Ron Rivera: Accountability why Kelvin Benjamin sat out first three plays


The Panthers offense started Sunday’s game against the Seahawks without wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin on the field.

It wasn’t a strategic decision. After the game, coach Ron Rivera said that Benjamin sat out those plays to send the message that “you are accountable just like everybody else” without explaining why Benjamin was being held accountable.

Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer reports that Benjamin was late for a team meeting on Saturday and couldn’t steal Geno Smith’s time zone-excuse for his tardiness because the Panthers were playing at home. Benjamin’s punishment didn’t extend to the field as he led the team in receiving yards during the 13-9 loss.

“I really didn’t worry about it,” Benjamin said. “When I got my chance and got in, I just wanted to make my mark and get the offense going and help the team.”

Benjamin did that with a 51-yard catch in heavy coverage to set up one of Graham Gano’s field goals, but he also dropped a pass in the end zone that would have really helped Carolina on a day when touchdowns were tough to come by for both teams. Such is life for an NFL rookie, especially one whose attention to detail appears to need some work on and off the field.

16 responses to “Ron Rivera: Accountability why Kelvin Benjamin sat out first three plays

  1. 3 plays may seem like a meaningless punishment, but it should be looked at as a shot across the bow. A warning, if you will. Sometimes I tap my son’s behind. Does it physically send a message that says, “Oh man, that hurt, I better be good”? No. Does it tell my son that he’s on thin ice and encourage him to straighten up? Absolutely.

  2. Three plays, now that’s accountability for sure !! I think I will use that philosophy on my 3 year old son when I want to send a message. He’s gonna miss the first 3 minutes of Scooby Doo, that will surely get his attention! I’m sure his response will be the same as Benjamin’s, “I really didn’t worry about it”.

  3. “I really didn’t worry about it,” Benjamin said.

    Yeah, that sounds like a guy receiving an accountability message, loud & clear…LOL!!!

    “Diva, aisle 1!”

  4. Ron, Ron, Ron, are you sure you’re coaching in the NFL? Such severe “punishment” is only reserved for the SEC.

  5. I’ve been impressed by the rookie so far, but I don’t understand how he can make circus-type catches but he somehow has trouble dropping a lot of passes that hit him in the hands… like the touchdown pass he should have had over loud-mouth Sherman. It hurts losing to the seahawks 3 years in a row–each loss by less than a TD. I am still hoping for the madden curse for the LOB.

  6. Oh and now they have to play the Saints this Thursday who just may have finally realized they had to start playing football this season or find themselves out of the playoff hunt in 2014.

  7. This guy is a talent and will be a good NFL player eventually but the drops too many passes which was one of the knocks on him when he was in college before the draft. Hopefully Coach Proehl can help him with this but it is not going to be this year. He will hit the rookie wall soon. He is the type that will do this but he is on a terrible football team.

  8. 3 plays…

    Could have suspended him the whole game and actually made a point. Was a loss either way.

    This was kind of like me warning my toddler and then not following through when he does it anyway looking right in my eyes testing me.

    Not good at all.

  9. I can’t believe the Player’s Association hasn’t filed a grievance. That punishment is just way too severe.

    Seriously, sitting out for 3 plays may very well be the absolute worst punishment I’ve ever seen. That’s like putting a kid in time out for 15 seconds.

  10. Rivera should sit Cam Newton out but instead he will go after everyone else.

    Rivera cuts his nose off to spite his face anyway. You only get dissension with the team when you start being unfair to players.

    When his big star player Hardy was in trouble he worried about his secretaries and receptionist more than the team. If they did not like what they have to deal with sometimes as there will always be something then they should quit.

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