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September 10, 2012

The next day: Rivera reacts to Tampa Bay loss

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera did see some cause for optimism a day after his team lost the season opener 16-10 to Tampa Bay.

"There's some cause for optimism is some of the mistakes on the offensive side are all correctable," Rivera said. "It wasn’t a glaring thing as far as schematically. It was a player here or a player there. Something that they did. It’s something that we feel very comfortable about going out and getting better at. So there’s cause that we will get better at it."

The offense went away from its rushing game early against the Buccaneers, and Rivera said it was because Tampa Bay stacked the box with eight men. That forced the Panthers and Cam Newton to throw more, and resulted in the team tying a franchise-low 10 rushing yards in the game.

Running back DeAngelo Williams tied his career low with -1 rushing yard, and the team had to do without Jonathan Stewart, who is still recovering from an ankle sprain. He didn't have an update on Stewart, but they will continue monitoring him this week.

"We'll see," RIvera said. "He's a big part of what we want to be as a football team."

The coach's message to the team following the loss was simple, though. There's always next week, and there's no need to be rash.

--Jonathan Jones


Posted by Observer Sports on September 10, 2012 at 12:30 PM | Permalink


Would you hire a chef to fill a cavity? Would you hire a lawyer to operate on your heart? Then why do we have a journalist running our football team, and doing a poor job at it. Marty Hurney took control of the Panthers the same year John Fox became head coach. Hurney has now stayed 2 years past Fox, who made the playoffs last year and just last night beat the team that we want to be modeled after. Defenders of Hurney always state his first round successes, but I would argue that those “successes” have not panned out over the last five years. Going back to 2005, the year that they took Thomas Davis with the 14 pick of the first round, Davis played out of position for 3 years, spending time at the safety position, before spending two wasted years at the strong side linebacker position, which in turn may have caused his knee problems, based on the added weight. In 2006 he drafted DeAngelo Williams, a good pick, but a pick based on the fact that the Panthers were caught with their pants around their ankles in Seattle three months earlier. In 2007 he added Jon Beason and Ryan Kalil, both good picks, but we cannot forget Dwayne Jarrett. A year later, want seemed to be good pick in Otah turns out to be guy that would suit up around 30 over the next 4 years. Of course, we can’t forget giving up a 1st round pick for a second round player in Everett Brown.
Even if you try to defend Hurney on his first round picks, there would be no defense for what he has done in the draft in rounds 2, 3, 4, and 5. The names of Shelton, Edwards, Ellison, Nelson, Martin, Jarrett, Lafors, Robinson, Robinson, Hogan, Mathis, Butler, Salley, Irvin, Goodson, Fiammetta, Clausen, Norwood, Fua, and McClain are killing any chance of having a playoff roster. The building blocks of the future defensive tackle position, Fua and McClain are bust. McClain was the 65th pick of the draft last year and is already on the street. Marty Hurney always states that he wants to build through the draft, well; you can’t do that when you do not have the background to identify players. Let us not forget that the Super Bowl team was made up of the previous regime’s “core” players and a lot of veteran free agents.

When you take into account Hurney’s poor draft performance and his inability to handle contracts of the current players on the roster, this is little reason to wonder why this team has only made the playoffs three teams during the last decade. Everyone knows about the ludicrous contract of Delhomme, but look at the current roster. We are paying Charles Johnson Julius Peppers money, for Mike Rucker production. We are paying Charles Godfrey top 5 safety money, for him to celebrate tackles 30 yards down the field. I recently read the piece by Scott Fowler about how next year is going to be the Panthers year. How is that possible, our top receiver is going to be close to 35 and our left tackle is following suit.

When you factor in all of these issues, it is clear that this team needs a new direction. It is hard watching this team. I have watched our defensive line go from the best in the league to the worst, and our offensive line is right behind. If this game is about wins and losses, the decision is pretty easy. The 84-85 record over the last 10 years would not be good enough in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, or New England. The same teams are making the playoffs every year, the aforementioned teams, as well as New Orleans, Atlanta, Green Bay, and New York.
It is time for the ownership of the Panthers to make a move, bring in a real GM and start making the playoffs.

Posted by: Steven | Sep 10, 2012 1:04:10 PM

I think the real issue is that because of Cam's great season last year, this team has been told all offseason that they are a team on the rise and capable of making the playoffs. Kalil's ad in the paper made that ten times worse. Bottom line, quit yapping about how great you expect to be and go out there and get the job done.

Championships aren't won in September.

Posted by: Man Up | Sep 10, 2012 1:11:57 PM

Hurney give Stewie a contract and he sits out....again.

Prob didn't need that signing given we had DW signed up and Tolbert in the mix. Should've tried to snag a younger RB in next draft instead of locking in a often hurt Stewart.

Posted by: big gulps | Sep 10, 2012 1:22:31 PM

Big Gulps-please know your facts before speaking...that was only the 3rd game Stew has missed since being drafted. I don't even think he practiced his first 3 years in the league and is still a beast.

The offense had a very very bad game. If you really expect them to continue that way based on one game where the other team came out with a chip and something to prove, then move on.

I def agree with the first poster and Hurney. Anyone that would trade any pick to move up and take Armanti Edwards deserves to be working a paper route!


Posted by: Mike P | Sep 10, 2012 1:35:07 PM

Hey Mike P, watch what you say about Armanti. He was very valuable yesterday. Whenever Steve Smith came out of the game for a breather and some water Armanit would stand beind him and block the sun to give him some shade. That's the most value he's added since being drafted so cut him some slack.

