Two Wins in One Day

A day after the Panthers started 1-0 for the first time since 2008, focus remained on a guy who didn’t play in Tampa Bay.Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 1.33.27 AM

Head coach Ron Rivera repeated on Monday what he said during Sunday’s night postgame – quarterback Cam Newton is expected to return and start in Week 2 against the Lions.

The Panthers held Newton out of the opener because they feared if he took a hit to his cracked ribs, he would be in danger of missing a few more weeks. They were also confident backup quarterback Derek Anderson could help them beat the Bucs.

So Sunday essentially turned into two wins.


Snap Count Analysis

Derek Anderson QB 68 100%
Byron Bell T 67 99%
Greg Olsen TE 66 97%
Ryan Kalil C 66 97%
Jerricho Cotchery WR 57 84%

Clearing Up: Bucs First Touchdown

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When the Bucs finally got on the board midway through the fourth quarter, many pinned blame on Charles Godfrey, who was back at his former safety position on the play.

Turns out he was wrongly accused.



1 — The Panthers are 1-0 for the first time since 2008.

6 — Head coach Ron Rivera has won six straight games that have been decided by seven points or fewer.

8 – Tight end Greg Olsen had a game-high eight receptions. He’s had that many twice before in his career, including in Week 14 vs. the Saints last year. Olsen’s career high is nine catches, which he had on 11/11/12 against the Broncos.



  • Highlights

  • Newton Runs Into Huddle

  • Gano and the Band


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On his decision to start Derek Anderson in place of injured quarterback Cam Newton

“I had an idea Saturday night. I sat down talked with the doctors, talked with our trainers, talked with our quarterback coach, our offensive coordinator. Then I talked with Cam, who wasn’t very happy about it, but that’s part of it. He wanted to play so bad, in the worst way. The one thing the doctors stressed me is that if we could create one more opportunity he would be that much healthier.

On if Newton will play next week

“Yes, I am expecting him to be ready to play.”

On Newton’s reaction to the decision

“He was just unhappy. He wants to play in the worst way, he really does. The one thing I told him is ‘Be there for your teammates on the sideline.’ In fact, we had to pull him back a couple times. He wants to be a part of everything we do. That’s who he is and that’s why his teammates elected him team captain, because it means a lot to him. It is very personal for him as far as being one of the leaders on this team.”

On Newton running into the huddle during the second quarter

“I wasn’t aware until they came and told me: ‘Coach, you’ve got to keep an eye on him’ So I did. He ran out there to bring water I guess. The referees pointed it out so we were able to calm him down and just get him to slow down.”

On Newton appearing to be active and mobile enough to play

“The thing is you can’t protect against what RV (head trainer Ryan Vermillion) described as an accordion hit, where he’s on the ground, he gets hit and everything gets compressed, that’s when a lot of the problems can occur. This extra week is going to pay off, I really believe it is. I’m excited to have him getting ready to play football for us.”

On the concerns that were in place if Newton were to have played

“Well just the concern being is that if that were to happen the calluses built up there could have come off and now we are talking about another three to four weeks. We were really concerned. The plan will be to see him work out tomorrow, see him on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. We had a plan going into this week. We thought if he could practice Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and be effective, we’d have a good shot. He didn’t do anything Wednesday, didn’t do anything Thursday, but lo and behold Friday, he looked really good. I was building confidence, but I had to listen to the doctors, I had to listen to our trainers and our coaches and that’s why I made my decision.”

On the biggest difference in today’s game

“Takeaways, I think that was probably the difference. I think we had three today and we got them in key situations. We were able to get points off the takeaways as well, you’ve got to do that in this league.”

On how much fun he had playing a full regular-season game

“I’ve been through a lot. I haven’t been out there in four years so to play a solid football game and get a win was big for me.”

On how proud he was to be able to give a solid performance on short notice

“It was big. Personally, I know a lot of those guys in the locker room got my back, so to go out there and not let those guys down, that’s something that pushes me every day. When your number’s called you’ve got to be ready because those guys got your back and you can’t let them down.”

On cramping

“My forearms and my calves were cramping up during the whole second half.”

On cramping affecting his throwing

“Did you see all the wobbly balls I was throwing? Yeah, but we were pushing each other, and that’s kind of just what we had to do.”

On Kelvin Benjamin’s first game

“I thought he did great. At halftime we talked about feeling out the game, and hydrating because at halftime I think he was struggling a little bit. But I thought he did a good job of fighting through it. He told me, ‘I’m from Florida’ and I told him ‘It is hot!.’ I thought he did a great job though and we had a great conversation after.”

