Head coach Ron Rivera addresses the media following Carolina's 12-9 loss to New Orleans on Monday Night Football.
RE: Not clicking for offense tonight
Well we just missed a couple opportunities. We missed a couple throws, a couple blocks and had a chance for a couple catches. It was tough. We moved the ball right before the half and Cam [Newton] went to throw the fade and the corner made a really good play. We got the jump ball up to [Devin] Funchess that we wanted and he undercut and got inside of Funch. That was a tough one. We make a big play, had a big run going and unfortunately we fumbled. Again, it is hard to fault when a young man is fighting his butt off to try and put up into position. That’s the hard part. A couple of self‐inflicted wounds that hurt us.
RE: How the season has gone with one side of the ball playing well while the other does not
We played smart on the defensive side and were able to keep the ball in front of us. Because we did that we were able to give ourselves a chance, give ourselves the opportunity. I thought the guys competed as a team. I thought they came out and tried to do some things. We had some pluses and some opportunities and unfortunately we missed out. I really appreciate the great effort and that’s all you can ask this time of year is that your guys go out and compete and give you great effort.
RE: Will you consider sitting Cam Newton for last two games?
No. What we are going to do is see how the week goes right now. Again, we will continue to evaluate and see what the doctors have to say. But, the route has been the same and will continue.
RE: Hard to not have down field options due to Cam Newton’s shoulder soreness?
The hard part again obviously is you try to take what they give you. We will see. We will go from there.
RE: Is this the most complete effort from the defense this season?
Yes, I would most certainly give them praise. I thought they competed. I thought they did some good things. They took the ball away when they had to. They scored when we had an opportunity. Donte’s [Jackson] return was spectacular. The young man has played very well for us at times and he has made a couple of young mistakes. But that’s the kind of effort you expect from your guys and you can expect from us from here on out. I really appreciated the way they handled things and I think we can continue to go and get better.
RE: Christian McCaffrey touchdown pass
It was just a little something that Norv [Turner] had been cooking up for a while. Was looking for the right opportunity and that’s what this was. This was the right opportunity to call it. They were very aggressive and that’s what happened. We caught them being overly aggressive and Christian was able to complete it. It was well executed.
RE: IF someone told you before the game you would hold the Saints to 12 points you would probably like your chances
All I needed was 5%. That’s it. Just give me a chance.
RE: Interception before half
Again, you have to give a guy credit. He is getting paid too. He went up, made a nice play and was in position. We would have loved to have been able to score there. Who knows. But again, we had a chance, and that’s all you can ask for.
RE: Handling the pressure as the leader of the team
That’s the nature of it. Again, I try to do the best we can. We come out and go to work. I really appreciate, like I said, the effort we got from our guys. It was an interesting week, a lot of rain. But the guys went out and practiced, practiced in the conditions, prepared. I thought they came out and gave us the kind of effort that gives you the chance to win a football game.
RE: Circumstances surrounding interception of pass intended for Devin Funchess at the end of first half I thought the corner did a nice job getting all the way underneath him and undercutting the play. If he is a halfstep late or his jump is mistimed, I think we have a chance to catch the touchdown pass. But again, the corner made a nice play.
RE: Is Cam Newton’s shoulder soreness affecting the way he throws the short pass?
Again, I think you’ll have to ask him. I’m not going to try and guess as to what he is going through. I would never do that. I think the young man is a courageous guy who fights and tries to do the best he can for us.
RE: Devin Funchess’ role in this offense since injury
I think it all a matter of location. Coach has a couple of personnel groupings that he uses and he likes. There is a couple that include Funchess and there are a couple that don’t. When Coach gets into a rhythm, he calls the personnel groupings and Funchess comes out and does his job and works hard, just as he does in practice.
RE: Decision to start Marshall Newhouse
Chris Clark was laboring a little bit and we just wanted to give him an opportunity to rest a little bit and also wanted to see what Newhouse could do.
RE: What does laboring for Clark mean?
I think just being worn down. Giving him an opportunity, it was a chance to allow him to rest.
RE: If the fumble was a learning experience for DJ Moore
Oh yeah. Again, just a great effort. You have to give them credit. The guy came up from behind and punched the ball out.
RE: Players remaining positive with 6 game losing streak
I think it speaks well to who they are more so than anything else. That they come out, they practice and they compete. They are not just going to show up. These young men are going to come out and fight and do their jobs. That’s all you can ask is that these guys come out and do that.
RE: Maturity of Donte Jackson to come back with interception after defensive pass interference
That’s a corner’s mentality. You have to be able to move on to the next play. He did. I really appreciate the way he competes and the way he tries to make things happen. I think the young man has a bright future in this league.
RE: Do you foresee having a conversation with Cam Newton about taking him out like in the Tampa Bay game of 2016?
We will see. Like I said, we have to let the doctors and the trainers let him go through his normal week and we will see what happens. Again, until then, I can’t tell you anything different.
RE: Did defense come in today frustrated with how they have been portrayed over the last few weeks? They may have. You’ll have to ask them. I just know that they came in and worked very hard, working on their techniques, working on some of their coverages that we have done. Like I said, I really appreciate what they have done in terms of the hard work and the effort.
RE: Was this loss any tougher than the others with the defense playing the way that they did?
They are all tough. They really are. It’s a team thing. We had opportunities and we didn’t come through. Again, you win as a team and you lose as a team.