HEAD COACH RON RIVERA**
On how satisfying it was for Panthers to win so soundly: "It is very satisfying. Our guys did some really nice things in all three phases truthfully. We started off a little bit slow on the defensive side. We gave up a big play over the top and then we gave up a big kickoff return. Then the guys kind of settled in. The biggest thing we have to understand is that we have to maintain our focus. Teams are going to come in and give us their best shot so we have to respond by playing our best. We didn't do that early in the first quarter and a credit to them because they made a couple plays. They made some big plays over us and we have to make sure we are focused. I've got to make sure we come to this game and pay attention to the details."
On Devin Funchess' play: "I thought he did some really nice things. He really came into this under control. I like the routes that he ran. More importantly though I like the way he went after the football, very 'Kelvin-esque' in terms of trying to make plays. Cam Newton put the ball where he needed to, where he just had to go up and get it and he did. He went up and got the ball a couple of times and really made some spectacular catches. I think the young man is progressing very nicely."
On Cam Newton's performance: "I thought he did some nice things. I really did. Again, I think he has really good command of what we are doing on the offensive side. He made some really good calls, put us in some really good plays and he executed well. The nice thing is just listening to him talk about how he knows he missed a couple throws too. He is where we need him to be. I think the guys responded to his energy and the way he is handling our offense."
On the defense's response after Washington's early touchdown: "I think our guys played hard and after giving up the first touchdown, it was great listening to (defensive coordinator) Sean McDermott talking to the coaches and then listening to the coaches talking to the players. I thought the things they were trying to get corrected on the sidelines was what we needed to do. I like how we came out after that and focused in on what needed to get done."
On the defense forcing five turnovers: "That is one of the things that we do focus on and we do try to work on. I like the way we went after the ball. I like the physicality of our defensive players. I really thought Sean McDermott came out and did some really good things. I like the first call in the second half where we brought a pressure and we were able to hit the quarterback on a play action to cause a fumble that we recovered and that really put us off to the races."
On the offense scoring 24 points off turnovers: "Yeah, but we had a couple opportunities to score touchdowns and we didn't do that. We have to figure that out because again, when you have opportunities to put big points on the board, you have to as opposed to field goals. That's one of those things that we will talk about and we will look at to figure out how to put the ball in the end zone as opposed to having to kick field goals."
On pulling the starters early in the fourth quarter: "That's exactly what we talked about in wanting to get into a position where it was a four-plus score game and just knowing that we could do it early. Again, thinking about going into next week's Thursday night game. So we started talking about it as a coaching staff just before we went into the fourth quarter. Being able to kick those last two field goals was big for us in terms of thinking about what we needed to do next."
On Jonathan Stewart's day: "I think Jonathan really is playing at a very high level right now. I like the way he is playing. I like the way he is doing things. Our guys feed off of his energy in terms of the running game. That's one of the things we have to be weary of is to not overuse Jonathan. It was great to be able to get him out of the game once we got into the fourth quarter and give him a break. But he has been very vital to what we do on the offensive side. Again, to be able to rush for over 100 yards that is big for us."
On playing Thanksgiving Day: "It is kind of interesting. I've done it as a player and a coach. I've coached on the Thanksgiving days. It makes for a very short turnaround and if we do anything, we have to make sure we get our rest, hydrating, eating properly and staying off our feet getting as much rest as possible and at the same time focusing in on what we are going to do as far as the game plan. We have already talked as coaches about the approach we want to take in terms of our preparation. Hopefully we will be able to stay ahead of the curve. We have set a schedule up that I think will be beneficial to our players and give our coaches enough opportunities to get things ready to go for Thursday."
QB CAM NEWTON
On how it feels being 10-0: "Well it feels great, feels great. Usually we have 24 hours to celebrate, but as you know we have a short week. The fact that we have a short week of preparation, we've got to come in tomorrow to get ready for Dallas, but overall it was a great team win. We started off sluggish as a group, but we honed in and came out after halftime and finished the game."
On capitalizing on turnovers: "Absolutely. It was just overall execution. I think one thing we did great today was battling adversity, especially after penalties. We got a sack early on. We still got a first down – found a way with a big completion to Jerricho (Cotchery). We had a hold and right after one penalty found a way to execute after that. We're going to need those types of great efforts moving forward and that's going to be hidden in statistics, but yet always good ingredients for good teams and great success."
On franchise-record four touchdown passes in a half: "That's just a tribute to believing Coach (Rivera). We had a great week of practice this week that attacked the things they were going to show us. True to what it was, Coach always says "trust your eyes out there," and I did. Guys out there making plays – Ted (Ginn), FunFun (Devin Funchess) Greg (Olsen) and those guys make my job a lot easier."
On whether 31 first-half points were enough: "We have to get better. I can tell you that. I'm just talking about overall. The first drive we had three and out. We can't allow that to happen. We can't allow ourselves to get lax. Winning covers up a lot of things and we can't get complacent with the victories. More importantly we have to get better. We have to do what we have to do to get prepared for Dallas."