On how he made his touchdown catch

“I mean, I’m big. You got to use your size. You have to overpower them and just go get the ball and be strong with your hands.”

Asked to rate his touchdown catch

“It’s like another catch to me. Right now, it’s the past and it’s over … It was OK. I’m pretty sure I’ll make greater catches than that down the line. I’m just real big on moving on from the past.”

On Newton being upset about not playing

“Of course, it’s his first game he’s ever missed. Who wouldn’t be mad? But, he’s a great competitor. I’d be mad, too, if I missed a game. This is what you shine at and you’re not going to have fun. It’s what you work your butt off for.”

On Anderson’s winning performance during a spot start

“It just says a lot about the kind of guy he is and how much pride he takes in preparing every week. It’s been years and he hasn’t gotten his number called, but he’s always been prepared and then a day like today he’s worth his weight in gold. We decided to hold Cam out and when your backup can go in and play as good as probably most starters in the league, and we’ve said that since we’ve all been there. We’ve been watching him in practice and he’s a starter-caliber quarterback and we’re just happy he’s our guy.”

On Anderson’s performance

“I wouldn’t say impressed is the best word. I would say proud, because he did what I knew he was going to do. He’s done it in preseason and he does it in practice. He’s a Pro Bowler for god’s sake.”

On if he’s been fined previously for wearing face paint, which is against NFL rules

“These days I honestly don’t know what I get fined for. They just take it out of my check and I’m like, OK … If the league wants to take the entertainment part out of the game, that’s fine. I’m here to make people smile. Other than that, I get sacks.”

On starting 1-0 for the first time since 2008

“It’s awesome. It’s one of those things it sounds so cliché, but winning your first game is awesome.”

On causing the fumble to end the game

“The running back burst it out and I was able to get my hand in there. A lot of credit goes to Bené [Benwikere], he was running around, scooped it up and [was] able to keep it in bounds.”

On what allowed the Bucs back in the game

“We just had a couple of communication breakdowns and we just need to do a better job of that in practice, and it transfers to the game. I think the one thing that was good was even though those breakdowns occurred, we were able to rally at the end of the game.”

On having to warm up for the second half in the middle of the Bethune-Cookman band, and his “friendly” shove of a trombone player

“The Tampa Bay staff came up to me afterward and apologized for the band to be out there. I know I shouldn’t have pushed the guy. I asked him nicely to move. I was just having fun with it, and it’s not like I tried to knock the guy out or anything. Hopefully I can get a hold of the guy and say sorry.”

On offense in first three quarters

“I think it was just all errors, and we weren’t able to get anything going. You know, you need to establish a run, and we were never able to do that. Of course, when we tried passing the football they put pressure. They just controlled the play early on. They dominated time of possession the first half. So it’s just really hard to get anything going that way.”

On Panthers TE Greg Olsen and WR Kelvin Benjamin

“Those plays, especially with Benjamin, we can’t give up that. That should of been an interception on that play. Greg Olsen is a great player. There’s a reason why I drafted him in the first round. He’s been good each year he’s been in the league, and we knew that coming in. But he had a couple big plays today on us.”

On what happened on the second interception

“I was just trying to throw it quick on the running game and I kind of checked there to Mike [Evans] and the ball slipped. I picked it up and knew the play was dead, but I was just trying to throw it over Mike’s head and regroup and it slipped again. It was unfortunate. I should have just ate it. Those things can’t happen. It’s 100 percent on me and we’ve got to do better in that area and we will do better in that area.”

On the fourth quarter

“I thought we were going to win. I felt really confident about that – that we were going to move the ball down the field and win. We got the penalty there to back us up and we wanted to get rolling and a completion to get us in our groove and we got that. Bobby [Rainey] did some good things and got the touchdown and he’s going to walk away thinking about that [fumble] play and I hate that for him. I’m going to walk away thinking about my two turnovers and that is just the nature of this business.”

On his long run in the first half

“That play, I still look at it crazy. Yeah I made the play, If I was 10 pounds lighter I would have scored. I’m hard on myself, 10 pounds lighter and I would have put six points on the board for my team.”

On his role with the Bucs

“In this game you just have to adapt. You have to find ways. I just have to get stronger somehow. Starting tomorrow, 10 pounds are coming off and I put my team in a better situation.”



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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Derek Anderson did his part to give Cam Newton a chance to get healthy.

The veteran backup filled in nicely for the injured two-time Pro Bowl quarterback, throwing for 230 yards and two touchdowns Sunday in Carolina’s 20-14 season-opening victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.



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