Rivera says he’s “right behind” Kalil


Panthers center Ryan Kalil rallied the fan base with a full-page ad in the Charlotte Observer declaring that the Panthers will be the Super Bowl XLVII champions.  (One person pointed on Twitter that Kalil misspelled “Packers.”)

Ultimately, Kalil was behaving like a fan, and that’s the kind of behavior the fans love.

His coach loves it, too.

“I’m right behind [Kalil],” Ron Rivera said, via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.  “I feel the same way.  This is a group of men who, if they work hard and put it on themselves, the sky can be the limit.  But, we’ve got to go out and do it now to become the football team that has a chance to win every Sunday.”

Rivera thinks it’s important for players to possess that kind of enthusiasm.

“[I]f we don’t have 53 guys with that attitude in our locker room right now, then we gotta find the guys that want it,” Rivera said.  “We don’t know what’s going to happen.  But we gotta come out and play and play hard and do everything we can to win that Super Bowl and they have the right attitude, that right mental frame of mind and that’s what Ryan’s done.  Ryan’s put it out there, like, ‘Hey.  This is my mental outlook, this is my frame of mind.  This is what I want, so let’s go out and get it.'”

Linebacker Jon Beason agrees.  “You can’t put the carriage before the horse,” Beason told Rapaport.  “But I love it.  I’ve been saying that for a while now.  The first step to reality is kinda the belief.  Having that confidence in what you’re doing, and now it’s all about the preparation.”

So why am I celebrating Kalil when in the past I’ve criticized guys like Rex Ryan and Mike Vick for doing pretty much the same thing?  With a contending team, that kind of talk comes off as presumptuous and crass.  With a team not widely viewed as a Super Bowl contender, talk like that demonstrates and develops the kind of confidence that can make an otherwise fringe team contend.

In this context, it comes off not as arrogance but as an expression of determination.  The kind of determination that, not long ago, simply didn’t exist in Charlotte.

Kalil will have a chance to elaborate or to backtrack on Thursday, when he appears on the final PFT Live before we take a break in deference to something called the Olympics.  I’m willing to predict he won’t be backtracking.

17 responses to “Rivera says he’s “right behind” Kalil

  1. It’s only worth being behind Kalil if the Panthers replace Sean McDermott.

    He did nothing in Philly and ran a bad D in Charlotte last year! They’ll be better when he goes!!!

  2. If the offense plays like it did last year while limiting turnovers, and the defense can stay near the middle of the pack, they will be in the hunt.

  3. Guarantees mean nothing in this day an age. I remember when Jon Kitna made some guarantee about the Lions getting 10 wins one year, and I think that was the season they went winless

  4. The Eagles had only two more wins than the Panthers last year; even though they’re an ostensibly better team, that’s still a bit too close for your rationalization of fringe teams vs. bottom of the barrel teams. It’s fine that you’re biased against the Eagles and Jets (most people are), but at least admit it rather than puss out and make up some finite distinction that isn’t really there.

  5. Since 2000, the following teams did not promise/guarentee a Super Bowl win in the preseason, and went on to win the Super Bowl

    New England
    Tampa Bay
    New England
    New England
    New York Giants
    New Orleans
    Green Bay
    New York Giants

    Maybe there’s something to this whole keep your mouth shut, let your play do the talking kinda thing?

  6. Given their jacked-up division, you would expect the Panthers at least to be a first round bye team in the playoffs. Bad move by Kalil but hard to argue with the sentiment.

  7. Kalil put the cart before the horse, and is making the horse push the cart with his ass. Up the stairs after closing the barn door before it left the building. Beating it with a stick before it’s even dead.

  8. I think its great to have some kind of confidence in your team.

    But really…do you need to advertise your ego in the news? What happened to letting your actions speak for themselves?

    As an Eagles fan, Im really ticked off at our players for not keeping their traps shut after last season.

  9. Rivera is behind Kalil, but he really, really wishes he’d keep his mouth shut. Panthers can catch some teams by surprise this year if they can stay away from the smack talk.

  10. everybody else is “right behind” him laughing!!!! at his statement, make the playoffs first, buddy!!!

  11. ANYTHING great is possible when you have Cam Newton leading your team. He is unreal.

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