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Carolina Panthers

Game Quotes: Panthers at Buccaneers


On today's game: "I mean getting a win is everything. Coach always says – Coach Shula that is – 'Handle what is.' It wasn't perfect weather conditions today, but Tampa faced the same thing. We didn't have any excuses. It was great to see our will to win today. It wasn't pretty on all circumstances but the way we won, really is the optimism for the whole thing."

On being 4-0: "It does a lot, it gives us confidence, we've got a lot of guys injured that we need to get back before this Bye [Week], but through it all, we still haven't played the football that we know we're capable of. Sometimes it's throws that I know, I can speaking up for myself that I know I wish I could have back. Yet, it just goes into a great week of practice, a great week of preparation, and we had weather like this in Charlotte, Hopefully it didn't affect anybody too badly in the Carolinas with the hurricane and whatnot, but we've been practicing in weather like this all week. Trying to grip the ball a certain way, and get on the same page with your receivers. But you can't practice it enough. The execution in the rain, but yet today you come out and mother nature threw us a wrench and you had to be prepared for it."

On the team winning despite him having modest passing numbers: "It speaks on how our defense is playing. I said it numerous times, prior to what I'm saying now, I said 'This will be Josh Norman's best year.' Up until this point he's playing lights out, giving everybody confidence. Not only him, but the whole defense. I know Coach McDermott loves that, you know having a guy like that on the perimeter. The safeties can disguise a little bit more, the linebackers can disguise a little bit more, the defensive line can pin their ears back even more, with Charles Tillman playing the way he is and Josh [Norman] and those guys. It was just fun to watch. When you get defensive players scoring touchdowns outside the offense you know its bound to be a good, high-scoring game."

On Ed Dickson's touchdown: "My vantage point was pretty far, I just saw the ball pop up like a greased pig. Nobody really panicked, because Ed picked it up mid-stride. We've just got to work on him taking that car out of neutral when he's running, but he scored, and touchdown for us."

On the offense's performance: "Well, there's some things we have to get better at, doing a self-scout on ourselves is going to have to happen, from everything that we do, including myself I feel like I still haven't played up to my potential yet and that's bound to happen with the rigors and what we were faced with today. You just can't practice it, you can't get the looks of that. But yet it's just great, a lot of teams can't say they are 4-0 right now and we just want to take it as it comes."

On being a more relevant team than in the past: "Well, we can't live in the right-now to that degree. It's an old cliché thing that says 'It's not how you start, it's how you finish' and we view this season in increments of quarters, and every four games that's a quarter for us. So the first quarter we passed with flying colors, 4-0, we just got to get juiced up and ready for the next four, so to speak, but taking it one game at a time. We're one of the few teams that have an early bye week. We have to make the most of this opportunity and get our guys ready to go, ready for the next opponent we have."

On the receiving corps: "Ted [Ginn Jr.] is really evolving into that player he's capable of becoming, that's why he was drafted so highly and getting it mixed up with a special team specialist rather than a person that has a knack of the game. We just have to find ways to get other guys involved and that's nothing that Coach Rivera can do, there's nothing that I can do, it's just the nature of the beast and that game. Philly Brown is battling his tail off and he may not get the receptions that receivers may get but I tell you what, for him to be in the position that he's in right now, you don't hear him complaining, you don't hear Devin Funchness complaining. You see those guys coming in and blocking and Bersin comes in and makes two big catches back-to-back and we expect those from those guys, especially from a group that's getting so scrutinized with not being good enough. Those guys are really stepping up to the challenge and getting better each week."


On being 4-0: "It's nice to be in the situation we are in.  We still think we have room to improve and be a better football team. There are some things we are going to look at in the bye week.  At least the coaches are saying let's get better in these areas, and improve this football team. We have a long road ahead of us. We still have 12 games left to play, and it's going to be a tough race all the way through."

On the protection for Cam Newton: "All the protection was pretty good. One thing that they did nicely was they did a nice job with their coverage. If you go back and look at those sacks, it wasn't immediate pressure.  Those were pressure that came along because they did a nice job with the coverage. Their pass rush was relentless. I think they did a lot of nice things, mixing things up to attack us.  And those are some things that we are going to look at. Again if you watch this, you know that maybe we need to try something a little different."

