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Panthers 28 Chiefs 16: Rivera Post-Game Presser Highlights

Rivera offers up assessments of QB Cam Newton, WR Kelvin Benjamin, the defense and why the Panthers lost in the playoffs last season (huh?) after the Panthers beat the Chiefs 28-16 in preseason action.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

I'm paraphrasing some key questions and Rivera's answers since I don't have a transcript:

Question: Was he hesitant to let Newton go back out in the second quarter for that final series.

Rivera: Yes we were but we let him go out and did the things we needed to see. He was high with a couple passes, a little tentative but then you saw him get a little confidence and start to make plays.

Question: When he (Newton) spun around were you...[pause, Rivera answers before question is finished]

Rivera: Absolutely...but he is who he is. He'll always do what he can to win and then worry about it (injury) later.

I know exactly which play he is referring too. I held my breathe as well.

Question: Were you happy with the performance?

Rivera: A was little disappointed to see the defense allow them to move the ball. But we bowed our neck up and only allowed FGs. But you can't rely on that, we've seen that the past two weeks... We're disappointed; we can't allow that to happen. It started with Luke, very first play Luke held back and he should have kept forward. He's one of our best players and he's got to understand you got to play disciplined. But we'll get that corrected and make sure we don't make those kind of mistakes going forward.

Rivera starts by calling out Kuechly? Don't fret, he knows Kuechly can handle it and will take it as intended.

Question: What about the offense?

Rivera: We started slow. The first three series weren't what you hoped they would be. But you kind of felt we were on the verge and then you see someone step up and makes plays. One of the nicest plays wasn't completed but you saw Kelvin make a nice move at the LOS down the sideline but Cam overthrew him. But that's we're hoping for, they'll hit those kind of connections and we'll work to get that done.

Question: Regarding the offense just things just suddenly click to get things started?

Rivera: Well I think it mostly had to do with Cam and he started to make things happen. We missed some opportunities earlier; if completes that pass to Kelvin then everybody is excited again.

He's right, if Newton had hit KB for his 2nd TD in two games we would be over the moon already. I still think KB will be a true #1 right out of the gate but lets pump the brakes just a little for now.

Question: About Kelvin what did you talk to him about after getting the unsportsman-like penalty?

Rivera: I told him that is what is going to happen, guys are going to try and get inside your head and knock you off your game. You just have to handle it gracefully.

Question: Do you think he will be prone to that kind of thing.

Rivera: No I don't but this might be one of those situations where you have to stand up for yourself. Sometimes you have to draw a line in the sand and tell a guy you keep that up and this is what is going to happen. I told him ‘Hey you want to get back at someone, just go make a play.'

I find Rivera's philosophy here perfect. Yes you have to keep a cool head but then again I might just channel that BS into a few highlight reel plays that make you tuck tail and run home!

Question: Speaking of outbursts, Thomas Davis got in Josh Norman's face heatedly...

Rivera: And we took him out of the game. That is why we lost in the playoffs, and I let it get started. I got caught up in the emotion of what was happening (in the SF loss)... That is not how we are going to play. We are going to play smart football.

Another great example of coaching to win. If you thought Rivera was stoic on the sideline in the past, expect a Sphinx this year. He won;t let that happen again. On another note, Josh Norman might be one 15 yard penalty from being cut. He just cannot make a simple tackle without jawing like he just made a HOF play. It will wear thin with this coaching staff in 2014 in my opinion.

There is another four or five questions but I found these the more choice answers. Click through and give the whole thing a listen if you haven't already.