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Ron Rivera “very concerned” about Panthers defense

Ron Rivera AP

Cam Newton has completed only 40% of his passes in the preseason.

Bumps along the road for rookie quarterbacks are to be expected, which is why we said last night that Newton is the least of Carolina’s problems. The offensive line has struggled to protect, and the defense has been worse.

“I’m very concerned[about the defense],” coach Ron Rivera said Thursday night. “I think the biggest thing is looking at where we are in terms of who’s on the field. We are playing some young guys and they need to get some experience very quickly.

“Our two starting tackles [Sione Fua and Terrell McClain] are both rookies and at times they played like rookies and at times they played like veterans. They are a little bit away but we’re going to live and die with these situations.”

So far, the Panthers defense is dying. Jon Beason isn’t on the field to save the linebacker group.  Carolina has made Chad Henne, Reggie Bush, Andy Dalton, and Cedric Benson all look like Pro Bowlers in successive weeks.

It’s easy to forget that Carolina’s defense is making a huge transition under Rivera. The defensive tackles are especially uncertain.  Few teams were hurt more by the lockout.

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40 Responses to “Ron Rivera “very concerned” about Panthers defense”
  1. cakemixa says: Aug 26, 2011 10:04 AM

    This guy is just realizing this? Maybe there’s hope for a 3-13 season this year.

  2. rayvens says: Aug 26, 2011 10:05 AM

    Carolina has made Chad Henne, Reggie Bush, Andy Dalton, and Cedric Benson all look like Pro Bowlers in successive weeks.
    ——————————
    The only time u will hear the listed names, and Pro Bowle, in the same sentence.

  3. djp141 says: Aug 26, 2011 10:06 AM

    Yeah, I’m very concerned too.

  4. jdsteady says: Aug 26, 2011 10:06 AM

    Considering the Panthers were the leagues worst team last year I would think a preseason like this is to be expected……

  5. chc4 says: Aug 26, 2011 10:06 AM

    And they are in the wrong division. Atlanta, NO and Tampa will carve em up like a Thanksgiving turkey.

  6. abninf says: Aug 26, 2011 10:07 AM

    Rookies are playing like rookies? NO!

  7. greenbirdbacker says: Aug 26, 2011 10:07 AM

    How many games did they win last year…2???
    This will be a loooong process for Rivera, if richardson sticks by him. Everyone down here assumes he’s waiting on Cowher to come back…

  8. panther17 says: Aug 26, 2011 10:10 AM

    Very concerned? Understatement of the year.

  9. krashie21 says: Aug 26, 2011 10:17 AM

    Could THIS really happen????

    2010 – Clausen
    2011 – Newton
    2012 – Luck

    That would be the wildest and most interesting run of drafts and QBs in history……and if the Panthers are that bad and Luck is there…..it’s not like you’re going to walk away from the most anticipated QB prospect in a generation.

  10. waccoforflacco says: Aug 26, 2011 10:17 AM

    The idiots gave Charles Johnson $72 million…stupid, stupid move when you have GOBS of holes on defense.

    Why should the other guys play hard when a mediocre DE gets a King’s fortune…they say…Let money bags do it.

  11. caseysarasota says: Aug 26, 2011 10:25 AM

    Sean McDermott. – I am an Eagles fan…we felt your pain.

  12. touchdownsyndrome says: Aug 26, 2011 10:35 AM

    Kings fortune… lol, wow!

  13. Land Snark says: Aug 26, 2011 10:36 AM

    Exactly. Rivera might be running the defense as the HC.

    But no good can come from McDermott running your defense.

    Good thing Peppers got out earlier or he’d be dropping back into coverage instead of rushing the QB.

  14. kyobx says: Aug 26, 2011 10:38 AM

    Ron Edwards getting hurt was a big setback. He would have provided stability and leadership to the middle of the line.

    The upside of the underwhelming achievement so far is we might just get LUCKy next April…but we better get some OL protection for him also…I definitely don’t think Newton is the long term answer…I would rather see DA in there than Newton, or Clausen for that matter, right now (go ahead and insert your bashing and laughing here now – but he does know Chud’s system and played well under him in ’08 – didn’t have him in ’09 or ’10).

    There is a laundry list of issues right now, but the def line, left tackle (Gross has pretty much been gross so far), the whole right side of OL have stunk, miss Beason pretty badly, and need some corner help…hopefully, we can find some suitable help after cuts start being made…Balmer may work out (he’s big), but not sure yet….

