Panthers good at staying on point

March, 27, 2014
Mar 27
9:00
AM ET
It seemed a bit odd that Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera took time to listen in as general manager Dave Gettleman entertained questions from three reporters on Tuesday at the NFL owners meeting.

No other coach that I noticed did that.

So I asked Rivera why he did.

"To make sure we were staying on point," he said on Wednesday.

Rivera acknowledged then, same as he acknowledged a day earlier, with consistent nods to Gettleman's answers that they were. One of the big points was the Panthers aren't done.

As soon as Gettleman left the meetings in Orlando on Wednesday, he headed back to Charlotte to begin re-evaluating the roster and who is left in free agency. Evaluation is a big part of what he does, and as Rivera said it shouldn't be construed as a player is about to be released -- Steve Smith aside.

The Panthers continue to look for a nickel corner that may or may not be on their roster. Much depends on whether safety Charles Godfrey recovers fully from an Achilles injury that ended his 2013 season in Week 2. He's being evaluated, but the Panthers would like to keep him despite his $7.1 million cap number.

They continue to look for options at tackle, although both Gettleman and Rivera appear comfortable going into training camp with right tackle Byron Bell on the left side. They like Nate Chandler, who started nine games at right guard last season, and Garry Williams on the right side.

If they don't find another tackle in free agency, they surely will select one with one of their first two picks in the draft. And because the draft is deep at tackle, don't rule out two.

They're also not done at wide receiver. Tennessee's Kenny Britt said last week he might visit Carolina, although that seems like a reach with his troubled past. Neither Gettleman or Rivera ruled out drafting two players at that position, either.

As Gettleman reminded, drafting defensive tackles in the first and second round worked out well last season even though some questioned his sanity at the time.

"It's all about competition," he said.

Rivera nodded then.

He agreed again on Wednesday.

Whatever you say about the Panthers' offseason thus far, they have remained on point.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter

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