I think any concern about our 1st round draft pick in now completely dissipated with his performance in week 1:
Star Lotulelei dominates in NFL debut | NFL | Carolina Panthers | Seattle Seahawks
The film I watched showed a player who swallowed up opposing linemen and drove them backwards, closing off lanes for running backs and giving quarterbacks little room to step up in the pocket.
Everyone can see it, not just Panther fans.
A hot topic since Sunday is the offenses lack of deep shots:
"Yes," said a non-hesitant Rivera when asked if OC Mike Shula's playcalling was too conservative. "There are some things that need to be looked at on both sides in terms of getting the ball vertical. We looked through it. We talked about it and those will be the things that we look to do. We have to create more of those opportunities." Cam Newton's strength is throwing the deep ball, and Steve Smith is one of the better deep-ball catchers in the league.
It's really a no-brainer in my view. What was not so obvious is who filled in at safety when newly signed Quinton Mickell needed a breather:
"I think D.J. did a nice job for us at safety," Rivera said. "As we continue working, if we have to rotate it that way, I think it will get better and better." Moore finished the game with two tackles, including one on former Gaffney and South Carolina star Sidney Rice. In addition to playing defense, Moore also was on the kickoff team and punt return team. "I feel like I did OK, but it's really just about the team and trying to help us win," Moore said. "We didn't win so hopefully next week I can get in and make something happen, turn the game all the way around so there's not an opportunity for the other team to come in and steal one from us."
Wise words from the CB, part-time safety.
From the 'No Duh' file:
"You know I’d like to believe we have an opportunity to change (the memories of last season)," he says. "I’d like to believe that definitely we can get these things worked out and get it rolling. Again it’s a good football team we played against but we had opportunity … to beat a team that a lot of people are crowing right now. And you know it should be a wake-up call for us that hey, we can play with anybody and we are most certainly capable, and we’re going to win some football games."
I ask Rivera how he gets over a loss such as Sunday’s, and he talks about what his players have to do. I mean you, coach. "Go right back to work," Rivera says. "I mean there’s really nothing you can do. … Just try to find the answer. I mean that’s what I’ll continue to do. And we found it last year late and it’s time to find it early. It really is. "We can’t wait and I understand that and we will certainly find that answer and get rolling."
He tries to put the best spin on it he can but I think the answer is obvious so if he is still looking then its going to be a long season for us for a short one for Rivera. I hope he finds the answer soon because some think Rivera may not even get half a season to turn things around:
"Ron Rivera, the last two seasons, has started 2-8," Sharpe said. "He's not going to get a chance to go (2-8) because if he loses his first two (games) they are going to consider firing him in Week 3."
If the Panthers go 0-3 Rivera might be gone by the bye week in order to try and turn the season around before it is too late.
Looking at grades for the game I found this one interesting:
PASS OFFENSE: Cam Newton’s numbers look mediocre – 16 of 23 for 125 yards and one touchdown – but he was sacked only once and two drops by Greg Olsen could’ve given the Panthers an early offensive spark. Still, Newton admitted he missed Steve Smith on a play that could’ve been huge and only eight of the 16 completions resulted in first downs. Grade: C
That seems a little generous to me.
More from Rivera:
"We didn't play smart football," Rivera said Monday. "That really bothers more so than anything else, and I just expressed that to the players." Rather than it being one player who can be taken out of the lineup for making multiple mistakes, Rivera said it was multiple players making one mistake if not more. The silver lining is that even with all the miscues, the Panthers were oh-so close to knocking off one of the early Super Bowl favorites. "The disappointment is not necessarily that we lost as much as how we lost," Rivera said. "The thing I told them was that as we watch this tape, be honest. If you played 59 plays well and you played one play bad, that one play should really eat at you. "I think the guys heard that message, and a lot of guys are going to respond the right way."
How we lost indeed, as for me it was like deja vu all over again from 2012. Though its easy to point the finger at Williams I think the problem is deeper than that.
"I'm not taking part of the blame," he said as he sat in front of his locker. "I'm taking all of it. Not a little. It's all my fault." Williams was referring to his fumble at the Seattle 8-yard line with 5:25 remaining. It took all of the air out of the fans that were sensing an upset in the making against the team ranked No. 1 by ESPN. "It ultimately came down to that fumble,'' Williams said. "Let's get it out of the way. It is my fault.''
I do appreciate him owning up to it though.
Offensive coordinator Mike Shula added: "This is a system that does (take vertical shots downfield) a lot. But just because you have a system that does, that doesn't mean you have to just force the ball down the field. There were some things that we looked at and said, 'Yeah, we had some opportunities.' There were some opportunities there (for vertical shots) and we'll get better in that regard."
I'm sorry but I think you need to take some shots regardless of what the defense is doing even if its overthrown by 5 yards. For whatever reason Cam didn't make those throws.
Speaking of mistakes, here is a Panthers version of Dumb and Dumber in GIFs:
and Dumber was Armond Smith's two special teams penalty's for which he earned the wrath of Smitty: