Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera speaks in Wilmington

Ron Rivera RAW interview

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera was in Wilmington on Wednesday to speak at a fundraising luncheon.

Rivera spoke at a gathering for The First Tee of Greater Wilmington and The Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame at the Wilmington Convention Center.

After a brief speech, Rivera took part in a question and answer forum hosted hosted by WECT's Jon Evans.

This offseason has been a little different for Rivera, who is going into his eight season on the sideline with the Panthers. The impending sale of the franchise has been big news, but the coach is trying to avoid distractions.

"In the end, you control what you can," said Rivera. "I am part of the process, in the middle of it, but right now, the most important thing I have to do is prepare this team for the draft that is coming up in about four weeks."

In addition to the sale of the team, Rivera took on extra responsibilities during the process of hiring a new general manager.

"There was a stretch where I was doing everything," said Rivera. "But once it was determined that Marty Hurney was going to be the full-time general manager, we have been working together and it's been working well. Now I can go back to just being a football coach, and I think that's the best thing that has happened to me this offseason."

Rivera is scouting players for the upcoming draft April 27-28 in Arlington, Texas.

"We just finished free agency and we feel really good about the guys we brought in," he said. "But now we are focusing in on the draft. We have four picks in the top 100 and hope we can make some good choices."

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