National Media highlights the Giants poor performance and not a lot of credit goes to the stout performance of the Carolina defense.
Rivera cares more about what the “locals” say. Rivera: “Our defense has been playing well since the preseason.” Rivera recounts the takeaways and sacks the defense had against Baltimore. Rivera: “We deserve more attention but that’s alright, I have no problem with flying underneath the radar.” “If it fuels the fire more, great let’s do it.”
Rivera has been under scrutiny lately. Many of the fans have already or are in the midst to jumping off the Rivera ship—calling for his early leave and replacement.
Rivera will keep his job, at least for this season. But perhaps, fans are too quick to throw the flag on Rivera.
There are a lot of struggling teams this year. 5 teams are 0-3. The Panthers are not one of them. Only 5 teams have a better record than the Panthers in the NFC. Rivera: “We’ve got to look to even up the math.”
Fans need to remember that Rivera is a defensive minded coach and this is only his third year as head coach; leading his first team: The Panthers. It is also important to remember that the Panthers finished strong last year.
The defense has played well—even after loosing 4 DB’s against Buffalo.
Rivera may still be in a learning process, a growing process as head coach. The Panthers as a team may still be in a growing process. Growing and progressing is not a bad thing. What is worse is no growth and no improvement. The Panthers continue to add to their depth and continue to build and mature as a team. Rivera is part of that team. Rivera may learn to be more aggressive. Rivera: “We had to score touchdowns.”
Cam Newton is also maturing and learning to become a franchise QB. The Panthers get to see a progressing QB grow up before their very eyes. A QB who has broken records and is learning to lead a team. Rivera: I think Cam needs to be involved: Completing passes early, running—getting in a rhythm. Early.” Rivera: “We have to make sure we’re putting him early into the position to have success. That can equate to a lot of good things.” As (Cam) continues to grow and improve and get better, confidence and swagger will grow and bring excitement to and for the team.
Rivera looks to the bye week to evaluate the team and progress and the opportunity to get some of the injured back: D. Edwards; Q. Mikell and others. Rivera: “This bye came at a really good time for us.”
Rivera is excited about the team and progression of some of the rookies. Star Lotulelei has had an explosive performance. Star is a hard-worker and seems to improve every week. Star is explosive and disruptive; if he does not make the play he gives another player an opportunity to make one.
Rivera: “I’m real excited about what we’ve done and the success we’ve had…and we want to use this as a catalyst going forward.”
Written By: Phillip Boyce