  15. bobbinski1229 says: Aug 26, 2011 10:40 AM

    Why does everyone keep making excuses for Cam Newton… Oh he’s a rookie (That must be the reason he only completes 40% of his passes)…. He’s the number one pick in the draft and a face of the franchise… Problem is… He’s gonna be the next Jason Campbell…. Auburn QB’s don’t equal good NFL QB’s… The dude was a waste of a pick, and they should have built off the foundation of their team (lines) and went after one of the better QB prospects next year….

    Cam Newton is going to be a huge failure…

  16. phillyrick22 says: Aug 26, 2011 10:50 AM

    thats what you get when you hire sean mcd as your d-coordinator…

  17. waccoforflacco says: Aug 26, 2011 10:51 AM

    Aah..how about King’s Ransom, mucho dinero, BIG BUCKS, sh#t load of money, The Brink’s Truck, ton of money, all of Fort Knox, all the rice in China, a “whopping sum”, etc……….

  18. panther17 says: Aug 26, 2011 10:52 AM

    I love how at home scouting pro’s know that Cam Newton will be a failure after 6 qtrs of NFL play following a shortened off season with a new HC, OC, and QB Coach on a team that went 2-14 last season.

    Quick! Someone hire these people up!

  19. jadaniels says: Aug 26, 2011 11:03 AM

    Responding to someone above, I do not believe that everyone in Charlotte assumes JR is waiting for Cowher – that talking point is about 2 years old. Rivera had the leagues No. 1 defense last year in SD – the guy can coach, but he’s had 1 month to do it. Bottom line is this: teams like this take time to turn around, and the 24/7 NFL media culture makes snap judgements the norm. With the amazing amount of GMs that post on this site (I count over 100!), the lack of longterm perspective is startling. It’s preseason game 3 for last year’s worst team with a new set of coaches, a new QB and a brand new system. I think they’ll turn things around, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and it’s pretty dumb to think they’d be anything other than mediocre this year.

    As far as Cam goes, I think he’ll get much better, but I’m positive that if Aikman was playing in todays NFL, he’d have been on the first plane out of Dallas his rookie year. Drew Brees took 4 years! to become anything other than a mediocre QB – that’s why SD drafted Rivers! Do you think they would’ve drafted him had they known their then-current QB would turn into a perennial Pro Bowler? No. So let’s give Cam a little more than 5 quarters before we all become draft and scouting experts, shall we?

  20. football58 says: Aug 26, 2011 11:15 AM

    Idiots should have drafted Darius, and probably still be in line for Luck next year.

  21. TurdSandwich says: Aug 26, 2011 11:17 AM

    Good grief. If your “joke” isn’t funny don’t post it.
    PS: your joke isn’t funny.

  22. mickqueue says: Aug 26, 2011 11:25 AM

    You know, I honestly haven’t been paying attention, but is he running a 3-4 like he ran in San Diego?

  23. gridassassin says: Aug 26, 2011 11:28 AM

    If Rivera survives three seasons, I predict Carolina will have a Top 5 defense. If Beason is out for more than 4 games this year, that team will be lucky to win 6 games.

  24. pantherguy344 says: Aug 26, 2011 11:35 AM

    No need to be in panic mode yet. This is a crazy league. Its gonna take time and patience. The talent is there(except for gamble) they just need to play more like a team. This is a very young squad.

  25. memrylestravled says: Aug 26, 2011 11:41 AM

    I think people forget we are still in the re-building stage. Granted we do still have a couple veterans, we have a lot of rookie players. As far as all the Cam Newton talk, I think he has potential to be a great NFL quarterback, just in time. We really need to have a more seasoned quarterback for our offense at this point. Let these young guys watch and learn. Look at Aaron Rodgers, he sat behind Favre for years, now look at his success (not saying Favre is the reason for Rodgers’ success, but it played a part). Not every year is going to be a winning year, this may be one of them. We have to let these guys get experience. I hope Beason heals and is back by week 2, but who knows.

  26. memrylestravled says: Aug 26, 2011 11:43 AM

    Maybe let Derek Anderson take the lead for the year.

  27. panther17 says: Aug 26, 2011 11:48 AM

    krashie21 says: Aug 26, 2011 10:17 AM

    “Could THIS really happen????

    2010 – Clausen
    2011 – Newton
    2012 – Luck”

    kyobx says: Aug 26, 2011 10:38 AM

    “The upside of the underwhelming achievement so far is we might just get LUCKy next April…”

    ____________________________________

    I would be completely shocked if we had the number 1 pick next year and picked Luck. People might point out that we used a 2nd on Clausen then a 1st pick 1st round on Cam the very next year, but you have two different HC between those years. Rivera future with the Panthers is riding on his pick at QB with Cam.

