Notes: Rivera happier after further review


CHARLOTTE – Head coach Ron Rivera was extremely disappointed with his team's first half performance against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

He felt better about it after reviewing the tape on Monday.

"After having a chance to watch the tape, it's a lot better. It really is," Rivera said. "We played a lot better than I gave ourselves credit for."

Rivera continually praised Miami for giving Carolina trouble. The Panthers had just 116 yards in the first half.

"You have to give them credit," Rivera said. "They fought and played very hard. That front seven they have is pretty doggone good."

Rivera thought better of the first half the second time around, but he didn't feel any better about the two deep passes that were completed to Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace for 110 yards.

"The two things that really tweaked me were the two big passes we gave up," Rivera said. "We were in quarters to that side, so we should have had two guys deep over the top. To get fooled the way we did, that was disappointing. We should know better. We will work on those things."

SECONDARY SHAKEUP?: Considering Wallace's big day, Rivera was asked if he's thought about making any changes in the defensive backfield.

Carolina has embraced competition in the secondary all season, and Rivera said that will continue. Only cornerback Captain Munnerlyn has started all 11 games.

"We are going to continue to challenge those guys," Rivera said. "We are going to play the best combination of players out there. We are putting guys that are working hard and doing things the right way out on the football field."

INJURY UPDATES: Defensive end Charles Johnson missed his first game of the season Sunday with a knee sprain, and Rivera said the star edge rusher is making steady progress.

"From what I hear he's been doing really well," Rivera said. "A lot of it will be how he handles the first day on the field – that'll be Wednesday. We'll see Thursday how he is. If he's really sore, it won't be as rosy an outlook as I'd hoped. But again, we are going to be smart."

Linebacker Thomas Davis and defensive end Mario Addison both suffered finger injuries during the game, but both injuries are not considered serious.

"Thomas had the dislocated finger. They stitched that up after the game," Rivera said. "Greg had a finger issue as well. That was really the extent of it."

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