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Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Panthers haven't met with Locker yet

By Pat Yasinskas

Since Washington’s Jake Locker is widely considered the top quarterback prospect at the Senior Bowl and the Carolina Panthers are in the market for a quarterback and have the first pick in 2011 draft, you would think the two sides already are getting to know each other.

Well, it hasn’t come to that point – at least not yet. Locker just met with reporters a little bit ago. I have a friend at the Senior Bowl who covers one of the other NFC South teams and asked him to ask Locker if he had interviewed with the Panthers yet.

Locker’s response was that he had not met with the Panthers and, at least at the moment, no interview was scheduled.

I wouldn’t go reading too much into this right now. New Carolina coach Ron Rivera didn’t arrive at the Senior Bowl until Tuesday and practices started Monday. Rivera still is putting his coaching staff together and getting acclimated.

Sure, a lot of teams interview a lot of players at the Senior Bowl. But the Panthers might be waiting for the combine to interview Locker. They also could bring him in for a private visit before the draft. My guess is they’ll sit down with Locker at a later time.

The Panthers have been out in full force at Senior Bowl practices and it’s safe to assume they’re watching every move Locker makes. If he shows some signs, he could be the franchise quarterback they’re looking for, the Panthers then will make an effort to get to know Locker.