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Joined: 21 Mar 2019
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    Posted: 12 Jun 2019 at 6:02am
This column was started with the intent of highlighting the worst kind of coaching that has haunted Ron Rivera’s tenure with the Carolina Panthers: the aggressively conservative decision making masked as “playing not to lose.” The Panthers’ Week 2 loss to the Falcons actually featured the opposite to that Terry Godwin Carolina Panthers Jersey , so today we salute Rivera for making the right decisions — even if they weren’t enough in the end. All we’ve ever asked is that he try.Last year, in a Week 3 loss to the Saints, the Panthers lined up Michael Palardy to punt the ball on a 4th and 5 from the Saints’ 35 yard line. At the time, the Panthers were trailing by 18 points. We started this column this year because I am, apparently, still mad about that play and the similar decisions that Rivera has made in similar situations before and since — in spite of his once-earned reputation as a “riverboat gambler.”The Panthers found themselves in two situations on Sunday where the safe bet would have been on another Palardy punt. Instead Youth Terry Godwin Jersey , Rivera made the wise choice both times and kept his team competitive in what would turn out to be a close game.On the opening drive, Cam Newton and the offense stalled out. Graham Gano was sent out to kick a field goal on a 4th and 3 from the Falcons’ 36 yard line. Technically, a field goal is the safe call there. A more aggressive coach might have called on the best short yardage back in the league, Newton, to get those three yards and keep the drive alive. Bet let’s give credit where it is due for clearing the bar set last season: the Panthers didn’t punt. Huzzah.Early in the second quarter, the Panthers were stopped to set up a 4th and 4 from the Falcons’ 33 yard line. This time they went for it and Newton performed his standard magic to convert the first down. This is the much discussed play that saw Damontae Kazee ejected from the game for one of the dirtiest and dumbest hits I’ve ever witnessed. This play also set up the Panthers first touchdown of the game.What was the difference in those two Blue Michael Palardy Jersey , largely identical downs and distances on essentially the same part of the field? I don’t know. I can’t tell you if there was a consistent decision making process that ended the one drive in a field goal attempt and let the other stay alive for a touchdown. I can tell you that I was happy to see the Panthers consistently not punt in those situations. I don’t know what it is supposed to look like when a turtle comes out of its shell, but I can tell you that kind of naked certainly suited Rivera on Sunday. The Panthers ultimately lost that game by a single touchdown. This week’s post-game analysis would have been decidedly less optimistic without the 10 points they earned by trying to win the game in the first half. Kudos, Ron, and keep it up. I’d love to cancel this column. Maybe Cam Newton‘s been resting his arm, or something.And maybe it’s helping.Panthers coach Ron Rivera said this morning at the coaches breakfast that every indication he’s gotten from his quarterback’s recovery from shoulder surgery has been positive.“I look forward to seeing him soon, but just very happy that things are trending in the right direction Michael Palardy Jersey 2019 ,” Rivera said.Newton had an arthroscopic procedure on his throwing shoulder in January, after it became clear he couldn’t throw the ball downfield at all last season, with the team finally parking him for the last three games.After the procedure, the team’s doctor told Newton the cartilage damage in his shoulder “was not as extensive as it appeared,” which by definition isn’t the same as saying he’s healthy, because there is some cartilage damage in there. But they’re confident he’ll be ready by training camp Daryl Williams Jersey 2019 , and past the problems that limited him last season (when a 6-2 start became a seven-game losing streak as Newton’s shoulder unraveled).
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