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Carolina Panthers

Game Quotes: Panthers vs. Eagles

Head Coach Ron Rivera

On tonight's game:"Just disappointment. We had some opportunities and unfortunately we didn't capitalize. You can't kick field goals and beat good teams. I've said that before and I'll say it again. You can't kick field goals and beat good teams. You can't turn the ball over and not take the ball away. Unfortunately, they took the ball away twice and scored points off of it. We took the ball away once and didn't get any points out of it. To me that's right where it is. I think we have to do a better job as coaches putting these guys into position to have success. "

On running back results:"I think part of it was some of the things they did. They did some good things against us and we didn't." 

On Luke Kuechly update:"The only thing I can tell you is he is in the protocol just like it said when they put it up on the board. I don't know anything other than that."

On David Mayo's play tonight:"I thought David did some nice things, but again, we have to make sure we are giving these guys opportunities to have success." 

On approaching the halfway mark of the season, how do you evaluate the team:"I think we are in a good spot. We could have been in a better spot. Like I said, we had some opportunities we didn't take advantage of. Give credit to the Eagles. They played hard, did some good things, didn't make the mistakes that we did. We made too many big mistakes to expect to win. We really did. Those are the things we have to clean up and shore up as coaches to make sure these young men understand." 

On last two drives that did not lead to points:"The last two plays we didn't have any timeouts. We are trying to get the ball, one to Ed Dickson gets tipped. If it doesn't get tipped it's a first down and he probably turns it into an eight or nine-yard gain. Unfortunately, it got tipped. Unfortunately, the second one, yes, we missed an opportunity. All we needed was to get and it was over thrown."

On how do you improve the running game:"We have a lot of things to look at. We really do."* *

On reason for not kicking 58-yard field goal to end the first half:"We were into a cross wind."

Quarterback Cam Newton

On evaluation of the game:"My evaluation is that we didn't have good ingredients to win. Turning the ball over as many times as we did, giving them layups for scores. In order to win a game like that, you have to protect the football better. I am mostly talking to myself with that. The scores that they did get, they were layups. Getting the ball inside the 20-yard line. With a good team like that, those aren't good ingredients to win. We have to find ways to curate better offense and not put our defense in those types of positions."

On Panthers final drives of the game:"They were showing a specific coverage, zero coverage. They had a lot of guys honed in to our key guys, Kelvin Benjamin as well as Christian McCaffrey. There were a lot of players and I made the mistake early in the game of throwing it without knowing what's inside. I knew the certain look was there, but I didn't know where the defenders were. With that, it made me short on the pass. We had opportunities to win and we didn't. We didn't make the most of them."

On second to last drive, first down at Eagles' 41-yard line. Why did you take 3 deep shots:"They didn't have a safety. We have to communicate better offensively to be on the same page. When we do that I think the outcome is better. The fact that they're a good team. Playoff caliber football and I think that was our first dose of that. We will be better from being put in that position. Trying to knock us out of field goal range, trying to knock our momentum off. They did a good job of that, but we have to mend up with this little mini bye week and come back ready to play." 

On Luke Kuechly in concussion protocol:"We need Luke. I know he was out for most of the game, but his presence was missed."

On third quarter:"We had a lethargic wave in the 3rd quarter. We got the ball in the first half, but didn't do much with it. Turnover, as a matter of fact. As I am playing the game back, we just have to be better. We have to give our fans better, ourselves better. That's two losses at home that we know we are better than the product that we put out on that field. There are no excuses. Coach Rivera and a lot of players mentioned we can't feel sorry for ourselves and we don't. We have to be better. We will be better moving forward and that's the confidence that I have."

On interception thrown in the 4th quarter:"We just weren't on the same page. It actually came off from another defender. I was trying to throw it to Benji [Kelvin Benjamin], but we weren't on the same page and it showed."* *

On Jonathan Stewart:"We have to find ways to get him going. That's part of that lethargic-ness that I was mentioning. A team that is heavily favored to run the ball, that's who we are. That's Panthers football. We have to find ways to get that running game going and get Stew [Jonathan Stewart] involved."

On Christian McCaffrey's performance:"Offensively we just have to be better, do better. That's personnel, players, coaching, everybody. At times, we did play complimentary football, but we didn't do enough. A game like this - very scrappy, very stingy - third and shorts we have to convert and get that momentum rolling. We went up 10-3, they got their touchdown on a turnover by us and that can't happen. We have to be better and understand championship football at its finest. Learning from it and being better from it."

On reason for success on the road vs. challenges at home:"That's the most frustrating part about this whole thing. We have to find ways to use our edges in our favor. The fact that we are at home and we had two costly losses, that's something we have to go back to the drawing board and fix. Our fans deserve better, we deserve better. I see the preparation that is going in and we don't have anyone to blame but ourselves. I don't want to sound depressing and I know I'm coming off like that, but as a whole we are in a good position. That was a good team that we played tonight. We just have to find a way to win these types of games. The tough, grinding out games."

On connection with Christian McCaffrey:"It's growing. His role is growing. As an offense, we just have to be better. We have to pick up the pieces that aren't falling our way right now. We have to get certain guys involved more and we just have to be more efficient on offense. As a whole team we just need to play complimentary football and that'll come." 

