Coach Knapp Media Session

On the Carolina defensive ends: "These two, I saw them last year at Houston when we played Carolina, [Greg] Hardy has really gotten a lot better in pass rush. He's an impressive pass rusher. The fact that he can play inside as well as outside and still generate a lot of push in the pocket is impressive. [Charles Johnson] 95 on the other side also a couple elite moves for pass rushers, so it has been a challenge for us from a game planning standpoint to help protect. But I've been proud of what the guys have done the last two weeks. I believe it's been one sack in two weeks against some good pass rush teams that the O-line, the tight ends and the backs have done a good job protecting Carson."

On the Panthers defense: "Not a whole lot of blitz. They'll run a couple base fronts. I've been impressed with that Mike linebacker. He was, I think, the ninth pick of the draft last year, 59, [Luke] Kuechly. He was their Sam linebacker to begin with, outside linebacker to begin with, and then when [Jon] Beason got hurt and put on IR, they moved a rookie in to play Mike linebacker, which is a big move. They haven't missed a beat. He's really been impressive. He's got over 130 tackles. He's very active. He's taken charge as far as a leader goes for their defense. Done a nice job."

On if Kuechly's leadership shows up on film: "When I see a rookie linebacker tackle Tony Gonzalez pretty handily and then get up and not back down because Tony gets up and tries to shrug him off and he gets right back in it and you see it happen two or three more times in the game, you know the guy has a little something to him. It does show up on tape. He's always around the ball. He's fast to react. He has pretty good instincts, so that does show up on tape."

On Mike Goodson: "I think it's a good changeup from Darren [McFadden] in that he's more of a zigzag runner, whereas Darren is more of a slasher. That's hard on a defense to have both types of runners coming at them. His ability to catch the ball out of the backfield is really impressive. You saw the screen last week and he's had some catches out of the backfield in the past for us that's really helped that's really helped keep the defense honest. His multi-dimension of not only being a running back, but a receiving back out of the backfield has been very helpful for us. He had excellent what we call MUM, Make U Miss, ability last week and he made a couple guys miss to extend our runs. You know all about texting right now. My 17-year old daughter has taught me to abbreviate things, so MUM became a new word in the culture of our family – Make U Miss."

On Jared Veldheer's success: "He's really improved his mechanics. What's typical of a young lineman, which probably showed up for him early on in his career, you jump at the first thing you see. You lunge at the first look you see by a pass rusher. He's much more patient now and he's using his hands much more efficiently. That has helped him go against more elite pass rushers because the patience will pay off so you don't get fooled on the first move. The fact that he's really worked his hand placement on a pass rusher has helped slow down the initial charge of a outside rusher. He's done a very good job improving that. Really, from the second half of last season when I was watching tape during the off-season through this year, he's really improved that part of his game."

On teams defending Brandon Myers: "I haven't seen as much double teams, but I've seen a lot more contact at the line of scrimmage. Even defensive ends who normally are just up the field, stop the run, stop the pass, they're trying to shoulder chip, or the linebacker who's on the line of scrimmage is trying to reroute him so the timing gets disrupted on the route. I've seen it from that standpoint more than I have from a double team standpoint. It's because of what he's done as far as receptions this year. He's really had to contend with, at the line of scrimmage, reroutes, so we've tried to do schematically is get him on the move, shift him, so they can't always have him in the same spot pre-snap."

On Darrius Heyward-Bey not having any catches last week: "It's not by design, just the way things have played out. It's kind of the same thing that happened with Denarius [Moore] for a couple games. Even you could say the same thing is true for Brandon. Sometimes it's just the way the game plays out. It's not be design, it's just the ball is being delivered other places because of coverages and/or progressions, but it's not by game plan."

On if Heyward-Bey is okay with no catches: "Yep, he'll still have his regular share of plays that are going his way going into this game plan."

On using Terrelle Pryor this week: "From a standpoint of try8ing to help get a first down for us, you'll see him a little on third downs, you'll see him maybe in the red zone, try to create a different look for the defense to contend with. It won't be so much the structure of last week where he had a series, which we thought was fair to him to give him a series instead of just a play here or two there, just to get him going, just to get experience. We're going to try to use some of his athletic ability this week."

On Pryor being able to simulate Cam Newton: "It's been pretty good. I'm not coaching defense, but to see what's going on, on the field there, has been good for him."

On if Pryor is good at the read-option scheme: "He has some experience from his Ohio State days and it's something that Carolina spends a lot of time doing on as far as their scheme goes. So to have Terrelle use his background and experience in it, you don't have to coach it up as much on the scout offense because he does have some background with it."

On if Pryor has improved his mechanics since training camp: "Yeah, I've definitely seen progress during practice on his mechanics and the rhythm of his throws and the consistency of his footwork. He's taken to coaching very well. John DeFilippo should get a lot of credit because he's spent a lot of time with him as far as working on the individual part of the game."

On if Coach Knapp needs to see more from Pryor the last two games: "I have a pretty good idea based on what I've seen on the practice field and what have you. It would be nice to get some of the game experience too, but we still want to get ourselves a win any way we can and Carson right now gives us the best chance to do that. But I've been pleased to see the progress he's made during the season, no doubt."

On if Pryor will play this game: "You'll see him a little this game, yep."

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