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Panthers coach Ron Rivera and players talk about win against Saints

Transcripts from Panthers' post game interviews


"It is a little disappointing, obviously. We did some really good things. We missed some opportunities. That's why there is some disappointment (with our performance). We did not take care of the football. We did not take care of our opportunities. I want to give credit to New Orleans. Sean Payton and his group of guys came in and they battled. They have one of the top offenses in the league for a reason. They did some nice things. Their defense was very aggressive. We had some opportunities that, again, we should have capitalized on. We didn't. And, again, I want to give them credit."

(on winning the game despite several mistakes)

"It does talk a little bit about having that kind of ability, not being at your best, and still winning a football game. The thing that we've got to be smart about, too, again, is that we are going to come up against another team that it may not go that way (in the end). We've got to learn from this. We have to grow. We've got to understand that we have to take care of business."

(on winning three straight division titles)

"I'm very fortunate. We've got a good group of young men in our locker room. We have a good group of coaches. (We have) great support from our football support staff and ownership. They've been very patient with us. I really do appreciate that. We still have a lot of work left to go. We have four more games in the regular season to play. Next week is a big one against Atlanta at home against one of our divisional rivals. This couldn't have been set up any better than the way that they did it. We play Atlanta two times and then we have Tampa Bay. In between them we have the (New York) Giants sandwiched in there. As we go forward, we just have to make sure that we focus in on one at a time. And that would be Atlanta (next)."

(on dropping two potential touchdowns)

"We missed some today. We threw a couple long. We threw a couple over the top of heads. We did drop some. It is going to happen. The thing that you have to do is be able to come back and make plays. That is what happened. Teddy (Ginn) came back and made a big play for us that put us right back in the game. When we do those things, we've got to capitalize when we have a chance."

(on defensive miscues)

"I am a little bit more disappointed by what happened on the defensive side. We gave up some balls over the top that we typically don't. It was very uncharacteristic of us. I don't want to say that we were lackadaisical. I kind of felt like we really weren't focused in on what we needed to (do). Those are some things that we will look at. Sean (McDermott) and I will talk about things that we need to look at and make sure that we get corrected."

(on Cam Newton's fourth quarter comeback)

"That is one of the things that we get out of this that we will certainly build on, that he was able to win a shootout and take a drive in the fourth quarter to give us a chance to win. It goes back to his whole development as a quarterback in this league. I am really proud of what he did and the confidence in which he played with (today)."


(on going through concussion protocol)

"Well, I got hit. I deserved to get him to be honest with you, looking back at it. I had to use the bathroom and I told the team doctors can we do the (concussion) protocol in the back? And when I came in and used the restroom, I think his name was Dr. Heck, came in and did the concussion protocol with our team doctor, and asked me numerous questions like the days of the week, and how many turnovers we had in the game – and I told him I was fine."

(on coming back after dropped passes)

"That's the name of the game – to give your teammates a chance to keep making plays. Football is the ultimate team sport; especially offensive football. You've got to trust your guys. I mean Ted (Ginn Jr.), he's not dropping the ball intentionally. I'll tell you that. I mean you've got guys out there who are trying to make plays and compete, and when that happens, mistakes are going to happen. But yet, through it all, we had some good points in this game and we had some bad points in this game. We were just lucky to get out of here with a win today."

(on his health)

"It's a physical sport – I mean it's not ballet. Football is a collision sport. But I'm fine, and I do not have a concussion. The referee did a tremendous job. Numerous times he kept asking me if I was all right. He kept looking at me in the eye to make sure I was focused. I've been keeping up with things in the NFL and guys having concussions – especially the situation that happened in St. Louis. But hear me when I say, I do not have a concussion."

(on the game)

"I expected us to win the football game. But moving forward, we've just got to not put us in a position where we are turning the ball over and getting behind. This game was a wake call for us. We knew we can't just win games by just showing up. We knew we were going to have to come in and beat a good team. Record aside, the Saints are, and have, and will, play us great every single time we play them. It's a division game, there's a lot of pride on the line, and a team we know will give us their best game."


"In this game bad plays are going to happen but what we do as a team to bounce back from them defines us. Things are going to happen out there on the field just like life, and its how you respond. All of the guys here are enjoying the journey. Even though we got behind early we all said let's stick to what got us here and that's what you saw out there."

(on game-winning touchdown reception)

"The Saints gave us a real fight today, even to the end, and it was up to us to fight back. I had an opportunity to make a play in the end, and we were fortunate enough to get it into the end zone to win it and end it."


"I think this game showed us we can win ugly, but you can't win ugly for very long. This was probably the worst game we played although statistically we scored over 40 points and racked up a lot of yards. Those errors were not very typical of us – the three turnovers in the first half, the drops, lots of things."

(on catch on final drive)

"I knew I caught it and to be honest with you I was kind of surprised they challenged it. On the field, live, I thought it never left my hands and I thought I caught it pretty clean because it never hit the ground. Yeah, I wasn't really worried about that one."


"I know I didn't come down with a couple of catches today, but the ones I did catch were big and put points on the board. I am just glad Cam kept coming back to me. We know what type of team the Saints are – especially playing them here in this building – and we went out there trying to match their intensity. Take nothing away from them, they played a heck of a game today."

(on dropped passes)

"I've got no excuse. I just dropped them. Period. When that happens, you just have to come back and make a play. And like I said, Cam being the man he is, he came right back to me and let me make a play.


(on clinching NFC South)

"This is awesome, to go out there and win and win out third division championship in a row. We're just playing Carolina football. We've got great fans and they even supported us here in this building today – regardless of where we've played they've been here to support us. It's fun to win it for those guys."

"Our first goal was to win our first game. We were able to do that and then we said we would win the next game. And we've been able to do that. And then we had a big goal and that was to win the division and we were able to do that today. Now we've got a couple of more goals moving forward, and we've just got to look at one game at a time."


"When you go 12-0, that's really special. And us winning the division today is the first step is something great we are trying to build. But when we look at the film when we get back, we know we are going to have to make some corrections to make sure we keep doing special things. And that's the great thing, I don't think we've played a complete game all year – including today. This team has something great going on and we have a special chance to do something better."

"We know this one wasn't pretty. Like I said, we are doing to go back and correct all of our mistakes. A lot of the mistakes you saw were self-inflicted errors. But the great thing is that we won, even though we gave up 38 points."


"I can't say enough for our offense and how they played today; they were really resilient. And the defense, when we needed a big play we got the stop. But we've got to do better – on the special teams, us trying to reduce turning the ball over like we did. But right now we're going to enjoy this win. I mean we're really blessed. We got out of here with a win and we didn't even play our best game. And that's all that matters is that we got a 'W.'"

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