Ron Rivera dialed into The Rich Eisen show yesterday for about twelve minutes and discussed a number of things worth mentioning. I’ve embedded the full video below but also offer this tl;dr version (did I use that acronym right?):
On Cam Newton:
- We remain hungry because we didn’t finish the job
- Cam is the same guy as last year though he’s learned from his experiences last season
- He takes things personal (hence his post-SB presser)
- Who we try to be: We are physical upfront on both sides (mentions current streak of rushing for over 100 yds in 28 straight games
On the departure of Josh Norman:
- We just had to absorb the loss of Norman, though he wanted to keep him they decided they didn’t HAVE to keep him. Still very strong upfront on defense which will help the young corners.
- Panthers did not entertain Norman being a regular contributor on Fox duriing the season because it never came up (like recently announced)
- Understands players are concerned about their future, but asks “Is it a distraction?” Eisen: What if he didn’t ask you he could do it? Rivera: Depends on if it is being a distraction.
- We feel great about our safeties…mentions Coleman and Boston (but not Marlowe)
On Luke Kuechly:
- Agrees with comparison to Mike Singletary
- Can get better by helping team get better
On Kelvin Benjamin:
- They’ve been real cautious with him; just recently got the okay to work him 100%
- KB is now ready to roll (on the field)
- Mentions John Madden as a person he looks up to and calls when he is working through hard stuff
- Best Buddy Ryan story: when he put him in charge of Dan Hampton...not on the field but getting him back to the hotel in time for curfew. Apparently Hampton was a beast on and off the field
- Doesn’t know what Cam has in mind to replace ‘dabbing’ but Eisen did say Cam has indicated he has something planned
- Said he was worried after the J-No vs Cam fight last training camp but the team leaders came to him and said they would take care of it. He didn’t have to do anything. Said he thought the notion both thought, ‘I don’t care who you are I’m going to fight you’ was a ‘man’ thing but in the end it actually brought the team closer together.