Skip to main content

For Ron Rivera and the Panthers, Wednesday was about putting words into action


CHARLOTTE – Ron Rivera brought his team together like usually does just before the start of Wednesday's practice. But he took his team sharing a final thought with the players.

Earlier that morning the Panthers took another hard look at lessons from that ugly 51-13 against the unbeaten 49ers. Now, with preparation for the Tennessee Titans about to begin in the rain, Rivera reiterated a message tight end Greg Olsen delivered in the postgame locker room about moving forward with purpose.

"We came together and I broke the team down before the start of practice and I thought their attitude was where we needed it," Rivera said. "There are a lot of things we talked about from the game in our meeting this morning. A lot of examples that were shown on the tape, some things that we need to correct. And we've moved on. From that point, the focus has been Tennessee.

"I thought they came with the right attitude and the right tempo. Because of the rain, we had to take it inside, and I think things sped up even more. That really helped to make for a good practice."

With how things went after Carolina suffered a similarly humbling defeat against the Pittsburgh Steelers last year, it's essential for that the Panthers to get back on a track in a hurry.

That started with Wednesday's practice.

"I think we responded well today," safety Tre Boston said. "Guys were enthusiastic. Heads were up. We can't be out here just moping. No one is feeling bad for us. It's about going 1-0 this week. We didn't have the game we wanted (versus the 49ers), but it's about how you respond.

"We have the leaders to get past this and be a team that is going to continue to have success. A lot of us have played a lot of years and understand you can lose games and still be in this. It's all about not letting it linger. We're going to keep it moving."

Losses like the one Carolina experienced against the 49ers happen. And when they do, it tests a team's resolve.

"If you've played in this league long enough, you've had a game like that where you didn't play your best football. We didn't play good football – at all," wide receiver Jarius Wright said. "We want to come out and start fast and we have to be able to maintain over the course of the game."

Playing well Sunday starts with practicing well Wednesday … and Thursday, and Friday.

In Rivera's mind, everything that's needed to be said has been said.

"It's time to take it and put it on the field. You can only do so much talking," Rivera said. "Let's do something about it."