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August 13, 2013

Rivera disappointed in the closing session of training camp

SPARTANBURG Overall, Panthers coach Ron Rivera called the 2013 training camp a success. 

But the third-year head coach would have liked to see a little more focus and a stronger finish on Tuesday morning, the final practice at Wofford College.

"We slowed down at the end, and unfortunately I think the guys were thinking about I-85," Rivera said. "But the beginning of practice was really good, real smooth, a lot of good things happened. Then you could kind of tell they were a little bit wandering. I think they were thinking about going home. I wish they could have finished practice and focused all the way through.

Rivera delivered a passionate message to the team as they huddled after practice, telling the players that the team "can't have distractions" in the day and a half before the Panthers take on Philadelphia on Thursday night.

"I know this is our move, we’ll be back in Charlotte the next time we get together, and we got to be able to stay focused as we get ready to go up to Philadelphia," Rivera said.

Injury notes: Right tackle Byron Bell left practice early with an illness. A bug has been going around the team. Ryan Kalil, Garry Williams, Haruki Nakamura and Greg Hardy have all dealt with the illness this week at camp.

Defensive tackle Frank Kearse was not at practice Tuesday nursing a knee injury, Rivera said. 

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on August 13, 2013 at 11:37 AM | Permalink


showtime for da jimmeh!

Posted by: jimmy pickles | Aug 13, 2013 12:31:27 PM

Errrrr hey Coach, it's YOUR job to keep them "focused".

Posted by: Truth | Aug 13, 2013 12:50:16 PM

WOW, You got to be kidding me. This is the problem I have with this coach. They slow down at the end because you allow them to do that. What about discipline? That is what you are there for!!!!. One more thing, Can't have distraction in a day and a half before the game. This can't be true. what about to try to no have distraction the entire season. If this is how we start the season, I just need to prepare for what is coming.

Posted by: A.Perez | Aug 13, 2013 12:55:34 PM

LOL. That's right, there's no accountability for players to stay focused... Not like they are grown men or anything, getting PAID to do a JOB...

Posted by: swizzlesticks | Aug 13, 2013 1:03:33 PM

what a joke

Posted by: big gulps | Aug 13, 2013 1:12:21 PM

If they can't get motivated on their own, then we have bigger problems.

Posted by: millz | Aug 13, 2013 1:25:58 PM

With Byron Bell leaving early...it is impossible for practice to have slowed down further

Posted by: Holla | Aug 13, 2013 1:43:39 PM

Rivera needs to send in Kugbila now or prepare to cut him by Aug 31st. A bust of a pick and I do not care where he was selected in the draft order.

Posted by: Whitecomet77 | Aug 13, 2013 2:00:56 PM

People are making too much of this...camp is long and and its super hot, only naural to be excited about leaving. As long as they play hard on Thursday and this trend doesnt continue into the season, then NO ONE will even remember this....

Besides, do you want a team that looks great in camp but average when the lights come on? I played with a lot of guys who looked great in practice but when it was game time, they got small

Posted by: Bobcats/Hornets Here | Aug 13, 2013 2:09:31 PM

Panthers still gonna suck

Posted by: Mattyice4president | Aug 13, 2013 2:18:10 PM

Slowing down on the last day is a bad sign. That's the player's last opportunity to pull away from the pack before these last pre-season games, when they may or may not get much playing time. If you want the job, if you want to win, SHOW IT! Flip-side of that coin is that, if the coach sees his team slacking, he's got to step up and lead. A player will perform the way he practices. So will a coach.

Posted by: Joseph | Aug 13, 2013 2:42:24 PM

Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.

Posted by: KnightWhoSaysNi | Aug 13, 2013 2:54:42 PM

This is typical, COACH just wants the attention to be on the TEAM...

Panthers will make the PLAYOFFS this year...

Posted by: YEAH RIGHT | Aug 13, 2013 3:20:35 PM

sounds like how we finished games last year

Posted by: big gulps | Aug 13, 2013 3:33:32 PM

Panthers motto every year...
Wait Till Next Year

Posted by: NERocks | Aug 13, 2013 5:15:59 PM

To the idiots who say cut the rookie Kugbala , go play fantsay or madden. Why cut a guy we just drafted because he is hurt ATM totally dumb

Posted by: Shutup bandwagoner | Aug 13, 2013 5:52:43 PM

Lol in the words of my dude Allen Iverson, "PRACTICE" Man! We talkin bout PRACTICE Man lol, PRACTICE! People we will find out how good we truly R come Sept 8th. We r ok right now. Its only preseason

Posted by: Carolinacool | Aug 13, 2013 5:55:48 PM

He won't have to worry about it next year.

Posted by: Scott Bryan | Aug 13, 2013 7:28:26 PM

Rivera is probably a great coordinator but he is a lousy head coach.

Posted by: Joe C | Aug 13, 2013 9:20:06 PM

Players don't respect the coach, not new news. I put the over/under on his departure at 6 games.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Aug 13, 2013 9:29:18 PM

Joe was quoted by another source as saying that he didn't see much difference in the team from last year to this year. I have to agree and I take aim specifically at Rivera on this one. I like the guy, I think he's a good guy. I'd like to have him as a defensive coordinator, but saying this crap to the media is a mistake. He's trying to play head games with the players. Coach, you are NOT Phil Jackson. Like several have stated, it falls on the coach to keep guys focused. There is a serious leadership issue on this team. I'm sorry if you disagree, but Steve Smith is not a bonafide leader....how can he be when he's broken the nose of two of his teammates and had serious anger issues throughout his career? I like him. He's a great WR, but he's not a leader. Kuechly appears to be on the brink of it for the defensive side, but the burden falls on Cam on the offensive side of the ball. Every other winning program in the NFL has a dynamic personality that leads effectively. WE simply don't have that. Not even from the Head Coach. I think Gettleman has done his part, minus going out and getting more adequate OL help, but he's at least got a plan. I predict another 7-9 season or, at best, an 8-8 record simply because we are primed to start slow again. The schedule is too tough this year to start slow and expect success by the end. We all know that Atlanta will be good, I expect New Orleans to be back thanks to the return of Payton and even Tampa shows the potential to be a factor. Momentum coming out of preseason will drive the ENTIRE season this year. Mark my words, if we don't pick things up by the end of preseason, we are in for another long, disappointing season....

Posted by: ZB | Aug 14, 2013 11:54:04 AM

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