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Carolina Panthers players talk about 28-10 loss to the Saints

Postgame quotes from Carolina Panthers players on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2014

Cam Newton
Quarterback
Carolina Panthers

What's it going to take to figure out what this offense needs to do to put up some points?

"I'm not sure, but we've got the answers in our room, I can tell you that. Everybody's looking for a magic play. Everybody's looking for somebody to say something, for somebody to do something, and take responsibility for themselves. I know I am. I need to be better. I need to play better. I feel like if I do that, we're moving in the right direction."

In the first half, the defense got you some turnovers you were able to capitalize on. How big was that?

"It was extremely big, but we didn't put up any points. When you've got a defense that's playing lights out early like that, and they give you the ball with great field position, you have to turn those opportunities of those possessions into points and we didn't do that and that's one of the reasons why we're sitting in the position that we're in right now."

Is the reason for your passing being high as opposed to earlier in the season anything that you can put your finger on?

"I really can't. I think this time off is going to allow everyone, including myself, to do a lot of self scouting and just get back to the basics. It's not anything that the teams that we're playing are doing that we aren't prepared for. It's just us manning up, it's us just getting out and executing and it showed tonight."

Did you feel like you were off early?

"I knew I missed a lot of throws. I'm not blaming anybody but myself."

Do you think you were pressing too much tonight?

"Obviously I didn't do enough being that the Panthers lost. My job is to put my team in the best situation to win the football game and when that doesn't happen, the first person you look to on the offensive side is the quarterback and I didn't get that job done. I will. I look forward to these next couple of days having time off. But yet, finding out what's not firing on the cylinders. We need to get back to playing Panther football because that's what would have won this tonight."

What is the mood like in the locker room after this game?

"We know we have to be better. We know we are better, simple as that. It's not something that somebody has to say that hasn't been said. There's a lot that hasn't been done yet. We've got to be professional about the situation and take responsibility and ownership and hold ourselves accountable to play better."

Kelvin Benjamin
Wide Receiver
Carolina Panthers

How disappointing were the early turnovers?

"Our defense can only hold them for so long so I think our offense has to score points. We definitely need to start capitalizing on turnovers. That's part of the game that we really have to improve on."

How about the receivers having a hard time getting open tonight?

"We were open. We just have to come down with the catch."

What contributes to you and Cam not connecting right now?

"It was a quick turnaround game, and I just have to be more mature. Just come in, more focused, more ready."

How do you fix this offense? Is it broken?

"I don't think so. We just have to keep working and keep fighting and keep pushing. Keep pushing the guys that we've got. We've got great players."

Tre Boston
Safety
Carolina Panthers

What happened regarding the drop-off in intensity?

"We just have to play for four quarters. You've got a guy like Drew Brees, you can't give him multiple chances to throw the ball. It's one of those things where he's a great quarterback, they're a great offense. We've just got to play right with their energy for four quarters."

On how tough it was with a couple of drives starting right near the goal line…

"It's been done before. We've stopped (teams) on the goal line, so as a defense when we get out there, even if it's on the 1-yard line, we have the mentality that we can stop them, so we've got to make that stop."

Jerricho Cotchery
Wide Receiver
Carolina Panthers

Missed opportunities

"When the defense is playing lights out like that in the first half, we have to put points on the board.  We had some opportunities to make plays and I know I had that one play where I had an opportunity there and didn't make it.  You have to make those types of plays in those moments where your defense is playing lights out.  If you are not putting points up on the board and you continue to give Drew Brees the opportunities that we gave him, eventually he's going to do something with it."

First half offensive struggles

"We were pretty locked in to what they were doing.  At the end of the day we just have to make plays when we have those opportunities and we didn't do so early on.  We gave them some opportunities and they took advantage of it and they got some momentum right before halftime."

Taking the high hit on the missed reception

"I'm doing fine, I will feel it tomorrow.  Like I said, when it's one of those plays like that, you just have to bring it down no matter what type of hit you take.  That would've been a big momentum swing right there for our team."

Keys to putting it all together

"This game is about making plays.  When everything is working together, offense, defense and special teams, we play really well.  We play really well when we feed off of one another and we didn't feed off of the defense tonight."

James Dockery
Cornerback
Carolina Panthers

On the Saints having a lot of success on intermediate routes…

"They just did a good job of getting open. On some of those calls, they just beat us. They're good NFL players on that team, and Drew Brees is a good quarterback. They happened to get us on some plays, just like on some plays we won. So, that's how it happens."

On if they let one slip away, given the importance of the division standings…

"I definitely can say that, because we're at home and you've got to protect the home turf in the division. For us to lose a home game against a division rival is never a good thing. But one good thing is, like Coach (Ron Rivera) said, we just have to come back tomorrow, get these mistakes corrected and compete, because we're definitely still in this race."

Colin Jones
Safety
Carolina Panthers

Early defensive success

"We came out playing hard, fast and physical.  We got a few takeaways early in the game and then we had a little lapse late in the second quarter when they got a score going into halftime.  We kept fighting until the end but it wasn't enough."

Increased workload

"I'm just the type of guy where I will do anything to help the team in any way I can.  Right now we need somebody in there who's physical and who can play the run and get back into the pass game so that's the spot I'm holding down right now."

Your personal play style

"I just try to be physical either way, run or pass.  That's what Coach McDermott preaches day in and day out, just to be physical with the receivers and get your run pass keys."

Sack on Drew Brees

"Well I got blocked pretty good but luckily the coverage was good downfield which gave me a little time to get up and grab (Drew) Brees."  

Ryan Kalil
Center
Carolina Panthers

What's been the main problem on offense?

"Just red zone's not been good. We've been doing a good job running the ball, moving the ball down the field. We've got to do a better job protecting when we need to. But I think the big thing is when our defense plays like they did tonight early on, we've got to take advantage of the opportunity and we just haven't been doing that."

How would you characterize the team's play so far this season?

"Inconsistent. Honestly I think we're not disciplined enough, speaking offensively. We've just got to be more consistent. We have to make plays when plays are there, and we haven't done that. We've got to figure out a way to do that."

How difficult is it having different people along the offensive line as far as chemistry goes?

"It's easier when you have a more stable group, but it's not impossible and it's not the end of the world. Fortunately for us, I think we've got some really good depth and we have a lot of really good guys. I've been really happy with guys who come in with little time, little experience and have done what we've asked them to do – that's play hard. That's all you can ask from them. We still have to play better. we still have to be more consistent. I've got to do better. I have to get better at some things. I've got to help a lot of these guys, especially in crucial situations."

Greg Olsen
Tight End
Carolina Panthers

How do you fix what's going wrong right now?

"One thing we're going to do is continue to work. We're going to come in each day. We're going to have to find out what's missing. We're going to find out what guys are going to continue to fight. We have a pretty good group as far as that goes. We've been here before and we've never quit. We've got to get some things straightened out. We need to recharge the batteries a little bit, it's been a long run. We have to find some answers here quick before this gets away from us."

How difficult was that turnaround?

"I don't think it had any impact on the game. We can go down a laundry list of things that we did that are pretty clear if you watched the game that put us from 0-0 to 14-0. We blinked. We can't do those things. We got two turnovers. Defense plays their tails off in the first half, one at midfield, and we get zero points. It's just not good. That's not the formula to win."

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