On if he thought it was a 'weird' game: "Yes, I thought the start of both halves, with the snap for them and fumble – then the interception for a touchdown. Then in the second half we had the snap and fumble, then they missed a kick. Then Ed (Dickson) had the ball fall right in his hands. It did have a weird tone to it. "

On the role Josh Norman has played in Carolina's success: "I think he has been a tremendous part of it. Some cases, one of the factors. If you go back and look at the game we played last week and again the opportunity he had to get the interception today. I think Josh is doing a tremendous job."

On TE Ed Dickson's fumble recovery touchdown: "It was huge, any time you get a play like that, whether it's intentional or not. It really did swing a lot of momentum. I think at that point they felt they had opportunities and they were battling like they had opportunities and some times that takes the wind out of your sales."

On being 4-0 without some key players: "Well I mean the thing we always talked about is team. I think we did have some guys stand up and make some really nice plays.  Some big plays today.  Again it comes back to a team game. We were able to rush for 100 yards and control the clock at the right time in the fourth quarter. Again I wish we could have put more points on the board to secure it. But they battled, give them credit. Tampa fought the whole way."

On the play of WR Ted Ginn Jr.: "Well the one thing that Teddy has is that tremendous speed. If you get him in stride he is awful hard to catch. Down near the red zone that's really what you saw. It's knowing your personnel and that's my call. He made a nice play."

On how he would evaluate the offense: "I think the offense has its moments. We take advantage of our opportunities.  We drive the ball when we have had too.  We put points on the board when we needed to all four games.  Again, we are going to be realistic about our evaluation and get ready to go into the bye and through the bye. We are going to continue to work on things to get better."

On the benefits of being 4-0: "I mean, the benefit is you have good momentum and you want to maintain that momentum. Get them excited about being in this situation. I think what it does for these guys, obviously knowing that we have won games, it's been good but we can be better. I think that will help us." On the performance of DE Ryan Delaire: "We have a young man - he and Mario Addison are the same type of player. So we are pretty excited about what he is and what he brought to the table today. I thought he had a solid football game, did some good things and helped out right away. I think we are going to get to know a little bit about who he is. He may not always have this kind of success but it would be great to have that."

On how much he expected Delaire to play: "Both those guys.  He and Jared (Allen) came in and we played them accordingly.  We thought both those guys haven't gone through training camps, haven't been active or been on practice squads, or given the time to work that they would be allowed to play this type of game.  We are very fortunate to have these guys on the field today."

On his evaluation process of Delaire: "Well I know coming out of the draft, he was someone that we liked. We had him as draft pick. At the end of the draft we tried to get him as a PFA, and he actually signed down there with Tampa Bay. Then when they released him, the Redskins snatched him up right away, but we always kept an eye on him. I think our scouting department did a real nice job keeping an eye on a young man that we felt strongly about, of course Washington really liked him, and when we saw the opportunity we made the move on it."


On speed playing valuable role in offense: "That's what I bring to the game, my speed. I try to go out there, exercise my speed on every route and on every play. No matter if we are running or blocking it works out for me down the line."

On blocking during Ed Dickson's fumble recovery: "I'm just out there, the play was going, I'm trying to stay on my man. My guy's face really gave it away and I turned around and saw Ed with the ball in his hand. So you try and get back on your guy, but my had already guy beelined to Ed so I tried to get in his way the best way I know how and it came on a good crack back. Ed was able to spring and make a touchdown for us at a crucial time in a big-time situation for us. It's not always easy, but we got the win."

On his confidence when his first touchdown went into review: "I was definitely confident, that is something that we do all day in practice. That is something that we go over and over in practice, you got to drag your feet no matter what type of catch it is. If it's an end zone catch, first down, or just a regular catch in the game. It's crucial that your feet are in the right position."

On not being just a deep threat and catching touchdowns off short intermediate routes: "A lot of people just see the speed. I'm an all-around receiver and as long as I keep going out there and just putting that out there, I think our days coming up will be better."

