Rivera: Really pleased with defense as a whole

Head coach Ron Rivera speaks with reporters following Carolina's 16-8 win over Dallas in Week 1.

RE: Importance of defensive line pressure late in the game

I thought it was critical because it allowed Eric Washington to do what he felt like he needed to do in terms of whether to rush five, rush four or rush three. When you can get pressure doing those different combinations, you can have success. I thought the d-line stepped up in a big way and did some good things for us.

RE: Mike Adams

Mike made a couple of real big plays for us, a couple of open field tackles that were really big. Ezekiel Elliott caught a couple check downs and Mike was out there by himself and just made great plays. Mike also did a great job controlling the young corners we have, working with them. Again, you have a veteran guy out there, it means an awful lot.

RE: Injury Update

No updates on anybody who was hurt in the game other than the fact there is a little bit of concern for all of them. We will see how they are. Greg Olsen left early obviously. Daryl Williams left later in the game and Luke Kuechly left but he came back in. We will go from there. Thats all I know.

RE: Concern with the potential of re-injuries

No. Thats the one thing I do know about Daryl is that it is not the re-injury. Ill tell you that much. Thats the one thing I do know. Greg, I couldnt tell you on that other than it is the foot and it is the same one.

RE: What he liked about the defensive line play today

I thought they did a nice job. Again, it goes hand in hand because a couple of those you could look at as either coverage pressures or coverage sacks. I thought our combination did well. I thought Eric Washington mixed up his plays calls very nicely. I thought the rush patterns that we had I thought what Brady Hoke and Sam Mills III did with those guys was good all week. I thought the linebackers underneath coverage was solid. We got the ball thrown in front of us, we drove downhill, we made tackles. I thought the defensive backs played well. I was really pleased with the defense as a whole. I thought their effort was good.

RE: Cam Newtons play today

The thing about him is he knows how to make plays when we need him. He has done a great job for us. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot a couple times. We had a couple of big plays but then we had some sort of penalty called against us. We cant make mistakes and expect to beat really good teams. This is a good football team that we played today. They gave us everything. They had a chance at the end and you want to take that away from teams. You dont want to give them a chance. But hats off to how hard they played.

RE: Cam Newtons passing game

I thought some of his decisions were outstanding, I really did. The time of possession was interesting on up until we got into the 4th quarter and I think thats where the skew is. We drove down the first drive and unfortunately we turned it over and got no points. Then the last drive of the first half we had an opportunity for a touchdown and ended up with a field goal because we had a couple penalties that drove us back a little bit. Then the opening drive in the third quarter, drive it down, get across the 50 and then we go backwards on a couple plays. We cant do that and expect to win consistently. We have to take care of those mistakes we made.

RE: Interpretation on what happened on play that Daryl Williams got hurt

No, I didnt. They just told me they felt he got rolled up on the back of the legs. Again, we will take a look at that and the one thing they did tell me is they dont think it is anything similar to what he did the first time so thats good to hear.

RE: To win the way the team did today, what does it speak to about this program?

I said it to the guys, its about the depth we have right now. If something happens, you have to be the next guy to step up, you have to be ready to play. When Im talking to them, Im not just talking to the players, Im talking to the coaches. We have to make sure we are coaching our players up, we are giving them an opportunity to understand what we need them to do and then put in the position to have success. It all starts with us and we have to make sure we are doing our job. I really appreciated the way the guys came in and played and did their best to give us an opportunity. Again, it does speak well that we do have some depth and some good positions, and we have some things that we have to continue to work on to get better at.

RE: Donte Jackson

I thought Donte played a solid game. He is very active, plays with his eyes, plays with his hands. I dont necessarily agree with some of the things that were called but, again, those are things we will look at and work on. He works very hard on his technique and you can see it. Again, Im pretty excited about the way he played and as I said, the defensive backs as a whole.

RE: Norv Turners play calling today

I thought he did a nice job. Again, we hurt ourselves. We made too many mistakes and again, it starts with us as coaches. We have to get those things shored up. We have to make sure our guys understand, hey, we have to be careful. We dont need penalties, we dont need offside, we dont need offensive or defensive penalties. We have to play a sound game and it gives us a better chance to win.

RE: Desire to go for one more play when ball was snapped with seven seconds left at end of first half

There was but when we were in Cams headset and once Cam set himself we all said lets take it down and kick it. So again, its one of those things that you wish you hadnt had to us a timeout earlier but we did.

RE: Did team do anything for new owner David Tepper after his first win?

We did. We gave him the game ball. Again, its his first win as our owner and the guys were really appreciative of him. We just wanted to make sure we congratulated him the right way.

RE: Communication with Eric Washington while he was on the sidelines and his feel for the game

I thought he had a good feel for the game. He mixed up his calls very well. Im watching and he would come over to ask me something or tell me something or he will make a statement on something so there is communication between he and I. But he handled it very well and I liked his aggressive nature at times. I liked how he mixed up his calls. I liked their communication on the sidelines. I thought the communication between the guys on the sidelines and Eric was outstanding. The guys up in box did a nice job for us.

RE: How Christian McCaffrey bounced back from early fumble

He did. You are going to have tough days and you are going to have good days. But if you can weather the storms and pick it right back up, which he did, he is going to be fine. Again, as we continue to work this we will get more and more comfortable with things, Im really pleased with the effort we got.

RE: His reaction when he saw Luke Kuechly come out of the game and go back in

The best thing is I knew right away what had happened. The doctors communicated that very well. Luke just wanted to come to the sidelines for a second to catch his breath, which he did. Once he got settled in, he was fine and ready to go back out there.


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