Game Quotes: Panthers at Bills


Overall  impressions of the game:"I thought the first team did some really nice things. I'm a little disappointed in what happened in the second quarter and third quarter with our defense. To me, that was unacceptable and upsetting. That bothers me. We had ten penalties, which was unacceptable. I get it when you have guys you're trying to shovel in and out. We threw for 11 on third down, not acceptable; 6-for-14 on the defensive side, not acceptable. Those things really bothered me. There's things that we need to get fixed if we want to talk about being a good football team."

On Cam Newton's performance in the third series: "A couple things happened – we got the ball vertical. When we do that, we give ourselves a chance. And that's big. The protection was there. I really liked what the offensive line did. This was a good defensive front, and I was very pleased to see what our guys did. I wanted to make sure we got a good opportunity. I was kind of hoping since our offense only had eight plays and their defense only had eight plays that Rex was going to carry his guys a little bit longer than they did. It's a good defensive team against our offense and I was pleased with what happened."

On rookie Shaq Thompson not playing in the preseason opener:"Shaq has made some really good strides; he's come back really well. The doctors and (head athletic trainer) Ryan Vermillion felt that really one more day of limited work would have been good so he warmed up and did some extra stuff during warm ups, but we were not going to expose him to anything extra. Our objective is to get him ready, hopefully have a couple of good days against Miami in terms of practice and be ready come Friday night."

On the performance of the wide receivers:"A lot of guys had a lot of opportunities and some guys did some really nice things, I was really pleased with it. Cam just missed Corey Brown by a stride, he hit Kelvin Benjamin with a big one, Teddy Ginn he had a big one, Devin Funchess had a couple opportunities as well and the young guys were out there getting some opportunities which is good to see. It's going to be tough on us - we have some really good young football players."

On the position battle between wide receivers Brenton Bersin and Jarrett Boykin: "They're veteran guys, they both have had some steps out of position, both had done wrong but both practice extremely hard. They both played really well today and I can't wait to get an opportunity to look at the tapes."

On the position battle for the second defensive end role:"We're just kind of hoping for a little bit more. In the fourth quarter I really think we stepped up, but I'm disappointed in what we had going on the defensive line going into the second quarter."

On the slow start for the pass rush: "The hard thing too is I thought Sean McDermott did a nice job making good calls today; we just couldn't time the blitzes so we missed some opportunities on quarterbacks as well. One of the things that did get us was when they scrambled around a little bit, but again it's about being disciplined and being where you want to be and get a quarterback where you can put yourself in position and we didn't do a good job of doing that."


On how fun was it to watch the young guys on both offense and defense win the game:"I was very excited to see David (Mayo) and Brian (Blechen) go out there and play and they did a great job. I saw David stick his nose in there a few times. Brian had some plays at the end of the game. He did a great job and the young guys all did a great job. Dean Marlowe had the pick to save the day so those guys did a great job and they are all willing to learn and it's great to see."

On knocking the rust off in the first preseason game:"There's certain things you can't replicate in practice and sometimes the stuff pops up early in the preseason. The speed's obviously cranked up a little bit, but our coaches do a great job of drills to work on tackling. We stress it during the week. (Sean) McDermott's big on that and I think he does a great job of putting drills together with Al (Holcomb) and (Steve) Wilks and (Eric) Washington to get better at that so we'll do better moving forward and it's an opportunity to get better."


On playing against a strong Bills defensive line:"It was a great test for us coming on the road, having to work on silent count, but naturally you're going to be late off the ball and things like that. Then going up against those kind of guys - I think they led the league in sacks last year. It was good to score and get a good drive going but like I said, there's going to be a lot of things we're going to work on in the passing game with technique and in the running game too, because we want to be a good physical running team so we want to be able to establish the run as well."


On Ron Rivera's message to the team after the game:"We just have to play better. The defense for the most part, we were not perfect. We let the quarterback scramble around and make some plays on his feet multiple times and completed balls and runs were really good by them so yeah, we have to work on it."


On the final scoring drive ending with Brandon Wegher's 42-yard touchdown catch: "It was a great job by the offensive line, giving me time, guys getting open down the field. Also the defense - the defense came up with two big stops there towards the end for us to get a chance to get the ball back. It was a great team effort."

On what it's like to lead a group of younger players on offense:"It was fun. It reminds me of when I was young. By me being in there and having some type of veteran presence. I talk to them, calm them down, and let them know, hey, don't get too high, don't get too low, stay the same."

On Ron Rivera's message to the team after the win: "Don't be satisfied with this. We went out there, made a lot of mistakes. We've got a lot of corrections that we have to do once we watch film. But it's always good to come out with the win, but we can always get better."

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