On thoughts on offense after 4 games: "We playing good ball, it's not pretty but we are getting wins. That's all we can ask for. No game will be straight dominance. You're going to have some ups and downs, you're going to have some bumps in the road. When you get big turnovers like our D gave to us today, you got to capitalize on the points like we did today."

Does team play overall need to be prettier: "Yes, definitely. We all want to go out and dominate both sides of the ball. As we keep going on this season it will get better for us."

On feelings of progress being made: "You're always better after [Week] One. You're always better after Two. You're always better after Three. As you go on, you intend to get better and better. I think that's what we are doing, going out having fun, maximizing our talent all the way around, from the receivers, to the running back to the o-line, to Cam Newton. We are just having fun doing it."


On the performance of the defense: "I feel like the defense did a good job. We can definitely do a better against the run. We feel like we let a couple big plays go but for the most part we got turnovers, we made plays when we needed to and we came out with the win."

On defensive pressure on Jameis Winston: "I feel like we did a good job. We could have definitely got more. Our rookie Ryan Delaire came in and did a great job. Working together as a front, we did a good job. The pressure got there, but we can always improve. We can always get better."

On being undefeated: "It feels good. It's a tough league, tough division. Close games, we expect close games every week. We come out fighting and did a great job getting the win today."

On creating five turnovers on defense: "I think we did a great job working together today. With the pressure and back seven, they did a great job of being in position to get the turnovers."


On how the play developed on his touchdown run: "Obviously, it was a run play, a couple of us got great blocks and Jonathan Stewart had the ball high and tight. Knowing this team, they try to strip the ball from him and I was in the right spot and I just took it and kept running, I didn't know if it was legal or not. I just took it to the end zone and if the officials were going to call it back, they were going to call it back, I was getting into the end zone. Teddy Ginn through a really good block on that, too."

On his blocking scheme for his touchdown run: "Oh yeah, the hole opened up really good, it was a run play all the way. We knew coming into this game that the Bucs liked to strip the ball a lot. Wet games like this, you know. [Jonathan Stewart] got away from it a little bit but he'll bounce back. We know that and everything like that."

On how the play where he scored goes down in the stat book: "I heard it's a run play, so it might be the only one. I might mess with it in the books and tell my kids a funny story. One [teammate] was saying tell [my kids] I caught a shovel and took it to the house. I'll tell them the truth: right place, right time."

On what he saw when the play developed: "I just saw a hole open up. I blocked my guy and Greg Olsen blocked his guy and Stew hit the hole really hard and I went to go get another block and I was just in the right place at the right time and I just made a play."


On his performance against Tampa Bay: "I played okay. The defense needs to do a better job against the run. Doug Martin was able to have some successful runs against us and we need to go back to the drawing board. We have a whole week off next week to correct some of the mistakes we made today."

On how it feels to be 4-0 heading into the bye week: "It feels real good to be 4-0, it's something I haven't been in my whole career, so it's definitely exciting, we can't just be happy with that, we have to understand that we have a tough opponent coming up in two weeks in Settle and we have to be ready for that game."

On how they are going to prepare for a strong team like the Seahawks: "Defensively we just have to do our job and making sure that we are sound in the running game…against the running game and limit Russell Wilson's production, you know he's the quarterback that is able to create plays and to stand plays with his legs so we have to be prepared for it."


On his pick-six: "Well, it was a little different, same side of the field, not the same coverage though, the side of the field. We just saw that ball and were in position where we could play a little bit off so we were able to read it with our eyes. Coach gave us the weapons and coach tells us each day, "eyes read hips and hands," and in each and every single play that is going to affect us no matter what. I was able to get my eyes in the right spot and hands to catch it and feet to run into the end zone and got on delta again, you know it was an awesome time."

On him having four interceptions: "Hey man, Lord God, I'm thanking him each and every day. I don't know where I am going to be but right now I'm feeling mighty good."

On people saying they haven't beaten anyone yet: "We're 4-0. How many other teams are 4-0? So we are going to continue to keep pounding regardless of what they say because at the end of the day they aren't where we're at. We are going to continue to do this and if we haven't played anybody, we'll see the next teams we play."

View game action photos from Carolina's 37-23 win over Tampa Bay.

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