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Riverboat Rivera - ESPN article (by David Newton)

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http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcsouth/post/_/id/51440/ron-rivera-taking-chances-winning

 

 

By nature, Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera is conservative. It goes against everything he's always believed as a former linebacker and defensive coordinator to take gambles.

He was criticized unmercifully by the media and fans after a 24-23 loss at Buffalo in Week 2 for kicking a field goal on fourth-and-1 from the Bills' 21-yard line with a 20-17 lead and 1:42 remaining.

At that time, only one of the other 31 NFL teams had gone for it on fourth down less than Carolina since Rivera took over in 2011. That was the coach Rivera replaced, Denver's John Fox.

But ever since then, it seems, Rivera has gone for it almost every time there's been a critical fourth-and-1 call. He did it twice on the first drive of Sunday's 35-10 victory against the Minnesota Vikings.

So maybe he's changing his stripes.

 

Newton addresses Rivera's recent proclivity for going for it on 4th and 1.  Good article, though I don't agree with all of it.  I think Rivera has heard his criticism for being a pu$$y in the past, and now that his ass is on the line he's saying "fug it, what do I have to lose".  And now that it's working for the most part, he has to stick with it or he'll be criticized even harder for SEEING that it can be successful and still being stubborn enough not to go for it.  I just hope Rivera is able to recognize when it's NOT a good time to go for it.  I hope this new "throw caution to the wind" attitude on 4th and short doesn't make him decide to go for it on 4th and inches on our own 29 yard line at some point when we're up by 6 points with 3 minutes left in the game or something like that.

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Ya I wonder too, if Rivera is merely going for it now just because of the scrutiny or if he actually saw that in that situation it called for it? I want him to actually be learning and not just responding to critics.

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Ya I wonder too, if Rivera is merely going for it now just because of the scrutiny or if he actually saw that in that situation it called for it? I want him to actually be learning and not just responding to critics.

 

Yea, me too.  It would be great if he actually was learning.  I've given up hope on that though.  I get the impression he's gnashing his teeth every time he goes for it, thinking "gd this stupid poo.  I shouldn't be going for it.  It's smarter to play conservatively.  But if I don't go for it, there's more ammunition to get me fired."  It strongly seems to me to be just responding to critics.

 

I could be wrong though, I obviously don't know the guy.  I hope I'm wrong.  If he has actually learned the error of his past ways, then holy poo he's a slow learner....

 

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The best thing ESPN has done in years is giving each team their own reporter for exclusive coverage.

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Yea, me too.  It would be great if he actually was learning.  I've given up hope on that though.  I get the impression he's gnashing his teeth every time he goes for it, thinking "gd this stupid poo.  I shouldn't be going for it.  It's smarter to play conservatively.  But if I don't go for it, there's more ammunition to get me fired."  It strongly seems to me to be just responding to critics.

 

I could be wrong though, I obviously don't know the guy.  I hope I'm wrong.  If he has actually learned the error of his past ways, then holy poo he's a slow learner....

 

 

I've said it before and will say it again: the statistics are often on Rivera's side when it came to his short-down decisions in the past.However, i think he's decided that if his offense can be consistent in making the decisions pay off he will keep calling them when it makes sense until they show that they can't get it done. Also, there's a lot to be said for having our defense to bail the offense out (although they dropped the ball vs. Buffalo.)

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When Rivera brought that blitz when the game was clearly over was a sign of learning. That's how you play, to win. Not to NOT lose 

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I've said it before and will say it again: the statistics are often on Rivera's side when it came to his short-down decisions in the past.However, i think he's decided that if his offense can be consistent in making the decisions pay off he will keep calling them when it makes sense until they show that they can't get it done. Also, there's a lot to be said for having our defense to bail the offense out (although they dropped the ball vs. Buffalo.)

 

Those statistics are based on teams without Cameron Newton.  To me, that means those statistics are irrelevant.  The only statistic I need is this: how many times, when Cam has a designed run, has he failed to get a yard?  To my recollection, the only times that happens are read options where he's dropped behind the line almost immediately.  When Cam runs dives or power runs, he almost ALWAYS gets positive yards.

 

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CHECKDOWNS!

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Those statistics are based on teams without Cameron Newton.  To me, that means those statistics are irrelevant.  The only statistic I need is this: how many times, when Cam has a designed run, has he failed to get a yard?  To my recollection, the only times that happens are read options where he's dropped behind the line almost immediately.  When Cam runs dives or power runs, he almost ALWAYS gets positive yards.

 

 

He's been stuffed on a power run a few times in the past, but it's definitely an 80% success rate. But do you really need to risk your franchise quarterback on every short down? I like the fact that Tolbert is being utilized again in that situation.

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When Rivera brought that blitz when the game was clearly over was a sign of learning. That's how you play, to win. Not to NOT lose 

 

Hopefully.  I did like the inclusion of blitzing in today's defensive gameplan.  Was a very good ratio.  Our front 4 is VERY good at pressuring, but like with almost every other team ever, just bringing 4 isn't going to produce as many sacks as one would like.  Throwing those blitzes in today allowed the pressures to finish and come away with the sacks. 

 

One thing in particular I'd like to see more often of is blitzing Captain.  He's a pretty solid little blitzer, and losing him from the coverage isn't going to be that huge of a loss anyway, so I'd like to see him used more often in DB blitzes.

 

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Fug it, we've got Cam Newton and Mike Tolbert, go for 4th and 1 every fugging time says I.

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He's been stuffed on a power run a few times in the past, but it's definitely an 80% success rate. But do you really need to risk your franchise quarterback on every short down? I like the fact that Tolbert is being utilized again in that situation.

 

I'll take an 80% success rate any day :)  Him running those power runs aren't that big of a risk to him.  How often do you see runners get hurt in that situation?  Not often, to my memory.  Injuries usually come in the open field, or are blind side hits, or are OL who get someone rolled up on their ankle or knee which doesn't usually happen to a ball carrier.

 

I'll take that minor risk on every 4th and a yard or less every time.  That situation doesn't come up that often.

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