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September 09, 2013

Rivera: Passing attack too conservative

After reviewing the tape from his team's opening-week loss to Seattle, Panthers coach Ron Rivera came to the same consensus as fans who watched from home:

The passing attack was too conservative.

Under first-year offensive coordinator Mike Shula, quarterback Cam Newton threw only three passes that traveled more than 10 yards through the air, according to STATS INC. The result: a career-low, 125-yard passing day for Newton and a lack of momentum-swinging big offensive plays in the Seahawks' 12-7 victory.

Newton completed 16 of 23 passes, but the majority were underneath throws. His longest completion was a 27-yarder to tight end Greg Olsen, who also uncharacteristically had two drops, including one on a long pass down the seam.

Rivera said there were things the coaching staff needs to address "in terms of getting the ball vertical."

"We understand it. We looked through it, we talked about it. And those will be the things that we look to do. We've got to create more of those opportunities," Rivera added. "Some of it too is the quarterback having to pull the ball down and scramble a couple of times. So there are a few things that enter into that. But we are aware of what needs to be done."

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on September 9, 2013 at 02:03 PM | Permalink


Anyone actually believe the coaches will correct? This is how Shula coaches! Should have hired Hue Jackson instead of Mr Conservative. It is a waste of Cam's talent to have him play the way he did yesterday.

Posted by: Hue | Sep 9, 2013 2:09:48 PM

Looks like Rivera & Cam have no clue!

Posted by: John Fox | Sep 9, 2013 2:18:17 PM

Yeah blame the OC that's the easy way out ,but just like always when we play a upper tier team this always happens finger pointing and blame the OC or the WR's never is Cam or Rivera...BS time to clean house!

Posted by: John Fox | Sep 9, 2013 2:23:03 PM

Oh I blame Rivera too. He is the one who promoted Shula to the OC job so he is much to blame.

Posted by: Hue | Sep 9, 2013 2:25:42 PM

Offense was so vanilla you could have spread it on some cake and are it. My position is that Cam still needs more weapons at wide out. Hixon is not healthy enough to be relied on. Armanti is still a non factor and Lafell has been M.I.A. thus far. Olsen surprised me with some uncharacteristic drops that he normally catches. The passing game will only go as far as the running game will take them. Deangelo is going to have to be more productive and not turn the ball over. The line did a better job than expected but could offer better running lanes. The potential is there but it must match the production in order to matter.

Posted by: Taurus | Sep 9, 2013 2:25:44 PM

Rivera needs to go! He stands on the sideline looking lost, doesn't know how to motivate players and needs to learn how to adjust in the second half of games. Good teams know how to come from behind and hold on to leads in the second half, something Rivera does not know how to do.

Posted by: Ross | Sep 9, 2013 2:28:17 PM

You got to realize this during the game and make adjustments. I think we can do that on defense....not on offense. Gonna be tough to overcome.

Posted by: Section524 | Sep 9, 2013 2:35:36 PM

We perhaps do need more vertical plays, but if you look at the 49ers vs. Packers game, Cap hit a lot of short to intermediate passes that turned into big gains. The same thing we were doing except we played against the #1 scoring defense. Had we scored on the last drive, all is forgotten. Don't panic

Posted by: Jordan James | Sep 9, 2013 2:36:43 PM

Fire Shula.

Posted by: Josh | Sep 9, 2013 2:37:23 PM

I'm just sick of Steve Smith acting like he discovered electricity after very catch. The same goes to Cam after every first down. JUST WIN

Posted by: David | Sep 9, 2013 2:37:43 PM

@Ross...you are spot on, dude. The point of this article is that it takes Rivera to watch game film AFTER THE GAME before he has a clue of what has occured. He doesn't have the skill himself or staff support to understand DURING THE GAME how to adjust to what the other team is presenting. A 2-13 record in games within 7 points is the proof. Rivera is a deer in the headlights, clueless dork with no intelligence for the game.

Posted by: dangburnit | Sep 9, 2013 2:40:22 PM

What a shame that while Steve Smith was in Carolina they never gave him a great QB. At this point Jake looks like the best. When Jake threw for les than 200 yards he still lead us to a win.

Posted by: Lakemed | Sep 9, 2013 2:45:00 PM

seriously though, we've been saying this for 2 years. i dont think that our play callers are giving our talent enough opportunities to be succesful. cam haters can say what they want, the towel has nothing to do with pouting, or his game. jordan did it his entire career. but when the head guys in charge are not opening the top off the defense or keeping them secondguessing with quick routes, your qb becomes predicatble. brees, rodgers, heck even capernick...these guys have superior coaches...thats all it boils down too. 4th and an inch and we punt??? that would have been a big momentum swing. bottom line...rivera is out after this year. stop wasting all of our good talents time.

