvin Benjamin coming out of Florida State was his weight. Some teams wanted the receiver at 225 pounds. Yet while he was catching nine touchdowns as an NFL rookie, he was 245.[gap size=”1.313em”]Kelvin Benjamin arrives at camp So when concerns about his weight popped up again this spring, it wasn’t anything new.[gap size=”1.313em”] “I’m used to it, all through college,” Benjamin said. “It’s something that pushes you and motivates you and gets you going.”[gap size=”1.313em”] After injuries to both hamstrings forced him out of all but four practices during OTAs and minicamp, Benjamin on Thursday declared: “I feel great.”[gap size=”1.313em”] Even his coach, the one who stirred up the story in June, made a point to credit his top receiver.[gap size=”1.313em”] “I know that several guys came in, in tremendous shape. Most notably, Kelvin,” Ron Rivera said.[/tab][tab active=””]

Either Devin Funchess is low maintenance, or no one told him he could bring stuff to get him through training camp.When the rookie wideout pulled up to his dorm at Wofford, he didn’t have much.”Got my movie hard drive and my laptop, we’re all good after that. I got a mattress pad, pillow, some new sheets.”Savvy veterans sometimes bring their own mattresses, a comfort that could come in handy for a 6-foot-4 guy.”I have to get used to the little twin beds. When I was in college, I had to get an XL one,” Funchess said. “I think they got a regular one [here], so I might have to be curled up in this one.”[/tab][tab active=””]When linebacker Luke Kuechly was named the 2013 NFL Player of the Year, the trophy ended up sitting in a box at his parent’s house. That’s also where his latest accomplishment is, but it’s unlikely his diploma has been relegated to box status.”It’s all in Latin so I don’t even know if it said I graduated. My mom has it. She’s all excited, so we’re done with that,” Kuechly said.Because he entered the NFL Draft after his junior season, Kuechly needed to take courses during each of the past three offseasons. But in May, the 24 year old finally earned his degree in business marketing from Boston College.”Once they said I finished my final class, I was happy. I did well enough to succeed and pass,” Kuechly said. “The last paper was on Walt Disney. It was the strategy of Disney World. It wasn’t super dry. It was pretty interesting.”The interest Kuechly has in where his diploma actually is seems to match the level of concern he has about another piece of paper others would be much more stressed about.The Panthers want to lock him up to a long-term contract before the regular season, one that could average about $12 million a season. But Kuechly mostly just cares about being back around the guys playing football.”I’m the same way I was in OTAs, not too concerned about it. It’ll get done when it needs to get done,” he said. “Right now, I know I’ve got a room and have a locker down there, and that’s all I really need.” [/tab][tab active=””]Segways are so 2014. Space Chariots are what the cool kids ride these days. What’s a Space Chariot? Let defensive end Mario Addison demonstrate:

Mario Addison on his chariot scooter. #Panthers   A video posted by Black And Blue Review (@blackandbluereview) on

“It’s all about your balance,” Addison explained. “First, you’ve got to work on stepping on. That’s the hardest thing. Once you step on it activates one motor. Each side has a separate motor. If you lean forward with the one foot, it’s going to take off. Once you get on, you’ve got to stay steady and put your other foot on.”When I first got on it, I was ‘Okay, let’s see how this is gonna go’. It scared the hell out of me. It was scary. It took me a whole day to really get used to it, but it’s still kinda scary. I ain’t done playing with it, yet.”[/tab][tab active=””]One of the reasons tight end Greg Olsen has a future in broadcasting is he’s not afraid to share his opinion. But it’s not like Olsen spews words just to get attention. When he talks, his words tend to be well reasoned.Take his … take … on the NFL’s decision to uphold the four-game suspension of Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady, for example:”My initial reaction for the whole thing is it just seems like it’s been a huge mess over something relatively minor” Olsen said. “I follow it mostly as a fan of the game, just out of curiosity to see which direction it heads, but I think it could have been handled in a lot better fashion probably on all sides.”Listen, there is no insignificance to cheating. Cheating is cheating. Whether or not [Brady] did or not, I still think there is a little gray area. I don’t think it was inconclusive or conclusive. It’s hard to say whether it happened.”[/tab][/tabs][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html]

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