Posted by: grrrowl | Sep 10, 2012 1:44:24 PM

hurney's been in football operations for 30 years. Dislike him or the team decisions all day but him writing 3 decades ago isn't anymore relevant than your experience on the fryolator.

Posted by: Dave | Sep 10, 2012 1:47:27 PM

hurney's been in football operations for 30 years. Dislike him or the team decisions all day but him writing 3 decades ago isn't anymore relevant than your experience on the fryolator.

Posted by: Dave | Sep 10, 2012 1:47:32 PM

Coach Rivera: You have an O-line that is imitating a line of traffic cones. They can't (or don't want to) run block, can't create a secure pocket for Cam, and can't prevent a blocked punt. In fact, the only time you see them moving is prior to the snap (false start).

I'm with Cam - stop being OK or optimistic about losing and having players proclaim "we'll get 'em next time - it's just one game". Get mad, execute on the field, and start beating your opponents.

You said when you were hired you will have a team that is attacking on both offense and defense. Is that what you see?

Posted by: Zenmeister | Sep 10, 2012 1:55:06 PM

All that time has not helped. I think the track record and W's and L's says it all.

Posted by: I am right, just look at the record | Sep 10, 2012 2:01:33 PM

Haha you guys suck!!

Posted by: whodatnation | Sep 10, 2012 2:10:17 PM

You can only talk about how disappointing a performance is for so long. Eventually go need to shut up and perform or accept being a loser. No reason at all we should not have blown these guys out.

Posted by: Adam | Sep 10, 2012 2:13:32 PM

Hey whodatnation-that sound you hear is the sound of a 4 win team and rookie QB and Alfred Morris punking you on your own swampland field. Maybe your magic voodoo doll can conjur up a victory this week but I doubt it.

Posted by: Man Up | Sep 10, 2012 2:42:46 PM

while i thought the bucs would be garbage again this year....it makes complete sense that they don't appear to be. they were 10-6 year before last, just got 2 great 1st round draft picks and a few other studs in this years draft, got a few guys healthy, brought in vincent jackson and dallas clark, got freeman's interception problem worked on a bit, and brought in a new head coach. we didn't lose to a bad team yesterday. they played balls out.

the interceptions cam threw were on 3rd and long weren't they? not a whole lot of damage there. the killer was the blocked punt. past that, we could have been coming away with a win and not noticing how weak we played all in all.

smith and davis looked great. smith keeps moving up the rankings all-time. every game like this he has he's that much closer to the hall of fame.

Posted by: charlottean | Sep 10, 2012 3:25:32 PM

worst duo of starting guards in the NFL!

Posted by: joe cool | Sep 10, 2012 3:37:18 PM

@charlottean: not a whole lot of damage with Cam's interceptions? The first one he threw was the most damaging play of the game. Panthers got a TD, stuffed the BUCS, got a great punt return into Buc territory, and had all the momentum to turn the game. Then the INT....then another. I like Cam, but the INT have to stop. They KILLED things in the second half.

Posted by: PantherD | Sep 10, 2012 5:38:33 PM

The only words I can think of is "C'MON on MAN"

Posted by: Sniper120 | Sep 10, 2012 6:18:03 PM

Why not trade our second, third, and fourth round picks next year for some decent veterans. That way no picking mistakes will be made by the Panther selection anti-brain trust.

Posted by: Big Ron | Sep 10, 2012 6:38:14 PM

What part of "we need a real secondary" does the Panthers brass not understand?

Posted by: StickMyVickInDaMashedPotatoes | Sep 10, 2012 6:54:45 PM

@ charlottean. I believe the first pick he threw was on first down the series after we had scored then stopped them and got a good punt return into their territory. Not to mention it was thrown into 4 red jerseys with 89 in single coverage on the other side of the field.

Posted by: cpfan | Sep 10, 2012 7:15:13 PM

1 game lost and the whole season is over now..you panther fans are idiots..smh

Posted by: pantherworld | Sep 10, 2012 7:22:45 PM

While the O looked awful, Overall the D didn't look bad. They only gave up 16 points! 1 td and 3 field goals. Not a bad performance.
If the d only gives up 16 a game, we should be in good shape, definitely, good shape, definitely!

Posted by: Rainman | Sep 10, 2012 8:29:40 PM

@Steven. Best post of the year.

Posted by: Primetime | Sep 10, 2012 8:36:02 PM

It is what it is.

Posted by: John Fox | Sep 10, 2012 9:54:33 PM

We need another TRUE WR on the level of Steve Smith. As you can see, Smith is running around with an infected foot and it could flair up again (heaven forbid) we are one injury away from Cam having no TRUE elite WR to throw to. I can't believe Smith said we didn't need another one as he needs to be grooming a young guy NOW! LaFell is improving, but I just haven't seen any signs that he's another Smitty as yet. Look what Blackmon and a few other good players have done for Gabbert (Gabbert??) Worst QB in the league last year and now he beginning to look like Tom Brady!
Quit "picking" on Cam. Lots of QB's had

Posted by: I've seen it too | Sep 10, 2012 9:58:44 PM

It somehow posted before I finished. Guess they don't like my post, but as I was saying...Lot's of "elite" QB's had a terrible weekend with picks and most still won the games because they had some HELP!!!
I believe it was Fox Sports who said "Cam's still a ONE MAN TEAM..... Get him some qualified help or he won't want to stay here. We have some talented people, but there are just too many pieces still missing. Hopefully the guys we have will gel with time and execute better as it is just one game and the Bucs had to be gunning for the Panthers bigtime!!

Posted by: I've seen it too | Sep 10, 2012 10:09:26 PM

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