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October 07, 2013

Rivera: In some respects, the Panthers should have arrived by now

Following each of his team’s three losses this season, Panthers coach Ron Rivera has usually talked about missed opportunities as one of the biggest takeaways from film review.

A missed tackle here, a breakdown in communication there, a whiff on a block or an overthrow.

If it came down to one player, that player could be benched and the team could move forward, Rivera says. Instead, it’s been a dropped pass or a breakdown of some sort by different players on various plays.

Sunday's 22-6 loss at Arizona had its share of those breakdowns. A dropped touchdown by Steve Smith, a dropped fourth-down pass by Brandon LaFell, an 11-yard sack taken by Cam Newton to take Carolina out of field-goal range, a missed assignment that resulted in a safety, just two sacks on Carson Palmer and more.

Rivera was asked Monday what it will take for the “switch to finally turn” for the team in his third year as head coach. His response in full:

“Because that’s why you play the game — to go out there and try to make that switch turn. To get out there and try to get to the position where you win games every time you get on the football field. Because that’s what we’re trying to do. I mean, we don’t show up to try to lose games, we try to win them. And that’s the best we can do. We do the best we can. We show up on Mondays and Wednesdays and Thursdays and Fridays and Saturdays and then we go and play the games. That’s why you do it. You don’t do it for any other reason.

"I want people to believe we’re trying, and we’re trying to win football games and that we’re very, very close. We are. And we showed what we’re capable of. And unfortunately we showed what we’re not too. When we get consistent, that’s when you win. I’ve been on teams where you showed up and that was worth seven points. I’ve been on teams where you showed up and you win a game—just by showing up. We’re not there. We’ve got a ways to go. We’re a young football team in some respects. In other respects, we should have arrived by now.

"And what we’ve got to do is eliminate those types of mistakes. We want to win football games? You can’t have those kind of mistakes on a consistent basis. What you have to have is consistent plays being made. When you start making the catches you should, when you start running through the creases you should, when you get into the gaps you’re supposed to and make the tackles you should, that’s when, without a doubt in my mind, we show up and that’s worth seven points."

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on October 7, 2013 at 03:26 PM | Permalink


Awesome, Ron! You really nailed it there! Let's cut the mistakes and we'll run thru the playoffs!!

Heard it before. Bye, Ron... I wish you were gone 2 years ago before you ever came. Take that incompetent QB with you while you're at it.

Posted by: Kevin | Oct 7, 2013 3:47:51 PM

We hear the same excuses week after week from this chump. He and his staff allowed our guys to sit around for 2 weeks and buy into their own BS from the NYG game, and it showed yesterday. Fire him sooner rather than later, and lets get moving in a different direction. This season is just about lost at this point anyway.

Posted by: ATLPanther | Oct 7, 2013 3:55:43 PM

Better off just saying: "it is what it is." Coach - you lack discipline. You don't put the fear of God in your players. That's why they are soft and don't have the "Want To" that is so elusive for you. Look at the good coaches - Harbaughs, Cowher, Carroll, etc... They all have great relationships with their players and are RESPECTED. Your players don't respect you. That's why their minds are somewhere else. Kinda hard to ask the fans to respect you and your team if your own team fails to respect itself.

Posted by: Kevin | Oct 7, 2013 3:56:17 PM

Funny how it's always someone else problem. No mention of coaching issues ever....I think a new coaching staff turns team around in one season to make the playoffs.....

Posted by: Randy | Oct 7, 2013 3:58:57 PM

Cam's sack loss is all you have? He was HORRIBLE. Not NFL material. He held the ball as if he had all day to throw, never checked down and when did have an open receiver either threw it over his head or into the turf. This one is not on the O line, the coach, the GM, or the owner. It is squarely on Cam. He has to vastly improve or needs to sit in favor of Anderson.

The Observer staff shares a lot of blame for the continued acceptance of Cam and his antics. It's as if you guys have stock in him or something. ANY other NFL city would be grilling him, as you did Clauson when he played the same way Cam has these last two and a half years. Get real, we all deserve better.

