Dec. 07, 2016
Head Coach Ron Rivera Deeply Concerned About 2016 Panthers Mental Health
The 2016 Panthers season has been heartbreaking to say the least. So many injuries, problems on the field, locker room issues, and loss of motivation has led the Panthers to a struggling 4-8 record. Many of those games determined by three points. Per source, there has been some tension in the locker room beyond Cam Newton for players causing more harm than good. I do not know any names, but it could be Remmers, Kelvin Benjamin, Tolbert, etc.
Ron Rivera has acknowledged these issues within the organization, but refuses to say much other than he is concerned about the mental state of players this season. Cam Newton has been beaten up illegally multiple times and receivers can not seem to get open. It has nothing to do with the most recent Tiegate. If you do not know what that is, it is basically a dress code violation that Cam Newton was forced to miss one play for in the matchup against the Seahawks. TMZ had reported the conversation between Rivera and Newton getting off the bus.
Luckily both parties were fine with the outcome. Rivera stood by his decision and Newton was willing to accept his mistake and move on. Rivera comes from a football and military background so he was raised to follow strict rules.
“You are concerned about that, the mental health of the team,” Rivera said. “We’re disappointed. Our expectations were so high. But this is the situation we’re in and there’s no turning around. We’ve got to go out and do what we’re capable of and make the best of it.”
Last year the Panthers went 15-1 and made it all the way to the Superbowl for a devastating loss. There were high expectations for the team in 2016 and little did we expect this turnout. These season is already over for the Panthers. There are already talks about potential draft picks and new strategies to bounce back next year.
There are a number of players that might be nervous right now. Full back Mike Tolbert has not been having a good season. He was just resigned and may be looking at a departure soon. Also Jonathon Stewart will be 30 next season. His injuries have slowed down his production and Gettleman has stressed how much he targets young players.
"Right now, it's about the mental health of the team," Rivera said Monday. "It's been disappointing. It has. Expectations were high."
"We all had grand expectations," Rivera said. "Shoot, I really wanted to get back to the Super Bowl and win it. I'm not going to back off that. I made that statement earlier in the year and I still believe we had an opportunity, but we just didn't capitalize."