HEAD COACH RON RIVERA
On the three drives by the first team offense: "They gave us two (good drives). The unfortunate part is we had an opportunity again to put a few more points on the board but we didn't. Credit Tennessee for what they did defensively, but we had opportunities so that's disappointing. You look at us on defense, same thing. We had an opportunity to stop them on their touchdown drive, the first one, but we gave up a big third down. We can't allow that and those things we have to go back and correct. For the most part, pleased. Some guys stepped up and really played well and some guys are going to have to learn to take the challenges better and I think push themselves into better positions."
On Daryl Worley playing tighter coverage:"I'd like to see him, obviously based on what the call is, to play the techniques a little bit better. He had an opportunity to make a couple of plays and he didn't. One time we felt he could have been tighter in his coverage and another time he was off and we should have had a guy underneath him. Again, it's one of those learning curves that he will go through as a rookie."
On what the defense needs to do better:**"I think the biggest thing is, and that was the one series where they had the third down, we can't allow a conversion especially when we are in a good position to stop them. I want to credit them because they did some good things. But again we did not take advantage of third down situations. At the end of the day that is going to get you."
On Bene Benwikere getting close to his 100 percent form:**"We are starting to see that. He's doing a nice job. He is working very hard in practice, he is beginning to communicate well and as he continues to get stronger and stronger with more and more confidence we will see him very active around the football. Reading the quarterback's eyes, understanding where the route is coming to and beating guys to the ball, that's a veteran move. That's what he did, what we saw coming out of college and we have seen him do that for us the last couple of years."
On the big shot Kevin Norwood took and how he came right back from it:**"That's toughness and that's what you're looking for. You need a young guy that's looking for an opportunity. When you go out and make plays like that, that's great and then you take a big shot and come back to make a big play. That's a big thing for us. It was good to see, especially with Kevin."
On Ted Ginn, Jr.'s speed and an improvement from last year:**"I think the big thing that you're starting to see again is the integration of all our guys. Again, I'm anxious to see how many guys caught balls, especially how many caught balls from Cam (Newton). How many different guys and let's not forget we didn't have Greg Olsen out there today either. We feel pretty good about what we did. I'd like to see us run the ball better. We didn't run as effective as I'd like to. Again, that's something we need to go back and continue to work on."
On concerns about injuries during today's game to the back-up safeties, especially Trenton Robinson and Travell Dixon:**"Yeah there is a little bit. Until he gets the MRI or another exam, we really don't know anything until tomorrow. But yeah there is a little concern because it knocked him out of the game. I haven't heard (about Dixon). They took him in after a big collision and I'm not quite sure what his status is."
On feeling good about the effort today:"I do. Honestly, I'm anxious to see the tape. As I said, I think there's some things that we missed, some things we could have capitalized on and we didn't. As I said, I don't want to take anything away from Tennessee. I think they're an up-and-coming football team and they've got some good football players."
On Jeremy Cash's game:"Jeremy Cash is really starting to come into his own as a rookie. I mean, he's got a ways to go but he's one of those guys that seems to be around the ball, very active around the football. That's what we're looking for. Guys that will be around the ball and be active. He did a nice job and so did some of our young defensive linemen. I think we have some young guys we have to take some long looks at in the next couple weeks and start making decisions."
On the back-up offensive line's performance today versus last week:"Yes, very pleased with that second bunch. Even when the third group got their opportunity, they did some nice things and again, you know, I think our coaches are doing a real nice job with those young guys and I think they are taking coaching very well. It's been a good thing to see as far as their development. As I said though, the next couple weeks are going to be big for everybody."
QB CAM NEWTON
On the showing by the first-team offense: "We started pretty fast, and that's what you want to do – start fast and finish fast, too. We've still got to work on that finishing part. There were a couple of throws I wish I had back, but that's just the nature of the game. I do know that as a team, it feels great to find ways to win football games. That's all we're trying to do."
On wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr. at age 31: "He's probably one of the fastest guys in the NFL – that's not a reach. Of course they'll point out his age, but when Ted came to Carolina, this is probably the only team that has used him at the receiver position the way he was supposed to be used. So much of his career, he's been labeled a return specialist. In the return game, you probably have one or two opportunities to prove yourself, so that leaves a lot of tread on the tires for him in year nine or 10. And he has a background in track and is one of the best guys as far as taking care of his body."
On big targets Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess: "We've got something only God can give us – size, speed and strength. ... The wide receiver position has changed to a degree – you look around the league and see Odell (Beckham), Antonio Brown, those quick little shifty guys. But having a Benji, having Fun(chess), having guys that are 6-5, 6-6 and are able to move and able to jump as well, and you know the average DB is probably 5-9, 5-10, that size and girth is an edge for you."
On whether Panthers can again be NFL's top offense: "It's too soon to say that, but that's our expectation and something we'll strive to do. But really you just have to worry about each and every day, and our coaches do an unbelievable job of that. … For us, given the talent we have on the offensive side, it's about every maximizing their role. We don't want to look back and say we didn't maximize our opportunity with all these talents."
WR TED GINN, JR.
On when he knew his first half reception would be a touchdown:**"After I made the guy miss, I knew I only had one safety to beat. He took a bad angle and the rest was history."
On if it felt good for the offense to have a quick strike early in the game:**"You always want to start your offensive possession with a quick start. We kind of did that last week, we just didn't finish. This week we came out with the same mentality and we finished. The next two series were a little tough, but that is how the game goes. You have to be able to make the plays when they are there."
On taking the next step from this week to next week:**"We just have to go out and keep playing fast and keep playing hard. You try to win the ballgame in the first two quarters, so that is very important to us. If we get up, with the kind of (defense) that we have, it will be easier for them down the line. The only thing we can do is come out and keep playing fast."
CB BENE BENWIKERE
On getting the interception:"It felt really great. I literally went to the sideline and sat down and said, 'I finally just got one.' So I'm really just hoping to get more and get some momentum. That is what everybody looks for. Just in general, it was a nice feeling to touch the ball."
On sacking Titans QB Matt Cassel:"I saw someone else almost had a sack and my guy didn't go out on a route, so I just went to the quarterback and tried to make a play before he did. Toward the end he started scrambling, so I figured if I got to him first we could stop them."
WR DEVIN FUNCHESS
On Ginn's speed: "He gets to the second and third gear so quick. It's like, 'Wow, how do you do that?' Ted has been doing it for a long, long time. It's an honor to be able to witness it and see all the speed."
On the offense: "We didn't have Greg (Olsen) or Ed (Dickson) out there today. We are just trying to get Scott (Simonson), Marcus (Lucas), Beau (Sandland) and (Braxton) Deaver ready and prepared. That was great that they got to be out there today. They got all the reps. We are going to have fun and do our jobs. Can't wait to get everybody back and get everything settled."
CB ZACK SANCHEZ
On his performance: "It just felt good being out there early and being able to make plays. Obviously last week with (Baltimore's) personnel I didn't get to play nickel, so being out there this week and being comfortable and getting my feet wet was really good."
On his interception: "As the quarterback came back inside, A.J. (Klein) made a hell of a play. I was just working back to the ball and was to get my hands on it and come down with it."
On being close to a couple more interceptions: "I feel like I should have had two more, or at least one. Once I learn more of the concepts it's something I'll get better at. Good to be able to almost make those plays and be in position to help the corners out."
On progress from first to second game: "I feel like I had a better week of practice, getting used to the intensity of practice. You go hard in practice, the game is that much easier. I think that was the biggest thing – understanding the tempo of how this defense plays and setting the standard. When Bene goes in there and is making plays, there can't be any drop-off when I come on the field."
View game action photos from Carolina's 26-16 win over Tennessee.