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Panthers close camp with a sloppy practice

Ron Rivera AP

Panthers coach Ron Rivera has been able to survive twin 2-8 starts because his teams have finished seasons strong.

But Rivera wasn’t pleased with the way his team closed camp Tuesday morning in Spartanburg, saying his players had an eye on the road back to Charlotte.

We slowed down at the end, and unfortunately I think the guys were thinking about I-85,” Rivera said, via Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer. “But the beginning of practice was really good, real smooth, a lot of good things happened. Then you could kind of tell they were a little bit wandering.

“I think they were thinking about going home. I wish they could have finished practice and focused all the way through.

That’s why Rivera was telling his team they “can’t have distractions” as they return home, in preparation for Thursday’s game at Philadelphia.

The Panthers’ inability to close out games (2-12 in games decided by a touchdown or less under Rivera) has been a killer, and a sloppy finish to camp isn’t a good sign.

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13 Responses to “Panthers close camp with a sloppy practice”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Aug 13, 2013 2:01 PM

    Hard to imagine there would be a lack of motivation with a good 3 dozen players that are going to have to be cut in the next couple weeks. This sounds like a serious organizational problem that has layers to it. He needs to sit down with the GM and figure out how this problem manifested itself and how to solve it. I thought the new GM came in here to turn things around, and this doesn’t sound good.

    Did the GM pick a bad assortment of players or does he have the wrong coach? Figure it out or get fired.

  2. kane337 says: Aug 13, 2013 2:03 PM

    That’s ok. Just make sure they play sloppy vs Cam’s favorite team.

  3. 808raiderinparadise says: Aug 13, 2013 2:09 PM

    Agree with “thestartegyexpert” you have to get the right guys on the roster.

    Carolina is a bit shallow when it comes to leadership …. don’t even try to say Cam, and Steve Smith is all over the place …. the coach is flat ….. they need a new energy.

  4. mackcarrington says: Aug 13, 2013 2:10 PM

    Why not make them have another day of camp if thats possible?

  5. blacknole08 says: Aug 13, 2013 2:24 PM

    Get it together fellas. Thats what has hurt this team the past 2 seasons. We need to learn how to finish games especially when the score is close. If we cant even do that in one practice (I know its just practice but still) that leads me to believe our team lacks motivation. Quit looking ahead and finish strong!

  6. tdubdizzle says: Aug 13, 2013 2:34 PM

    “I think they were thinking about going home. I wish they could have finished practice and focused all the way through.”

    Thats a terrible quote from a coach…

    A good Head Coach would have made them all run until they’re focused and playing 100 percent again.

  7. fumblenuts says: Aug 13, 2013 2:36 PM

    “And a sloppy finish to camp isn’t a good sign.”

    They open the regular season against the “hard hitting” Seattle Seahawks.

    Could be a VERY long season for the Panthers.

  8. tdubdizzle says: Aug 13, 2013 2:43 PM

    “They open the regular season against the “hard hitting” Seattle Seahawks.”

    Thats going to be hilarious.

  9. wadaz says: Aug 13, 2013 2:54 PM

    blacknole08 says:Aug 13, 2013 2:24 PM

    Get it together fellas. Thats what has hurt this team the past 2 seasons. We need to learn how to finish games especially when the score is close. If we cant even do that in one practice (I know its just practice but still) that leads me to believe our team lacks motivation. Quit looking ahead and finish strong!

    Not a Panther fan but I’ve heard Newton is not yet showing the leadership needed. How’s the leadership on the team? i.e. who are the leaders currently?

  10. thestrategyexpert says: Aug 13, 2013 3:26 PM

    808raiderinparadise:

    Yep and that’s why I included the coach, because some of the things he has said so far are quite peculiar. He has generated a lot of red flags for himself over the last 2 years. If I was the Panthers I would consider replacing him and the players. Rivera hasn’t shown indication that he was unhappy with his players so he in a sense vouches for his team. Anybody that vouches for the Carolina Panthers has a suspect football mind imo.

    I say they should clean house from top to bottom, and get rid of everybody and start anew with the best football men in the business. I don’t see them having that right now. I don’t understand what they are doing in Carolina or what they are trying to build.

  11. wisewoo says: Aug 13, 2013 4:29 PM

    Fun fact: The Panthers are the only NFC South team that trains away from its regular-season facility. They train at Wofford College, 80 miles from their homes.

    You wouldn’t be excited to not be sleeping in a dorm room after 3 weeks of grueling football only to return to a Twin XL bed?

  12. deerummy says: Aug 13, 2013 4:45 PM

    As a Panther fan I understand it is time for the team and coach to put up or shut up this season. Watching them give away games the first 2 seasons under Rivera had been gut wrenching. But please remember Big Bill up in New England coached in Cleveland pre their move to Baltimore and had they let him grow on the job the Ravens prob dont exist and we probably would speak of the Browns how people see New England nowadays. Point is it takes time to grow into a seasoned headcoach just like any position. I wouldn’t trade Cam or Luke for any QB MLB combo and don’t look now but Gettleman has 2 DEs who combined for 23 sacks last season and just added 2 huge athletic bodies inside in the draft in Star and KK, and i think coming from the Giants he knows a thing or two about building a beast of a D Line. It was an unfocused close to one of the hottest and humid camps in the NFL but don’t write them off just yet know it alls because with Cam we WILL put up points and this year we have a front seven on D that will rival any in the league.

  13. panthernation45 says: Aug 14, 2013 9:35 AM

    OH MY GOD, every team is ready to get out of training camp on the last day, players don’t like it! You would expect news of this nature not come from a professional team but guess what every team is like this, if you’re a fan of a different team, don’t come on here saying we need to replace people because guess what, you don’t know anything about the squad we have!

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