Wide receiver was an area the Carolina Panthers set out to upgrade during the offseason.
Based on what Devin Funchess could see through organized team activity and mandatory minicamp practices, the competition should be intense.
‘Everybody brings something different to the table’
It has been enhanced by the trade acquisition of Torrey Smith from the Philadelphia Eagles and the first-round selection of former Maryland standout D.J. Moore.
“We’ve got a lot of competition,” Funchess told Zig Fracassi and James Lofton on the SiriusXM Blitz. “Those two guys, we’ve got Jarius Wright, Damiere Byrd, Curtis Samuel, Mose Frazier. That’s just some of them. Everybody brings something different to the table. … Camp is going to tell the tale. You’ve got speed, you’ve got explosiveness and you’ve got a lot of energy. It’s going to be fun, and I can’t wait.”
‘I’ve got to build on what I’ve had and just be more successful in all areas of the game’
Funchess expects the team and himself to improve off of last season, when the Panthers finished 11-5. After the team traded Kelvin Benjamin to the Buffalo Bills, Funchess excelled in Benjamin’s X-receiver spot with career bests for receptions (63), yards (840) and touchdowns (eight).
“We’ve just got to build off that,” he said. “We went down when we shouldn’t have went down (losing a wild-card playoff game against New Orleans). We came back as a team, back in Phase One, Phase Two in OTA period to build on (the path) we set at the end of last season. We’re just trying to be better. I’ve got to build on what I’ve had and just be more successful in all areas of the game.
‘I’m just trying to move over to the other side and take the reins from there’
“I preach versatility … in whatever you do. When he left, I assumed the role of the X position. Other than that, I know every position of the offense. I’m just trying to move over to the other side and take the reins from there.”
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