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Rivera harps on red zone execution and penalties

View photos of practice from the third week of preseason.

CHARLOTTE – After Monday's practice, head coach Ron Rivera said he "feels good" about the state of his team through two preseason games, but there are plenty of wrinkles to iron out before the regular season begins.

"I still believe we have a long ways to go," Rivera said. "There are some things we most certainly can clean up and get better at."

First and foremost, Rivera wants to see better execution in the red zone on both sides of the ball.

"Any time you get into the red zone, instead of kicking field goals, score touchdowns," Rivera said. "Any time you allow them to get to your red zone, make them kick field goals."

Penalties are the fastest way to irritate any coach, and Rivera wasn't happy about eight infractions against the Titans. He said the coaching staff might have to come down harder on pre-snap penalties in practice to drive the point home.

"Penalties – that's probably one of the bigger disappointments," Rivera said. "Three offsides and two illegal procedures, now that's way too much. It comes to focusing and concentrating and making sure that you pay attention to things."

Rivera did offer some praise for Kasey Redfern, who handled kickoff duties in addition to punts. Redfern averaged 42.6 yards with a 37.4 net on five punts. The Titans returned five kickoffs with a 12.6-yard average.

"I thought Kasey did some nice things," Rivera said. "Quite honestly, he was a little bit nervous, but he hit the ball well considering the turf was a little bit wet. We even had him do a mortar kick at the end of the game, and I kind of sprung it on him at the last second. They are going to work on those as well. It seems to be the rage now, everybody is going to lob that ball up there (near the goal line) and see what happens."


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