Posted by: Timeit | Oct 7, 2013 3:59:01 PM

Ron I would very much like to see you succeed here in Charlotte ,On that note I have some ?s . Why would we try a deep pass to smith with Patric Peterson covering him,I meam Peterson is faster younger taller, Was this a get in the huddle Steve Smith says it better go my way I`m open and he`s really not which cost us an interception.Seems to me that play should e called for Mr. Ted burner (Ginn)whom could of gotten behind Peterson and toasted him with 4.2 speed,If this was called by design then I really have to? Shula on what was he thinking.Cam should not be so easily intimidated.

Posted by: joe | Oct 7, 2013 4:01:30 PM

The Panthers would have to win just about EVERY game now to keep Ron and that's NOT going to happen. The schedule only gets harder. He's gone no question about it. It all comes down to when zre they going to release him. I say let him finish the season and then give him his walking papers.

Posted by: Macdawgg | Oct 7, 2013 4:09:30 PM

This loss is squarely on the coaches. It's not Cam;'s fault, he is a quality QB. From wikipedia: Second player in NFL history with 7,500+ pass yards and 40+ pass TDs in first two seasons, Joining Peyton Manning ('99).

Why is nobody talking about Shula? What a disaster.

Posted by: Seam | Oct 7, 2013 4:10:37 PM

Panthers need to look for the best offensive guru in the game that`s great at creating mismatches and high scoring it could be the achilles heel of all our offensive woes,This is what Im seeing in the NFL that sets great teams apart from good teams. We`ve had 1 great offensive coordinator in franchise history Chud whom was good at both and it showed and no panther fan could disagree.Jerry ,,, gettleman there has to be someone NFL or college ranks . someone who has the ability to look at your teams strength and tweek it to optimal performance.someone proven!!!

Posted by: joe | Oct 7, 2013 4:15:20 PM

Shula is a disaster but he's secondary to the incompetence and utter LOSER that we have for QB. Cam has done nothing but LOSE in his NFL career - save all the stats. He doesn't produce the one stat that matters - WINNING.

Cam, hit the road jack -- and take that towel and smirk with you.

Anderson, you're up boy.

Posted by: Kevin | Oct 7, 2013 4:15:44 PM

Timit - Really? What game were you watching? Dropped pass in the end-zone. 7pts. Dropped passed driving in the red-zone. Min 3pts. Fumble at the end? Watch Bell wiff on the block. I'll give you the interceptions. But no play calling adjustments in the second half by Shula? In the ultimate team sport - it ain't just "Get ride of Cam". Is Payton throwing to himself? Running the ball too? What about Drew? A lotta yards receiving this week huh? Come on man! Get Cam an O-line, some one reliable to catch the damn ball, and a coach that will call plays to is strong suite!

Posted by: InCamsCorner | Oct 7, 2013 4:16:57 PM

^^^ Yeah, let's continue to coddle Cam for another 3 years and blame everyone else, while building around this LOSER.

Get rid of Cam and never, ever look back.

Posted by: Kevin | Oct 7, 2013 4:19:59 PM

OK Im done with Mr. Nice Guy, Im sorry but reading this article Ron sounds very incompetent to be head coach! Its time to move on!!! He's says the same things after every lost!!! Give us a break!!!!

Posted by: BYE RON!!! | Oct 7, 2013 4:22:53 PM

How can you be "very, very close" but still have a "long way to go."?

He makes NO sense.

Posted by: John | Oct 7, 2013 4:26:56 PM

The problem Sunday was the same problem the Panthers have had for years, under multiple coaches and with multiple QBs... the refusal to make adjustments during the game to what the other team is doing! Arizona began blitzing and getting pressure on Newton and coaches refused to make any adjustments to blocking schemes or play calls. No roll outs, no screen passes, nothing! I favored Shula because I respected his father, but no more. Both he and Rivera need to go, we need an quality, offensive minded head coach!

