Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman is in search of consistency for his team’s wide receivers, including former Michigan receiver Devin Funchess.
Gettleman told reporters Wednesday at the 2017 NFL Combine in Indianapolis that the Panthers offense had trouble maintaining its rhythm through the season. Asked in particular about Funchess and Kelvin Benjamin, Gettleman saw a strong finish from the duo, but also considered the overall season.
“From my view of the last three weeks (Benjamin) finished strong,” Gettleman said. “If you want to just talk numbers, Kelvin only finished 30, 40 yards shy of his rookie year. Fewer catches, but he had almost a 17-yard average. When you’ve got a wide(out) with a 17-yard average, you’re not angry.
“Same thing with Funch. Their games have to mature. You’ve got to be a pro. We all get there. You’re a better guy in your job today than you were three months ago. I like to think I’m a better GM than a 6-10 record, don’t kill me here, that I’m getting better at my craft. Well, you know, our offense was up and down and we all need to have a little more continuity and get better at what we’re doing.”
Funchess played at Michigan from 2012 to 2014 and caught 23 passes for 371 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2016, his second year in the NFL. He sustained a knee injury in Carolina’s second-to-last regular-season game. As a rookie in 2015, Funchess caught 31 passes for 473 yards and 5 touchdowns and was part of Carolina’s Super Bowl 50 runner-up team.
Benjamin missed all of 2015 after sustaining an ACL tear in preseason practices but returned this season and had 63 catches for 941 yards and 7 touchdowns. Benjamin was Carolina’s second-leading receiver behind Greg Olsen (80 catches for 1,073 yards), while Funchess was sixth.
Michigan is on spring break this week, but Funchess returned to Ann Arbor with someone in tow — Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston. Michigan director of player personnel Sean Magee posted Funchess’ visit on his Twitter account Wednesday.
— Sean Magee (@UMichMagee) March 1, 2017