Ron Rivera Carolina Panthers Head Coach
RE: Today's game
Our guys played hard. They did a lot of good things. We had opportunities. We, unfortunately, didn't come out on top.
RE: Timeout before the half
Just before the half we were running guys on. They were running guys off. Truthfully, I over thought it. I wasn't sure if we had eleven, twelve, thirteen, I wasn't sure how many guys we had on. So I called the timeout. I thought the last thing we needed was to have thirteen guys on the field and give them another chance. That's why I called it and that one is squarely on me. Those three points come right on my shoulders.
RE: If a timeout considered at the end of the game
We were talking about it. It depends on what chart you are looking at. You can have all three timeouts and give yourself a chance like we did in terms of progressing down the field. It was a matter of strategy at that point.
RE: Coming back in the game with the back to back drives
Offensively we are doing some really good things and defensively we can get into a rhythm and make some things happen. We just need to continue that. Our offense has been very solid when we needed them to. Defense has gotten us off the field when we needed to. Unfortunately that last drive we had a couple opportunities on defense that we didn't do it on third downs. We would have liked to have that opportunity.
RE: Third down defense today
Against these guys it came back. This is a quality football team. They have one of the finer quarterbacks in the league with a good group of weapons. Unfortunately you can't cover them all. If you try to pressure them, he finds the guy that you are vacating. If you don't pressure him then he has times. Its pick your poison. You would like for one of us to get up and make a play at times in critical situations. We had some guys step up and make plays. It epitomizes how things were. They come out on the opening drive of the second half and we have perfect coverage. Charles Godfrey plays as about as good as anybody and the ball falls into the guy's stomach. That leads to a field goal. Sometimes those things are hard to swallow. What we need to do is go back to work and we will go back to work. We will practice and we will continue to work to get better. We have a goal. We have expectations and we have a direction we are heading and that's up.
Ron Rivera continued…
RE: Concern about the hits Cam Newton took on the run plays
Yes, absolutely. It is kind of part of the way he plays. Some of them were called plays. The object obviously because since he is such a weapon, such a tool that when we do use we have to make sure we use him smart. The one thing I was glad to see is he did slide a couple times. So he is learning as well. Again, he is going to take those shots but we want to limit them as much as possible. I thought the play calling was exceptional. I thought we gave ourselves a chance. Again it is going to come back to us learning and executing. But we will get it.
RE: Our coverage of their tight ends
Part of it is about rotation and the play action. If we are playing cover two and they go with the play action, our middle backer gets sucked up and he gets over the top. If we are in cover three and the two guys suck up on him and they come out late and then he gets into the seam. The thing that we need to continue to work on is we have to be really good at making sure we can handle the run so that when they do play action we don't stake that extra step. Its about learning and doing the things we need to do.
RE: Teams reaction to late hit on Steve Smith in end zone
I was very pleased because again you are coming into our place and you are going to come after one of our guys. We are most certainly not going to take it. That's just the way it is. I know some guys will get some letters and some fines and all that stuff. But you know what; there is no place for that in this league. He may have gotten a little over zealous and hit Steve in the back but I was proud to see our guys react that way. We are not going to take it. Like I said before, we may be the little brothers and we may get punched around a little bit but we are not going to take it. We are going to fight back. I was very proud of them for that.
RE: Third down and two play, deep ball to Steve Smith
What happened was that we got the coverage we wanted. Cam let it go just a little soon. If Cam set his feet and held for a second, Steve was starting to pull away. It was just a matter of timing on that one. It was too bad because we got the coverage we wanted. Steve ran a pretty quick move and unfortunately Cam let it go a little too soon and it carried deep.
RE: Jeremy Shockey
What Jeremy was doing was really, that as he watched, he saw some of the things they were doing. He was letting us on to it, which was helping us. Again, when a guy has that type of experience and that much knowledge of the game, it is invaluable. When a guy can sit there and tell you when they are giving this, this is what you are going to get, so we pass it on. A lot of times you think they are going to change things. Apparently they didn't change a couple things and Jeremy was able to pass it on to us.
RE: Cam Newton's performance in general today
He was solid. He was sound. He gave us an opportunity. They only thing you would love to have back were the very first throw. I believe he threw the slant and Steve Smith ran the out. They were just off a little bit with each other. Again, we are going to continue to work on improving those things. The thing though is that with the way he played, he gave us a chance. That's all that you can ask, is that we have a chance.
RE: End of the first half play, ideally leave guys on the field to run clock out
Yes, you would like to but the second time when they are changing personnel we have an opportunity, we try to do that. Again, as it happened, I just wanted to make sure we didn't have thirteen on and give them an extra five yards closer.
RE: Second week to have a kick blocked
I'm going to have to take a look at it but the pressure came off the right side of our line. We will have to take a look and see how that all came unfolded.