Cornerback James Bradberry

On thoughts on the loss:"This one really hurts. We do not feel like we played our best game, on both sides of the ball. We had every opportunity to win this game, but we let it slip out of our hands."* *

On thoughts on Carson Wentz:"He can prolong the play. He is a mobile quarterback that can buy his receiver extra time to get open, so that was one thing that hurt us today."

On his performance:"I made some plays, but the ones that stick with you the most are the ones that you leave on the field. They converted two third downs on me, and those are the ones I am thinking about right now."

On Carson Wentz:"He is a big quarterback, and he is fearless. I saw him take on one of our linebackers and a safety down there by the goal line. You could tell he was trying to will his team to win."

Tight End Ed Dickson

On the game as a whole:"We play teams like Philadelphia and it had every implication of a playoff game. We're going to have to win these games later in the season. It was a good test for us. There is no panic for us. We'll go back to work and work on those things. We'll come back even hungrier and stronger. There is no die in this team." 

On inability to convert on early downs:"When you put yourself in third and long or second and long they back off a little bit and play softer defense. That is what you saw at times, we cannot put ourselves in those third and longs and those second and longs. We've got convert on first and second down and make it easier on ourselves. Usually they either do one or two things, they pin their ears back and come at our quarterback or they drop everybody and force you to dump it underneath and that is what you saw."

On the running backs:"We have to get that going. We have two great running backs in the backfield and a list of guys behind them. We have to get that going, we have to be more balanced. I'm not a personal stat guy but I would've given my 170 last week for the running backs to have 170 today. We have to get that going, and we will."

Linebacker David Mayo 

On self-evaluation of his play tonight:"Some good and some bad. Some things I'll definitely have to work on. Some schematic things too. Run defense and making checks, things like that. But I'll learn from the tape and move on for the better."

On Luke Kuechly leaving the game:"I didn't even see the play or what happened or realized that somebody was down before coach was telling me to get in. But I'm ready to go at any time and either position so I was ready to go."

On defense's lack of takeaways:"We just have to work on it. We have been working on it, but it's tough to do. These quarterbacks are good, these running backs are good. Once we get them, hopefully they come in droves and we get multiple. That's a point of emphasis every day. We work on it every day but we definitely need to get more."

Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn

On game being a dog fight:"It was for sure a dog fight. We just fell short." 

On frustration coming up short:"It's very frustrating. We didn't play well at all. We still had an opportunity to win the game and we didn't."

On Luke Kuechly going down:"Luke is a big part of what we do. At the same time, this is the NFL. Guys get paid to do a job. I feel like [David] Mayo came in and did a great job."

Wide Receiver Russell Shepard

On Eagles defensive backs:"They are a good physical group. They do a good job. They take pride in tackling. They take pride in stepping up and playing press man to man and being able to stop guys from making plays after the catch. Tip our hat to their guys. We still think we are one of the better, younger groups, the better groups period in this league. We just have to look at the film and grow from this."

On last two games:"Yeah, it's the NFL. It's the toughest league of football. You are going to have situations like this. I remember watching Tom Brady a couple of weeks ago on Thursday Night Football and they struggled. You are going to have stretches like this. Like I said earlier, you just have to learn from it, put yourself in the best position so next time when you are in the situation, because it's going to happen again for us, we can execute and make the most of it."

On feelings on being 4-2:"Obviously tonight, we feel like we could have been 5-1 but at the same time, you look at the bigger picture and obviously this is just one game. This is a game we can get better from. This is a game we can learn from. We are not going to hang our heads. We are going to look at the film, evaluate a few things and get better from this." 

Cornerback Daryl Worley

On feet slipping under him attempting recover a punt:"That could have been a turnover that was made and put more points on the board. Possibility could have been a win. It didn't end in our favor."

On Eagles wide receiver performance:"They are really talented receivers. With them having bigger body guys, they used their size. With [Nelson] Agholor in the slot, he has the speed and shiftiness. They were able to execute on a high speed." 

On Luke Kuechly going out:"It's always next guy up. [David] Mayo was able to step in. For guys to judge and say he wasn't playing in the same clip as Luke and he stepped in and did his job. That's all we can ask him to do. Luke is the best player in the game right now. There won't be any replacements for him. There will be some kind of deflation with him going down in the atmosphere with us worrying about him."

Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson

On play changes after Panthers Kuechly injury:"He was very disruptive early in this football game with some of the blitzes and some of the protection things we were doing. He's smart. He's a great football player and you give him a lot of respect. It changes the complexity a little bit. Just getting guys lined up and some of the things that they were doing. It is unfortunate – hope he's OK and will be able to play again next week. It can change a little bit for us. A little bit offensively, too."

Eagles Defensive Tackle Fletcher Cox **

On his pressure on interception:"I knew they were backed up. It was the rush that was created, not by just me, but the guys around me too. I just bulled the guard into the quarterback's lap, and went after the throwing arm. I actually thought it was a strip."

Eagles Safety Jalen Mills

On his interception off of Panthers QB Cam Newton:"I was on my man, reading the quarterback's eyes. He checked me at first and then went up the seam to his number two. I just tried to overlap. Luckily, he was throwing the ball high all game just because of those tall receivers. He overthrew him and it came right to my hands."

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