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Carolina Panthers on loss to Saints

Transcripts of postgame interviews with head coach Ron Rivers, QB Cam Newton and others

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS VS. CAROLINA PANTHERS
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2016
PANTHERS HEAD COACH RON RIVERA

On if the Saints did anything unexpected

"No. They came out and did what they do. Drew Brees is a heck of a football player. I think that Sean (Payton) and his coordinator did a nice job. They put some points up early on the board. We were able to react and claw our way back to put ourselves in a position to make it a game. Because of that, I am really fired up about what our offense can become

On the play of the Panthers defense

"I'm a little concerned about some of the things that happened on the defensive side. They did exploit some of our young guys out there. They made some plays because of it. You're talking about a future Hall of Famer (Drew Brees) in terms of a quarterback; and, you are talking about a very good game planner in Coach Payton."

On if Cam Newton was limited in any way today

"No. Cam was not limited at all in his mobility. I thought that he made some really good decisions. We scored 38 points. It just shows you what he was out there doing. When you score 38 points, you need to give yourself more of a chance to win."

On Roman Harper

"He's a class young man. He really is. He epitomizes what these NFL players should be. He really is (a class guy). I know that he started his career here with the Saints, but he spent two great years with us. I thought that he was a big part of what we did the last two seasons. He's the type of young man that we need in this league."

On if he regrets deferring the opening kickoff

"No, not by one bit. We did what we wanted and scored just before the half. We got the ball and had a chance, drove it down a little bit, but we didn't score right away. If you can score before the half, come out and get the ball and score again, you've got a little bit of momentum. That's what I was trying to do with that. I'm not going (to regret) the defer (call). We had a ball (chance) to get the ball back on the first series, and we did not do that either. There are some things that we are going to learn and grow from. Some young guys are going to get some experience."

On needing to pressure the quarterback more

"The one thing you would have like to have seen probably is a little bit more pressure on the quarterback. We've got some guys that are doing some really good things. We've got to get more coordinated. We have got to be better than that. Part of it's a little bit more with the coverage. Part's a little bit more with the rushing (of the passer). There are some things that we have to continue to get better at. We have to become a little bit more in sync with one another. If you are covering a guy up, we can't let the quarterback move around and give a little bit more time to find guys downfield. If the quarterback does have time, we can't let guys get behind us, which we did twice."

On young players getting more time

"The young guys battled and fought. These guys will get some experience. What's going to happen is we are going to take our lumps. Once we get to the point where these guys gain the experience they need, we are going to get better. When we get better, I really think that we are going to play the kind of football that we are capable of (playing)."

On going into the bye week

"Perfect time. We have a chance to get away from it, shake it off, and then come back refocused and ready to roll, take it one at a time. That's the only challenge that we have left. That's the truth of the matter. If we look at it any other way, we are not going to give ourselves a chance. We've got to approach it at that if we are going to go out and get better. As I said, I want to give them (the Saints) credit. They came out and did some really good things early and took the lead on us. It put us in catch-up mode. Again, I thought that our offense responded very well."

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS VS. CAROLINA PANTHERSSUNDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2016 CAROLINA PANTHERS PLAYERS

#1 QB CAM NEWTON

On if it was by design not carrying the ball as much as he ordinarily does

"I'm just doing what I'm asked to do."

On what happened on the interception in the second quarter intended for Devin Funchess but picked off by Sterling Moore

"It was just a miscommunication. Right there, it was lack of execution. We've just got to get better."

On how he feels

"I feel all right."

On if he feels any lingering effects from the concussion?

"No, sir. We've just got to find ways to win the football game."

On if this is an uncharacteristic start to the season?

"We've just got to find ways to win the football game."

#19 WR TED GINN, JR.

"There's no other way to describe what's going on with our team- we just have to win a football game. It's no one's individual's fault; it is everyone's fault; this is a team game. And we are real down right now. We've just to keep fighting, man, and that's what it is all about. We've got to do back to the drawing board and figure it out and I am sure we will do that."

"I just knew we were going to win the game. We came out of the locker room at halftime knowing we had a great chance to come back. We knew nothing went right in the first half for us and we tried to come out in the second half and play mistake free football and it got us back into the game. We just have to go out there the next time and figure out how to finish."

#88 TE GREG OLSEN

"Going into halftime, down two scores, we still knew we had a real good shot (to come back). But we just did not have enough. Obviously in the first quarter we didn't move the ball very well. But in the next quarter, we started to move the ball and scored a touchdown and then a field goal -  but even on the field goal we had a great opportunity down there to score because we were real close. But you start to add up those trips (in the red zone) and when you do not score and we get behind (that's a problem). And right now that is the story of our season so far. Things have to start to change real soon, because if not then we just sit up here and say the same things and we all look ridiculous. So I really don't know what else to say."

#59 LB LUKE KUECHLY

"We have a bunch of guys who work extremely hard and who work their tails off so we're going to take a few days off on this bye week and regroup. Then we will come back and start winning some games."

"Teams are going to put up some big numbers when they throw the ball most of the time. The more you throw the ball the more yards you are going to gain, obviously. But we have got to go back and nail this thing down. We gave ourselves a chance to win at the end but we have to give ourselves a better chance to do it." 

#21 CB TEDDY WILLIAMS

"We showed we can come back and that gave us a chance to win the football game. All we have to do now is get this ship sailed right and win a game. I always like our chances with the teammates we have here because we all always are in it together and fighting to give us a chance to win. Even with the ups and downs – I mean we were down 21 to zero at one point – a lot of other teams would have just laid down. But our team is full of fighters, and we are going to scratch and claw and fight and pick each other up and go to the next play."

On his interception of Drew Brees

"It was just a play where I felt I needed to give our team a spark. And I always put it on myself – be it on defense or even on special teams – to make a play for our team. I saw something the defensive coaches told me to expect and I just made the play to put our team in a position to win."

 #99 DT KAWANN SHORT

"On defense, we want to get more sacks instead of pressure. I mean, the goal is to get them (quarterback) on the ground and get our defense off the field so our offense can score. We did a little bit of that out there, but obviously not enough. The good news is that we never quit. Everyone in this locker room is always fighting until that 60 minutes is up."On his roughing the passer penalty assessed in the fourth quarter

"I put a move on the offensive lineman and was right next to him and put my hand up near his face. But he's a shorter quarterback and I just happened to hit him (Drew Brees) in his face. It wasn't on purpose and it wasn't out of frustration or anything like that. I was just doing my job

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