Ron Rivera press conference: 'Too early' for changes on Panthers defense

Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Carolina Panthers head coach didn't do much to satiate the 'scream and yell' crowd, but we found out a little more about the team moving forward.

By his own admission Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera didn't sleep much last night, however he's not second guessing the decision to punt late in yesterday's game saying he would not have done anything differently.

Sunday's loss came down to a late breakdown by the secondary, and while Rivera said it's 'too early' to make changes, he did acknowledge that the free safety position was under examination. Sherrod Martin will get practice reps this week, along with Colin Jones and D.J. Campbell, who Rivera said would get a look. However, Rivera emphasized Martin which indicates he'll be the front runner to supplant Haruki Nakamura this week.

Say what you want about Ron Rivera, but he's quick to pull to plug following a player's poor performance. Joe Adams was inactive yesterday, a move that Rivera said was due to Captain Munnerlyn's ability to be bigger, and more difficult to bring down (read: he doesn't fumble). Now we wait to see if the same can be said for Sherrod Martin getting a chance.

The Panthers' coach praised Charles Johnson, saying he finally has the stats to back up the performance he'd seen all year, while also praising rookie Frank Alexander.

On the injury front Louis Murphy is in a boot after tweaking his ankle, and Chris Gamble and Jon Beason are experiencing shoulder soreness. Rivera acknowledged that Beason's drop in play is a product of his recovery from injury.

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