Rivera said.The Panthers started the season 6-2, but lost

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Rivera said.The Panthers started the season 6-2, but lost

文章linchao » 2020-01-14 11:28

CHARLOTTE Will Grier Jersey , N.C. (AP) — Ron Rivera walked into the Panthers locker room wearing a shirt that read, “Wofford is coming.”While several other head coaches around the league were being fired on Monday, Rivera said he expects to be coaching when the Panthers report to training camp next year at Wofford College following meetings with owner David Tepper.“That’s my assumption because of our conversations talking about going forward. We will continue doing that,” Rivera said.The Panthers started the season 6-2, but lost seven straight games leaving Rivera’s future in doubt. Carolina finished 7-9, missing the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.Rivera’s track record likely saved his job.He is 71-56-1 in his eight seasons with Carolina has been to the playoffs four times and won three division titles, reaching the Super Bowl in 2015 after going 15-1 during the regular season.Tepper, a former minority owner with the Steelers, is giving Rivera a little time to turn things around despite the surprising midseason meltdown. That follows suit with the Steelers’ business model, with only three head coaches since 1969.“Ultimately you think about where Mr. Tepper is coming from, and that’s having been in Pittsburgh where they do things with patience and very direct with things,” Rivera said. “So I feel very fortunate. I have an opportunity to visit with him and talk with him about things in terms of our preparation going forward. We will continue do that and I will continue to work as we’re working toward next season.”Tepper again declined interview requests on Monday through the team’s public relations department.“He’s a great coach and he definitely deserves to be back,” cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said of Rivera.While Rivera is staying, the Panthers face plenty of other offseason challenges.The most pressing revolves around the future of quarterback Cam Newton.Newton, who has two years left on his contract, has struggled the last two seasons with shoulder problems and the team had to shut him down the final two games because he was unable to throw effectively more than 20 yards down the field. Newton has previously said he’s had the shoulder looked at but doctors can’t seem to determine what the issue is — or how to fix it.He had surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff in 2017 and his arm strength has slowly deteriorated since https://www.carolinapanthersfanshop.com/Greg-Little-Jersey , to the point where the Panthers would sub Newton out when they needed to throw a Hail Mary down the field.Rivera said Monday he doesn’t know if the 2015 league MVP will need surgery or just rest.“That’s a medical question and I’m not going to speculate on anything,” Rivera said. “I don’t know what the plan will be in terms of that until I get an opportunity to talk with (the doctors), but they’re going to talk to Cam eventually and Cam will have to make decisions going forward, as well.”Rivera said if Newton needs surgery he would prefer he does it right away.When asked Monday if he had time to talk, Newton breezed past reporters in the locker room and said, “Nope.”There was a somber tone as many of the team’s long-time veterans cleaned out their lockers, putting personal items in cardboard boxes provided by the team. In many respects, it felt like the end of an era as many of the faces so familiar to this organization could be gone for good.Five-time Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil already announced that he is retiring after 12 seasons in Carolina, and Rivera hinted after Sunday’s win in New Orleans that 38-year-old defensive end Julius Peppers wouldn’t be back either.Peppers hasn’t talked about his future and wasn’t in the locker room.However, defensive tackle Kyle Love wasn’t buying the idea that Peppers is done just yet, saying “I kind of feel like he is going to come back.”“He’s been smiling and kind of giving little hints and whatever, so we will see,” Love said. “He still has something left in the tank.”Outside linebacker Thomas Davis, a longtime fan favorite who has spent 13 seasons with the organization, said he wants to return.But, like Peppers Brian Burns Jersey , Davis is set to become a free agent and it’s unclear if the Panthers will look to younger alternatives.Panthers general manager Marty Hurney will also have to make difficult decisions on whether to bring back 33-year-old tight end Greg Olsen, left tackle Matt Kalil, wide receiver Torrey Smith, defensive tackle Dontari Poe, safety Mike Adams and Munnerlyn —players who have missed time due to injuries or just older veterans.Devin Funchess, once considered the team’s No. 1 receiver, is not expected to be re-signed after his role was vastly reduced near the end of the season and he was deactivated in Week 17.Panthers wide receiver Jarius Wright called it a “rollercoaster season,” but said the team still has a lot of pieces in place to build around for the future including running back Christian McCaffrey, who amassed 1,965 yards from scrimmage and scored 13 touchdowns. The Panthers will draft 16th overall in April. Joey Slye spent last season living in his parents' basement without a full-time job.This year, he'll be kicking for the Carolina Panthers — and his late brother A.J.An undrafted rookie in 2018, Slye was thrust into a prominent and potential game-determining role when the Panthers placed veteran kicker Graham Gano on injured reserve on Friday.It wasn't supposed to happen like this.Coach Ron Rivera said the Panthers signed Slye "on a whim" in early August when Gano experienced re-occurring pain in his plant leg during training camp. Slye was brought in as a short-term fill-in while Gano recovered.But Gano never did.Slye took advantage of his opportunity making 7 of 8 field goals during the preseason, including all three attempts from beyond 50 yards. His only miss was a 48-yarder that was blocked due to a protection breakdown."It wasn't what I was expecting coming in here," Slye said, knowing that Gano was an established kicker who'd missed just three field goals for Carolina in the past two seasons.But Slye quickly shied away from any praise.He said all of that should be directed toward his brother A.J., a former Division III linebacker at Salisbury University who passed away in 2014 after a 14-month battle with acute myeloid leukemia Russell Color Rush Shepard Jersey , a rare form of blood cell cancer, at the age of 20.It was a devastating blow for Joey, who viewed A.J. as his closest friend. They talked sports continuously and dreamed one day of playing together in the NFL.On the field he honors his brother by raising six fingers to the sky after every made field goal and extra point. A.J. wore No. 6 when they played together at North Stafford High School in Virginia."It gives me the understanding that he's still there," Slye said. "I find comfort in that. I like to do it because I want a lot of my recognition to go to him. I don't need it. I don't want it. I want my brother to be known for how he fought, what he fought for and the type of person he was. I just want to continue his legacy forever."Off the field he helped start the SlyeStrong#6 Foundation , which is devoted to helping find a cure for adult/childhood cancer.Slye has some of his brother's fight in him.He could have easily given up on his dream of playing in the NFL after being unable to land a job last year. But he wouldn't look for a full-time "regular job" because he refused to give up on his dream — and because he promised A.J. he would make it to the NFL.So he kept on kicking."I put all of my eggs in one basket, basically," Slye said. "I knew other (kickers) were working on their skills. For a lot of guys in the special teams realm it's about how long you are willing to keep fighting for that opportunity."Slye is known for having a big leg — he made a 59-yard field goal in the preseason with plenty of room to spare — but his accuracy has always been a concern. He made only 72.2 percent of his field-goal attempts at Virginia Tech.But he's been accurate in games and practice since his arrival in Carolina.Rivera said Slye is a true "feel good story," but said it's now time to see if he can produce amid the pressure of kicking in regular-season games, something Slye has never done before."With everything he has gone through, he has weathered the storm," Rivera said. "He's shown us every reason to be confident in him. But we'll see. That's why you play on Sunday."NOTES: Cam Newton took all of his reps at practice Monday and remains on target to start Sunday's season opener against the Rams. ... Greg Olsen did not practice but Rivera said "he's fine" and that the veteran tight was "taking care of something." ... Outside linebacker Bruce Irvin (hamstring) and backup offensive tackle Greg Little (concussion) did not practice.
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