    Besides, it would be hitting the jackpot lottery if the Panthers get the first pick next year. Obviously not going to draft him with just taking Cam the year before. So many trade potentials though. A first round first pick with a QB being hyped up like Luck, golden. Limit on how much Luck can make with first contract? Priceless. The trade given up for him could be unbelievable, making Ricky Williams draft day trade look as if nothing.

  28. hobartbaker says: Aug 26, 2011 11:53 AM

    The Newt will not last long if he have to run all the time. He came very close to a cart ride a couple times in that game.

  29. jacksaysfu says: Aug 26, 2011 12:11 PM

    Why would they hire McDermottt right away when he was a DC for 1 year and was horrible . Im a Eagles fan and this guy is horrible .

  30. christopher525 says: Aug 26, 2011 12:16 PM

    We should have moved back, drafted Bowers early in the 2nd with one of the picks we got from trading number 1, could have taken Ponder with the first rounder we could have picked up, then we could have picked up Hasselbeck or McNabb to bring him along for a couple years, hell, we could have even brought Kerry Collins in for one last run.

  31. ajknox88 says: Aug 26, 2011 12:17 PM

    I remember laughing so hard when Carolina selected Cam Newton #1 overall… Then thinking to myself that they’ll be selecting #1 overall again next year.

  32. denardsbig10inchdong says: Aug 26, 2011 12:19 PM

    jonathan stewart and deangelo williams…top RB due in NFL? very poss. Doomed to never sniff a SB? very def.

  33. bobbinski1229 says: Aug 26, 2011 12:20 PM

    panther17,

    I don’ consider myself to be a scout… Cam Newton had one big year in college and got all the buzz for being the next best thing…. Just like Jamarcus Russel…. They all said russel has all the potential in the world, but took himself a nice payday and blew… Kinda like Newton’s going to do… Except he won’t get paid NEARLY as much…

  34. panther17 says: Aug 26, 2011 12:52 PM

    I personally don’t see the Russell and Cam Newton comparison beyond what they did in college. From every outlet us home scouts have to us, media reports and going to practice that are open, Cam has put in the time and effort since being drafted. He hasn’t just simply settled for one nice payday or two if he got paid by Auburn also.

    We’re all home scouts giving our opinion on the game and it’s players. Just sometimes I think we pass judgment too quickly.

  35. celly84 says: Aug 26, 2011 12:53 PM

    We should have moved back, drafted Bowers early in the 2nd with one of the picks we got from trading number 1, could have taken Ponder with the first rounder we could have picked up, then we could have picked up Hasselbeck or McNabb to bring him along for a couple years, hell, we could have even brought Kerry Collins in for one last run.
    ______________________________________

    And when that doesn’t work, do you hit the reset button on your madden game and hope it works the next time you play???

    smh @ all the madden GM’s…

  36. pigskinswag says: Aug 26, 2011 12:54 PM

    Ron Rivera was expecting his presence on the sidelines to magically transform the defense into the ’85 Bears.

  37. djp141 says: Aug 26, 2011 12:57 PM

    christopher525 says: Aug 26, 2011 12:16 PM

    We should have moved back
    ————————————————–

    Can’t move back when nobody wants to trade up.

  38. stvang says: Aug 26, 2011 1:32 PM

    panther17 says:Aug 26, 2011 10:52 AM

    I love how at home scouting pro’s know that Cam Newton will be a failure after 6 qtrs of NFL play following a shortened off season with a new HC, OC, and QB Coach on a team that went 2-14 last season.

    Quick! Someone hire these people up!

    —————————————————

    He does not have a good release or an accurate throw. That is not good and wont end well. For example see.. Rex Grossman

  39. stvang says: Aug 26, 2011 1:33 PM

    djp141 says:Aug 26, 2011 12:57 PM

    christopher525 says: Aug 26, 2011 12:16 PM

    We should have moved back
    ————————————————–

    Can’t move back when nobody wants to trade up.

    ———————————-
    That a giant red flag suggesting that talent on the board was not worth moving up. Cam Newton did not impress alot of teams

  40. shaggytoodle says: Aug 26, 2011 3:28 PM

    panther17 says:Aug 26, 2011 10:52 AM

    I love how at home scouting pro’s know that Cam Newton will be a failure after 6 qtrs of NFL play
    _________________________________

    It’s not just NFL games its what they have accomplished as a whole, I think most football fans understood that Tebow was going to have a tough time transititioning his game to the NFL.

    I think a lot of people knew Reggie Bush, wasn’t going to be able to get to the edge and tear down the field, with the speed of LBs.

    I think it was a tough year to draft a QB. I think it will be more busts than booms. I don’t which one Newton will fall in, but I am leaning towards bust right now.

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