Here are highlights from an interview with Panthers coach John Fox at the NFC coaches' media breakfast this morning. More coming later in the day:
-- Fox said the Panthers are not interested in trading either of their top running backs, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. He's counting on both of them.
-- Richard Marshall isn't the only restricted free agent not participating in the team's offseason conditioning program. Cornerback C.J. Wilson isn't either. However, Fox expects them to participate in the team's mandatory post-draft minicamp.
-- It's clear that Fox is high on Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. "He's different in a good way," said Fox. "He's shown the ability to lead men." Asked about Tebow's much-criticized throwing motion, Fox said, "Did you ever watch Bernie Kosar play?" Kosar was a standout quarterback for the Cleveland Browns who's throwing much was far from orthodox.
-- Fox said punter Jason Baker is currently working on kickoffs in case he gets that role next season. However, Fox left open the possibility that the team will acquire a kickoff specialist. Fox said the reason Rhys Lloyd wasn't retained was because the team felt it was time to move in a different direction. He referenced the fact that Lloyd had a strong season in 2008, but didn't say anything about Lloyd's performance in '09. The Panthers didn';t tender Lloyd as a restricted free agent and he has signed with Minnesota.
-- Fox said all the team's injured players, including left tackle Jordan Gross and outside linebacker Thomas Davis, are expected to be ready for training camp.
-- He said the Panthers would get his best as a coach despite the fact that he's in the unenviable position of being in the final year of his contract. He said it's part of the business of the game, much like players experience. "It's called free agency," said Fox.
However, he would not speculate on whether he would eventually sign an extension with the Panthers or head into next season as a free agent coach.
-- He said it's likely that the Panthers will add a defensive end either in the draft or free agency to team with Tyler Brayton, Charles Johnson and Everette Brown.
-- Charles Chandler, Charlotte Observer