RE: What went wrong with the final drive of the game
We got a couple of big throws that we were looking for. We were able to move the ball and got up to midfield. Unfortunately, we got a penalty. We had a couple drops. We missed a throw. Then he got some pressure where he got hit as he threw the ball. On each of those instances, when we look at it we will see we had a chance. We had a guy that was coming free or was free. It was a matter of having that extra second or not dropping the ball which we did a couple times. Then again, it's a part of it. You would love to make those catches and you would love to have them and unfortunately we didn't.
Omar Gaither didn't come back. He will get an MRI on his knee, I'm not sure which one it was. It was a question on his knee so we will find once they get the MRI or get the report back.
RE: Losses have been close, today's harder
No, they all suck to be honest with you. At some point it is going to turn around. When it does, like I keep saying, some people might not believe me but when it turns around, watch out, because we won't forget.
RE: The last drive of the game
The problem with that is really they want you to throw it down there. So then they drive up and make the tackle and the clock keeps running so you force yourself to use a timeout. Our philosophy is if we can stretch it and get you down field and make the catch, at least we can take a timeout after gaining twenty or twenty-five yards as oppose to six or seven. That was our thought process in attacking the way we did.
Cam Newton Carolina Panthers Quarterback
RE: Thoughts on the game
We played a good team and just came up on the short end of the stick again, very disheartening. I have faith that we're going to fix things, especially under Coach Rivera.
RE: Last drive of the game
I think everything was going okay until the incompletion. We just have to find a way to keep moving the sticks. LA (Legedu Naanee, WR) gave unbelievable effort in trying to catch the ball. We still have to get on the right track and come right back to the next play and get a completion just to move the chains. We had all our timeouts, so our managing our time would be on our side.
RE: On drive before last drive of the game (third and two)
We just weren't on the same page. We had been working all week on isolating Smitty (Steve Smith, WR) out there and the defensive back jumped outside, which I thought he was going to stay outside, but they brought pressure so I didn't have that initial move, or angle. That's where I'm throwing it to. You know, we've just got to come back next week so we can get better at it.
RE: On interception on first play of the game
It was my fault. Smitty (Steve Smith, WR) did an excellent job of running his route. I thought he was running the slant. You have to capitalize on every opportunity that you have. You look at it at the end of the game and you never know when you're going to need those points, or that time. You just never know what's going to happen. They started off the game unbelievable, a given seven points. It was my fault and we battled back. I don't know what else to say. There are still guys on this team that come out each and every day practice in, practice out, and game time, hurt and bruised, they still give it their all.
RE: On being hurt by loss
It hurts losing, period. You know you have standards and when you don't meet that quota of yourself you just ask yourself why. There's a reason we keep losing and I want to know the reason. Of course, they put more points on the board than us but it's something bigger than that. I think we need to minimize the self inflicted penalties. The defense helped us. They gave us an opportunity to help us put points on the board. We've just got to come back next week and find a way. Every game is not going to be a blow out, as you see, but, like I say, we've just got to find a way to win it.
RE: On what he's learned from playing great teams
Value each possession. You never know, look at the ball control and how long those guys kept the ball. It's unbelievable. Drew Brees is an excellent quarterback year in and year out. You get the ball in the early part of the quarter, you look up and, during your next drive, it's the end of the quarter. That's due to excellent ball control of the opposing team. You have to treat the ball with the up most respect. You never know if this possession could be the possession that you know you need points in the red zone. I mean three points is good but you would rather have seven points. There's just value in everything.
RE: Thoughts on altercation after TD pass with Smith
I was excited about Smitty (Steve Smith, WR) scoring. Both teams have passionate players. I don't think Roman Harper is a dirty player, by no means. From watching him on film before this game, he is an excellent player. That was out of his character. He hit Smitty and everybody was just consoling Smitty to see if he was ok. That's just the nature of the game.
Jeremy Shockey Carolina Panthers Tight End
Re: Overall take on the Game
You saw the game. We lost. They are a good football team, and we made some mistakes that we should not have made, and they took advantage of it.
Re: If the Panthers are tired of moral victories
We want to win, that's the goal every week. We are competing against good football teams, but again we have to find a way to get a win.
Re: If he had extra motivation today
I talk during the game. There is nothing different. Football players get traded, get released. You play against the same faces, different numbers, whatever. We lost again. It sucks. It hurts. We should have won it, and we did not. They are a good football team, and my hat goes off to them.
Re: The Panthers' timeout before halftime
It didn't cost us anything to be honest with you. We left a lot of points out there. It was a rough day, but that is what this sport is about. You let the moment define you, or you define the moment. Like I said, they are a good football team, and you can't make the mistakes we did. They took advantage of them, and we lost.