Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor took some questions this afternoon, just a few days ahead of the team’s Week 8 matchup with the Houston Texans. He was asked about the dual-dimensional talent of Hekker, who nearly tossed for a first down on a fake punt in the Week 6 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
“You always gotta be aware of the skill set he has, and throwin’,” he said. “And just flippin’ it from myself playing against Hekker when he was with the Rams, it just makes you work on some other things because he is such a good thrower. I mean, in theory, he can really be like a third-string quarterback. You do see some different things, maybe at midfield or at certain down and distances. I think it’s just all part of it.
“But I wish we would’ve converted on that fake down in Miami. But I’m glad we gave it a shot there, and keep it goin’.'”
That shot saw Hekker, who carries a career passer rating of 84.2, connect with wideout Laviska Shenault Jr. for a 7-yard gain. Unfortunately, the Panthers were trying to convert on a fourth-and-8, so no dice.
“I haven’t,” he said. “That’s a first. That’s a first one. I will say this—the thing I love about him, he is so passionate and he’s such a competitor. I would never ever wanna change any of that with him.”
The contact to Goode resulted in an unnecessary roughness penalty on Hekker, one Tabor refused to touch.
“I’ll never go there, on any of the calls,” he replied with a laugh when asked about his thoughts on the flag. “Good try, but that won’t be answered.”