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Carolina Panthers Conference Calls

Audio and transcripts from head coach Ron Rivera and TE Greg Olsen's conference calls with local media

Carolina Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera
Conference Call With New Orleans Media
Tuesday, November 15, 2016

How is your team handling a tough loss?
"About as well as you can. The biggest thing is we have to move on and keep going."

Given human nature, How easy is that?
"That's about as easy as it gets because you have no choice. You can sit there and dwell on it. It is not going to do any good. We already talked about it guys and it's time to move on and that's our focus."

What is the biggest difference do you see in the Saints defense from week six?
"It is hard to say because their offense is so explosive and it puts them in a tough spot because they score so quickly. They play a lot of plays. They played 80 something plays last week against Denver. So it is a good group. I like how physical they play, I like how they play and I think they have a good front."

Do you see Drew Brees playing some of his best football in years this year?
"Oh yeah. He's very consistent too. They've done a nice job they have some explosive players. Brandin Cooks is a threat all the time. Michael Thomas is a great target. He presents a good target when he runs routes. Willie Snead does an excellent job getting underneath and getting open. You can't fall asleep on his abilities. And then you have Coby Fleener coming along very nicely at tight end. I like the other guys they have at tight end. They are coming along nicely as a good group and that offensive line has played very steady for them. Because of that it has really helped Drew (Brees). Drew is a smart guy and he knows how to attack people."

What have you seen from Andrus Peat in his two years?
"He is a big body. When he gets his hands on people he does a nice job. It is a good offensive line all the way across the board and Andrus is showing his versatility and why he was a first round pick."

What do you think of how the division has performed and everyone is sort of bunched up (Overall Records)?
"Well it is good. I appreciate everyone being bunched up because that means everyone is still in it. We have to take them one game at a time and take care of our business. You can't worry about what other people are doing. You really have to focus on what you are doing and our message. We are playing a very good Saints team. They are like us and they have lost some games down at the end. When that happens it is rough."

Is there any advantage of playing a division opponent on a short week?
"Yes, there is. You know them a little better. It is a little easier to prepare. As opposed to someone who you haven't seen or for the most part you see once in a great while."

The Saints were able to sack (Trevor) Siemian 6 times. Do you notice anything different schematically or just getting home more and playing better?
"I think a combination of things. I think they did some really good (things) schematically. I think they did some stuff with coverages that confused Siemian a little bit and I thought there offensive line did a nice job with their surge. Again it is really about situation circumstances. It was a close ball game. The defense played very well for the situation."

What was the difference for you guys in the second half against the Saints in the October game. It seemed like you guys started playing better?
"The biggest thing is we made plays. You look at the first couple series against them. We missed some throws, dropped some balls. And we missed some blocks. I think our offense settled in and we made some plays. The defensive side I think the same thing. Early on Drew (Brees) was having his way with us. But as we settled in and got more comfortable we competed and fought back."

On if Cam Newton is aware that he can start running again. Is this something you guys (Carolina) scaled back on?
"Again it is just whether or not it is in the gameplan. A lot of things he does is based off of what the call is. Last week he ran the ball pretty efficiently for us. It is just about the game plan more than it is anything else."

Carolina Panthers Tight End Greg Olsen
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Tuesday, November 15, 2016

What have you seen on tape from an improving Saints defense?
"There is no doubt, I think last week against Denver they really played well (and) had those couple turnovers with the picks. I think they are playing fast and I think the big part is since the last time we've seen them, obviously they didn't have (Paul) Kruger, they didn't have (Delvin) Breaux the corner and so I think getting those guys back into the mix always helps. Being at full strength, but no they have always played hard, they're talented, they play fast and I think last week and weeks prior they've been playing well as of late that's for sure."

Did you notice Sheldon Rankins on tape?
"Yeah, I don't spend a lot of time studying the interior guys. I have enough to worry about with the ends (Paul) Kruger, Cameron Jordan those guys. I have enough to worry about on the outside and I don't spend too much time worrying about the interior guys."

Have you seen some of the new formations they have been using?
"Yeah, I think over the years their defense has always been pretty multiple with their fronts and their coverages. I think that's been pretty standard the last few times we've played them, even going back to last year's game. I think that's a pretty consistent thing for them is they're going to at times where they are going to play soft and play coverage and at times they are going to bring everybody on the field and make you get the ball out and get after the quarterback, but I think they can do both and everything in between and you just have to be ready for all those different looks."

How have your matchups been with Kenny Vaccaro and what can you say about him?
"I think he is a good player. I think every time I go against him it's been a great battle and he's a competitive guy and he plays hard, he's a good athlete, he's tough. I've always enjoyed (it) since Kenny's been drafted there now his third or fourth year. I feel like we've had good matchups and he's a guy that I've seen a lot over the years and I have a lot of respect for Kenny and the way he plays and I anticipate that being another matchup again on Thursday."

Both teams have had tough losses, what is your team's general outlook on still fighting for a playoff spot and the division?
"Yeah I think the outlook hasn't really changed much, of course as you said no different from a lot of other teams. There are obviously a few games we'd like to have back, but the only thing in the NFL you're guaranteed is the next game and I think New Orleans probably feels the same way as we do now getting ready for a big divisional game on Thursday. Both looking to rebound from tough losses, losses where we were in position to win. That's the nature of the NFL and it's just sometimes the way the game goes and the good teams are the ones that can respond. That's kind of our approach and I'm sure it doesn't differ all too much from those guys."

What kind of comfort level is Cam (Newton) showing in his willingness to run the ball after the concussion that caused him to miss a game?
"I think we continue to pick our spots. I don't think we go into any game in particular with that number in mind. I think a lot of it just depends on the flow of the game and depends on the situation we find ourselves in. A lot of those runs are situational, but we'll see. We'll see how this one works out, how many times he pulls it"

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