Game Quotes: Panthers vs. Falcons


On creating a lot of offensive pressure early in the game: "Ted Ginn (Jr.) had a big game. Those are the kinds of things that Teddy's capable of, and Cam found him. I thought we ran the ball very effectively early on. Jonathan (Stewart) was very effective, and defensively we attacked them. We did the things we wanted to do as far as scheming. I thought Sean (McDermott) had a great plan as far as the defense was concerned, and I thought they executed. Our guys rose to the challenge. They have one of the all-time great returners in the league, and I thought our guys handled it good. We did some nice things and played hard."

On the value of a deep threat like Ginn: "That's one of the things that Teddy adds to it and Philly Brown - their ability to get vertical _ and if they can do that it really leads to some things and opens some things up. They were very aggressive. They came out playing some eight men box stuff and really got after us trying to stop the run. Cam made a couple really good decisions. I thought Mike (Shula) called a really good game, and we were able to exploit some things."

On Greg Olsen's injury: "Greg (Olsen) is actually fine. He tweeked the knee a little bit. The doctors examined and feel very comfortable. We could have put him back in and I chose not to. We were talking with (head athletic trainer) Ryan (Vermillion) and it was one of those things if we had to play him he could have played, and Greg said the same thing. He is probably going to be sore for a couple days, and we will be careful with him as we go through the week. As of right now, everything I've been told is he is fine."

On Stewart injury: "Jonathan is fine. He could have easily played but we elected to not throw Jonathan back out there."

On Bene Benwikere injury: "It is the most serious. Just to give you guys an update, I was told he fractured his leg so that was a bit of bad news, but that's pretty much all I know right now."

On balancing the winning streak with preserving players' health: "Well, the biggest thing is we have to take care of business. Each game is significant as we go forward. This one game is a guaranteed home field game, at least one and the bye. Next week, who knows what that'll mean, but we're going to play next week obviously to win the football game and see whatever happens. We have to take each week as it comes is the only way we can do it. I can't predict what next week's going to mean and the week after and then the last game, so we have to take them each one at a time and we'll see what the Giants' game means."


On sitting out the fourth quarter: "It was good. Hopefully we have more games like that. I was able to come out in the fourth. Derek Anderson picked up where I left off, and he had a pretty good throw when I came out earlier, too."

On his injury that cost him one play: "My hand just got numb and I don't know what happened. I haven't had that feeling before and heaven forbid if I had to take a snap underneath. That's what it was. "

On Ginn's two touchdown catches: "Ted is getting confidence. Coach Shula is getting confidence. This offense is getting confidence. I'm getting confidence. When you have a team like that that is peaking, you really don't look for anybody to make plays. You start making plays. You saw out there today. We have a saying on offense of let's take turns making plays. Ted only needed two catches to display that. It's fun to watch."

On Ed Dickson's touchdown catch: "It was a great catch. Ed is a person who prides himself on making catches with his hands, and you see that at practice. Between him and Greg Olsen, those guys are always competing and challenging not only each other but themselves to not have any drops. With the defender all over his back, it didn't deter him from making a special catch."

On what the fan support this season has meant to him: "It's been great. It's been great just to see the response that you get coming out of the tunnel pregame, during the game, on third down on the defense, when you score; it just says a lot not only for the fans here but the atmosphere in the Carolinas has just taken on a different animal."


On if the defense's performance meant a little more against the Falcons: "You know, we just go out and try to play hard each week. It's a division game and some of that stuff gets cranked up a little bit, but guys came out, guys were hungry, guys were ready to compete and Coach McDermott and those guys put a game plan together and let us play fast."

On what Rivera addressed the defense about towards the end of the game: "Yeah, just be smart. That's the biggest thing is be smart, play in between the whistles. Anything that happens after the whistle isn't important to us. We've got to play the down, play the play and concentrate on the next one."

On Benwikere's injury: "It's a bummer. You know, Bene has done a great job for us. He comes in each week, he plays hard, he practices hard, he wants to win. I think he has really improved this year, but I think what's good about this team is next guy up mentality. You saw it again today in multiple situations and whoever the next guy up will be ready to go and we'll be thinking about Bené and he'll get back out there as soon as he can."


On the cohesion of the defensive line: "That's a defensive lineman's dream. You come in and you're not worried about the guy that's behind you and come in and be dominant as well. This defensive line is something special, and we're like brothers, no matter what."

On dominating the line of scrimmage: "We just knew we had to come out and it was going to be on us. We started that from pregame with the offensive line and we made a pact right before the game that this game was going to be won up on the line, and that's what we tried to do today and it showed in the middle and on the outside. Those guys pushed the pocket, closed the width and the defensive tackles made the plays."


On the matchup with Julio Jones: "Oh man, it was great. We came in early in the week. Coach Steve Wilks on me man, like a wild dog just harping, harping, harping and I was like, 'I got you Coach,' and we got in and we watched some stuff, came out and had a great little contest. He was everything I thought he would be."

On the meaning of a shutout: "Oh, it's big. It's huge, I'm not going to lie to you. Get a shutout, first one of the year. I think it's Week 14 if I'm not mistaken? And still able to keep pressing along like we have been. Can't say enough about the resilience of this team, the defense and how well they, the D-line got off the ball, the linebackers played downhill and secondary, I think Kurt (Coleman) got his seventh pick when it was pad the stats time. So, hats off to that, I've got to catch up."


On the completeness of the effort: "It was just a complete game on all facets of the game. Think about the special teams, I mean (Devin) Hester is an incredible returner. Offense did their thing coming out in the opening of the game and going down and getting seven points. It gives us the confidence to go out there and play a lot more aggressive. And then defensively, even in that fourth quarter when they had that drop on fourth-and-six, we never gave up. We never gave up, and that's what I'm more proud of. I mean, 38-0 is nice, but how we finished this game is something, it's what we are. It's what we embody."

On clinching a first-round playoff bye: "It's very important. I mean, obviously, it's one less wear-and-tear game that you have, one more game closer to the final game. But, ultimately what we're doing right now, we're not worried about that. Our vision is bigger than that, but right now we're focused on the next game. The Giants heading up there, it's not going to be any easy task because they're going for the division, so we've got our hands full."


On the Panthers win over Atlanta: "This was huge for this team, especially against this opponent in the division. It's one of the best wins I've had. And the great thing about this is we're still getting better."


On everybody stepping up after injuries: "It's a part of our game. Injuries are a part of our game, and you never want to see anyone go down. But, I don't know what's going on with 88 (Olsen), but I'm going to play my best and try to fill in the void if I have to play, if not, we want to keep this thing rolling."

On still being undefeated: "It feels good. We're going to soak it up for at least the next 24 hours and then we're going to go back to work, we're not done yet. All it means is that we won another game. Coach (Rivera) talks about it all the time and from the top of the organization to the bottom, we want to win games, we want to keep winning games. We want to be really sharp going into these next few months."


On how much fun it is to watch the defense: "I love watching the defense. They're flying around, they're playing physical, they get after it. I love watching them and they put us in great situations when we get back out there, and it's just great to watch."

On how important it is to establish the running game: "Stew is a great back. We have great backs. We want to be successful in all phases and running, and being physical is something we pride ourselves on and it's very important."

On his decision to sign with the Panthers this offseason: "Obviously, it's been a great decision. I'm just happy to be here with all these guys who welcomed me in, a lot of great people to be with. Coach (John) Matsko gave me a call as soon as I was available, and it's great to be back. I'm older and I know a few more things, and I'm glad to be back with him because he's a great coach and he knows everything inside and out so it's just great."

View game action photos from Carolina's 38-0 win over Atlanta.

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