Posted by: matt | Sep 9, 2013 2:51:58 PM

Yes!!! The panthers should fire everyone!!!! Cam, Rivera, Shula, Gettleman, Smith, the rest of the receivers, the entire secondary, did I miss anyone? I mean, who needs em!?!? I know all I need to know about the whole season after one game, why bother with the other 15 games? Not like the panthers have the same record as 3/4s of the rest of their division... Everyday Internet trolls/fans absolutely know more about how to coach a team, gameplan, and call plays, obviously.

Shmucks... Thanks for the lols, tool.

Posted by: Overreaction | Sep 9, 2013 2:51:59 PM

I'm with Taurus on the weapons. Aside from Steve Smith, it was eye-opening to see how much more talented the Seahawks were at WR/DB versus us with only one 1st rounder in that group (Earl Thomas) and two 2nd rounders (Golden Tate and Sidney Rice). Even without Harvin, Seattle has really gotten some hits out of its mid/low-round draft picks and UDFAs

Walter Thurmond - 4th
Richard Sherman - 5th
Cam Chancellor - 5th
Brandon Browner - UDFA
Doug Baldwin - UDFA
Jermaine Kearse - UDFA

Based on what I saw yesterday, LaFell may only be the #4/5 WR on that team... maybe..

This is one of several reasons why Marty Hurney had to go.

Cam's not pushing it downfield because the #2 and #3 WRs weren't getting separation in time.

We will have to take some chances downfield. Hopefully Hixon gets heathly quick to help out. Keep Pounding.

Posted by: Steven H. | Sep 9, 2013 2:58:02 PM

Look guys, we are still under the Marty Hurney hangover. We do not have talented offensive weapons that will allow us to see what type of player Cam can become. Steve Smith is brilliant but he is only one player and the 3rd oldest reciever in the NFL. It is going to take a few years to retool this offense. Get ready for many more games like Sunday's 12 to 7 loss. Thanks Marty !!!

Posted by: Scott | Sep 9, 2013 2:58:42 PM

I knew in my recliner eating a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch that hiring Mike Shula as OC was a bad idea. It's pathetic that the Panthers are just now finding that out for themselves.

Posted by: Chris Scott | Sep 9, 2013 3:06:03 PM

When Rivera selected Shula as OC he destined himself for 3 and out, three years that is. Instead of selecting the very accomplished and successful Jackson as OC he instead went for a flop so as to retain the same offensive terminology, it's all about terminology, even if abbreviated terminology. I wonder who Jerry wanted for head coach?

Posted by: Logan | Sep 9, 2013 3:18:36 PM

When Rivera selected Shula as OC he destined himself for 3 and out, three years that is. Instead of selecting the very accomplished and successful Jackson as OC he instead went for a flop so as to retain the same offensive terminology, it's all about terminology, even if abbreviated terminology. I wonder who Jerry wanted for head coach?

Posted by: Logan | Sep 9, 2013 3:18:37 PM

How can you blame the 2nd and 3rd receivers when Cam never comes off his first target. He has no clue how to read the defense and hit the second or third option. Watch the film of Ginn and Lafell's coming open but Cam locked in on his primary the whole play.

Posted by: jeff martin | Sep 9, 2013 3:25:41 PM

No fooling. The passing game is too conservative. Beside - What happen to Hixon, Lafell and Edwards.

Posted by: par404 | Sep 9, 2013 3:28:05 PM

The OC messed up, but on two long passes Cam was inaccurate. He hit Olsen in the ankles on a sure TD pass early in the game and overthrew a deep ball that would've been 35+ yard gain in the 2nd half.

Meanwhile Russel Wilson was making throws like a pro....the dude's a winner. He was impressive.

I still put this one on Rivera, Cam is way better than the game he was forced to play and D Will won't fumble too often.

Posted by: big gulps | Sep 9, 2013 3:28:07 PM

I do agree with Jeff above, Cam can't read a defense too well and locks in on his primary....but good coaching could help that part of his game without a doubt.

Posted by: big gulps | Sep 9, 2013 3:30:11 PM

How could the passing attack have been more aggressive when the players did not even know the plays that were in place? Again, the players and coaches start a season without knowing the plays. Does Rivira actually think that Manning is so precise because he does not practice twice as much as everyone else?
Had to laugh at Wharton, who as usual on the very first play from scrimmage fell to hands and knees as soon as the ball was snapped and stayed there until the play was over. Just as he always does. difficult to respect coaches to never see this. Hopefully, the new coach, next years, will be more perceptive. (Rivira will be gone if we are 6 and 10 as predicted by everyone. Too bad, for Rivera will not get another opportunity as head coach...Would, however, rather see him smarten up and exercise some coaching brilliance and discipline on the present team...

Posted by: mel erny | Sep 9, 2013 3:33:38 PM

Cam was not the issue yesterday. He had a couple bad throws, but a lot of balls were dropped and the play-calling by Shula was horrible. I'm tired of Rivera's excuses and ho-hum attitude as if there is no need to panic. Yeah, Rivera, there is a need to panic b/c what we have here is a pattern of blowing 4th quarter leads and that is bad coaching!

Posted by: ktown8 | Sep 9, 2013 3:39:04 PM

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