Panthers returned to practice today after getting rest and for some getting healthy.
The Panthers are “looking to get better,” said Munnerlyn.
The Panthers are looking to pick up where they left off and continue to win. “We had a great game against the Giants, it’s behind us now. It’s time to get ready for Arizona,” said Munnerlyn.
The defense will continue to stick to the philosophy of being attack-oriented—causing turnovers. “We’re going to go out there (AZ), execute the game plan, and hopefully we’ll get another shut-out,” said Munnerlyn.
The defense looks to continue building chemistry—initiating the young guys in the mix.
Injured players who can come back healthy will add to the success of the season. The secondary took a hit but now players like Q. Mikell, James Dockery and D.J. Moore are looking to return.
Jonathon Stewart is also making big strides—running full-speed (“not full-speed, but opening it up” via Rivera) on the sidelines during practice. “It was great to see,” said an exuberant Rivera. Rivera: “We’ll continue to monitor his (rehab).”
Kenjon Barner is finally expected to go come Sunday. Barner looked good during practice but only the day after will tell with the type of injury. “Everything we asked him to do, he did today,” said Rivera. Barner will have a big role as a scat back—block, catch, run. Barner will be closely watched this week during practice to see if he can step up into the role that the coaches expect out of him.
Coach Rivera took some time this past week during the bye, enjoying Charlotte and relieving some of the mental strain that comes with the job—especially starting a new season under a microscope. With a win under the Panthers belt, maybe a renewed confidence can be added to Rivera’s resume and the Panthers will continue to learn how to finish games and acquire wins.
Rivera was not impressed with Monday’s practice as a whole. Rivera: “Practice today was good but it wasn’t good enough. I let them know that at the end.” “To win football games we’ve got to practice the whole way,” said Rivera.
Rivera wants his team to be ready for a “potentially scary game” against the talented personnel and diverse offense of the AZ Cardinals. “People can’t get caught up in the numbers,” said Rivera. Even though the Cardinals only put up 13 points against Tampa Bay. “Their a solid group. This will be a good match-up for us,” said Rivera. “It’ll be a fun game.”
Fun may be the word for a Panthers team who were dominant on defense shutting-out the NY Giants and for an offense that seemed to click gaining the win with 38 points.
Rivera has high expectations and wants the Panthers to run on all cylinders, as do the fans. The Panthers need to be disciplined and still have fun doing it on the field—during practice and game time. The Panthers continue to look for the balance—the recipe for wins—it starts with practice and is carried to game day. ‘Start strong—finish stronger.’ Keep Pounding!
Written By: Phillip Boyce