Mailbag: Ron Rivera says Panthers 'are sticking' with Corey Brown

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers are 2-1 following Friday night’s 17-16 preseason loss to the New England Patriots.

The first round of cuts will come today or tomorrow and the regular-season is only two weeks away.

You’ve got questions. Let’s get to them:

@DNewtonESPN: Yes. Not even a doubt. Corey Brown survives despite six dropped passes in the past two games. As coach Ron Rivera said on Friday night, "We are sticking with Corey. Guys, this is what the preseason is for. How he handles the situation will tell us a lot about who he is as a football player." The encouraging thing is Brown was open to make big plays. He just needs to relax and use his hands instead of his body. As for running back Fozzy Whittaker, he's a lock. Offensive coordinator Mike Shula told me Whittaker is better than he was last season. I don't see undrafted rookie Brandon Wegher making the roster. He should be a practice squad player, unless somebody claims him.

@DNewtonESPN: Here's how I have it right now: Devin Funchess, Jerricho Cotchery, Ted Ginn Jr., Corey Brown and Brenton Bersin appear to be locks. Bersin is the only question among those five, and he got 40 snaps on offense and seven on special teams against New England. Jarrett Boykin would be No. 6. I don't see Mike Brown or Damiere Byrd making the roster, although Mike Brown could surprise for the sixth spot.

@DNewtonESPN: Jonathan Stewart, starter, lock. Whittaker, third-down back, lock. Cameron Artis-Payne, backup and starter if Stewart is injured, lock. Jordan Todman, backup and top kickoff returner, pretty close to a lock. Wegher, backup, unlikely to make 53-man roster. And don't forget fullback/running back Mike Tolbert, who is a lock.

@DNewtonESPN: General manager Dave Gettleman and his staff always are looking to upgrade the roster, so yes. Specifically, they will look at wide receivers and big men who could help on either front. These all will be lower-end-of-the-roster moves, though. Teams don't typically release starting-caliber players.

@DNewtonESPN: The one who stands out the most is rookie Daryl Williams, who has impressed coaches with the way he's played right and left tackle. I don't see him replacing starting right tackle Mike Remmers before the opener, but he's definitely closed the gap and ready if Remmers struggles.

@DNewtonESPN: I didn't want you to think I was ignoring your question, but as you can see by my answer above, the Panthers are high on the former Oklahoma player.

@DNewtonESPN: Charles Johnson and Kawann Short will practice this week and get a few snaps on Thursday night against Pittsburgh. According to Rivera, Star Lotulelei (foot) is on schedule to be ready for the opener. He was on the sideline riding a stationary bicycle on Wednesday, so that was a good sign.