On Devin Funchess' play today: "He knows that we're all backing him. I kind of took him under my wing talking to him and giving him that big brother guidance. Sometimes it's going to be good – sugar to the soul and sometimes it's going to be something he doesn't want to hear, but he has to hear. He's growing up to be the player we all want him to be. It's good especially for him to be a sub sometimes and for him to even like today be a starter. Whatever it is he's going to maximize his role and fit right in."
On critics who don't view him as a pocket passer: "I've said since day one I don't really care what people think as long as I have the trust of this organization. More importantly, the trust of the guys out there on the field with me. I've always labeled myself as a pocket passer with the ability to run. Obviously, I try to take what the defense gives me each and every down whether it's a 20 yard completion, a 20 yard scramble or just a checkdown."
On Thanksgiving game in Dallas: "It's an honor first, but before everything else we've got to get guys mended up. Like I've said you've got to be ready to go tomorrow. Watch film on this [today] and be ready to move forward and be ready for a team that's… I don't know what they did today, but they have a lot of talent there."
WR DEVIN FUNCHESS
On his overall play: "I kind of messed up in some of the run game and I was dealing with staying focused and knowing what position I was so I was over thinking it, but overall I think I did just enough to help get the 'W'.
On his touchdown reception: "I was just trying to be patient. He was sitting outside of me so I just kind of shaded outside of him and made the break, he came, I just had to stay focused on the ball."
TE GREG OLSEN
On the victory: "Yeah, it seemed like we were pretty much in control. Obviously, we didn't start the game offensively as well as we would've liked. From that point on, I thought offensively maybe a series here and there, but I thought offensively we were pretty much in control of the game. A lot of short field, obviously with turnovers, were huge. Our defense does an incredible job being consistent between the fumbles and the picks. Got a couple short fields, but you have to take advantage of them. We didn't settle on any of them or any of the turnovers. I think we scored a lot of touchdowns. That's obviously what you are looking for."
On Cam Newton's performance: "Yeah, I think he had four touchdowns in the first half? I think that is pretty good. What more can you say? The guy has been playing at a very elite level right now, playing the quarterback position. There's no other quarterback that's asked to do what he has to do, both run and pass and he is playing as good of ball as there is in the league right now. "
On breaking Wesley Walls' record for career catches by a tight end: "You know, obviously anytime you're able to do that, it's a great accomplishment. Obviously, Wesley (Walls) kind of set the standard for tight end play in this organization for a long time. I think it is more interest to credit that I have been able to play for a while and not miss much time and be consistent playing a good offense. There are a lot of things that go into catching the ball and getting open. There are a lot of pieces that go in. I've been fortunate that I have been on the receiving end of a lot of Cam's (Newton) throws and hopefully some more to come."
LB LUKE KUECHLY
On not letting Washington back in the game: "It was good. We had our struggles in the beginning of the year with teams coming back, and I think we've made some steps in the right direction on how to finish and we were able to do that today. We did that a little bit last week and we have to keep growing."
On being able to enjoy the fourth quarter: "Oh, you know it is one of those things you've got to stay into it. You never know what's going to happen, but the guys that went in did a great job. A.J. (Klein) and Shaq (Thompson) did an excellent job, made some good plays. Shaq had a pass deflection and A.J. had a couple tackles, so those guys did a great job."
On the defense forcing five turnovers: "Oh, it's good. You know, we talk about it all the time that we want to have multiple turnovers because any time you get the ball back to the offense, it's great for our team. So, we stress it a lot in practice, guys at practice and in practice. We were able to get a lot of that done today."
CB BENE BENWIKERE
On the defense's play: "Things went really well. Just as a defense, as a whole, after the first long pass, we were able to talk to each other and get things rolling and the whole defense was able to rally together."
On his sack/forced fumble: "Really, it was just a great call by coach (defensive coordinator Sean McDermott). He kind of knew that they were going to be running towards us or it was going to be play-action. So, we got the play-action play that we wanted. He slid over a little bit and I was able to get there in time and make the sack/fumble."
On how they bounced back from the long score by Washington: "We as a defense and a coaching staff, they talk to me and just talk to the defense and say 'Hey, we've got to play our style of football.' I mean, of course when you give up anything that's going to be frustrating in itself and we don't settle for that, so we're going to go back to the drawing board and make sure we get things corrected."
DE KONY EALY
On the defense's five takeaways: "Electrifying. Like I said time and time again, we don't know our own strengths sometimes. That surprises us sometimes. But you know, it's all about us playing off each other, the momentum that we carry over in the game. Offense holding us down, going out there and doing what we need to do on defense. With games like this, this is what it is supposed to be like."
On his strip-sack: "I look at my man and that is a reaction. That's what we get taught and we don't worry about nothing but what is in front of us. In order for us to get to the quarterback, we have to defeat our man."
On if this is the Panthers' most complete game: "Not by far. No, we've got more work to do, man. We'll see. You'll know when it is."
View game action photos from Carolina's 44-16 win over Washington.