On NFL Network television early this morning, Jeff Darlington was interviewed in one of those quick segments from Carolina practice for the upcoming Panther playoff game.
We've all heard how Ron Rivera and the team are calm now?
Well, maybe this is how they got there? Darlington mentioned that Rivera told him, he felt his 'team wasn't currently practicing for Arizona seriously enough in his opinion.
He continued, when Rivera went and looked at the Arizona practice film, he realized the team WAS practicing seriously, professionally enough, and concluded maybe HE WAS THE ONE that was nervous and hyper (Rivera himself) about the upcoming game. Yes, Darlington relayed this.
Darlington noted, Rivera proceeded to reflect upon last years San Francisco playoff game as a reference point/learning lesson that he didn't want to repeat. Rivera, felt one of the reasons his team lost was because they were all too hyper then.
Currently, Rivera feels both he and his team are in the right place and their calm, ready for this weeks playoff match. He say's they feel good (as many of you heard). .
First off: I'm glad Rivera admitted this. Because since he recognized it; hopefully it's been corrected (as he's indicated). Cause I for one, feel Rivera's nervousness has translated to his team during big games; Rivera/Newton's second season when he was greeted with higher expectations; anytime the Panthers start to receive media hype/attention; his infamous bye record-when he has time to think games, and night games to name a few.
I pondered writing this post, cause I know some of you feel I'm biased and I have it in for Rivera. I don't. Hell, if Cam and Benjamin can be routinely criticized by overzealous fans here, you don't feel Ron Rivera can? Come on now? I, and others, judge him simply as an NFL Head Coach. He's got some strengths; yes. However, he's learning, and has some obvious holes and weaknesses in his coaching and team management as well. That's been well documented over the years.
Ok enough/Saying all that: I feel the Panthers are going to play a good game this weekend......Shoot! I feel they have as good a chance as any, to advance far in the playoffs; no matter who they play (damn you national media, commentators).
Good Luck Ron. I hope you're correct. Free Cam and the offense (the pass rush and secondary as well).
Note sure if there's an accompanying article on NFL.com to link?
Sorry guys. I meant "NFL Network". Early morning post. Lol