Posted by: John | Oct 7, 2013 4:29:34 PM

Kevin, until you see Newton under a competent head coach and offensive coordinator, you can't really judge him. This staff has rarely designed the offense to play to his strengths... and when they have, the Panthers have usually won. Most of you were against Cam before he was even drafted, so you are not qualified to evaluate him. You don't draft someone with his athletic ability and try to turn him into a sit in the pocket passer... not, apparently, unless you are Ron Rivera.

The difference between the Giant's game and the Arizona game was that against the Giant's they let Cam be Cam and against Arizona, they went back to the same game plan as the previous two losses.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result... based upon that, Rivera and Shula should be COMMITTED!

Posted by: John | Oct 7, 2013 4:34:18 PM

Thank you John!!

Posted by: InCamsCorner | Oct 7, 2013 4:34:57 PM

Ugh......Rivera passes the blame around and refuses to accept it. I mean, the COACH is the one to blame. C,mon, grow a set, take some chances and ADJUST when the situation calls for it!

I agree - the season is a loss at this point. Time to look for a new head choach. A new OC while you're at it.....

Posted by: Yuppa! | Oct 7, 2013 4:35:57 PM

Ahhh the Cammie apology tour is out in full force making excuses for him yet again. Let's all continue to blame everyone else for his inability to play the QB position. Idiotic.

Test the market for Cam while he still has some value, any value. It's a given he leaves after next season, why not try to get something for him?

Jerry, please sell the team if you have no desire to win it all. "Paying" players on a contract you know has no chance of ever being fulfilled is not "Paying his players", its going cheap and making it look expensive.

Posted by: FunkCam | Oct 7, 2013 4:42:10 PM

Who`s for trading smith to Denver for Wes Welker ,Before you get angry look at Welkers numbers compared to Smith its a no brainer. This guy gets open almost every down and only celebrates when he scores TD`s. Oh wait my bad, Cam would over throw him or throw behind him, His numbers would probably be worst ever after he came here . Smith would threaten Manning into retirement because he`s open all the time and not getting the ball from steves point of view.JUST A THOUGHT...LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE...ESPECIALLY AFTER YESTERDAYS GAME.

Posted by: joe | Oct 7, 2013 4:46:02 PM

Team must eliminate Rivera

Posted by: Scott Bryan | Oct 7, 2013 4:49:16 PM

Ron Rivera is a pathetic excuse for a head coach. The truth hurts.

Posted by: PhilW57 | Oct 7, 2013 4:50:45 PM

the Panthers are grist for someone else's mill; highlight films for the OTHER team. But someone has to lose every game, right? The Panthers help someone else have a good season so they are filling a vital role in the NFL; the losing team. Joined by the bottom half of the also-ran teams, Carolina hasn't much to look forward to other than a few wins, just enough to keep the fans (like me) hopeful that just over this next hill the grass will be greener with division titles and Super Bowl appearances. I hope the team makes me eat my words, but right now I don't see Cam has an upper-echelon NFL quarterback, a key ingredient in any winning team, and I don't see a lot of spark with the rest of the team either - seems like they have given up already, so I guess the rest of us should give up, too. sorry to say, but I don't really want to watch anymore.

Posted by: John | Oct 7, 2013 4:51:38 PM

WELL NOW HOLD ON ,When Ron had Chud calling the plays on offense we were the 3rd highest scoring team in the nfl that year and that was without Ted BURNER Ginn,and Hixon....I Really think Ron done him self no justice by handing over the coordinator position to Shula.He really needed a offensive guru that could create mismatches with a vertical passing attack and utilize our running attack. Someone proven that will make adjustment on the fly ,,,win at all cost attitude.

Posted by: joe | Oct 7, 2013 4:59:24 PM

Where is George Siefret when we need him ?!

Posted by: John Moore | Oct 7, 2013 5:15:54 PM

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