Coach Ron Rivera addressed the media today in his weekly press conference and the one good news for the 1-4 Carolina Panthers is that only Omar Gaither the team’s backup linebacker was hurt during the game against the New Orleans Saints. The Panthers have recently had a bad luck of injuries each and every week with injuries so this was good news for a team that needs everyone healthy especially on the defensive side.
Gaither’s injury was a bone bruise and MCL sprain which will keep him out 2-4 weeks.
Rivera also addressed the debacle at the end of the half that resulted in the Saints getting a field goal. If you missed my running blog of the game yesterday check it out here.
It was late in the second quarter and the Saints had no timeouts with :18 seconds to go in the half. It was third down and 20 and the Saints were on the Carolina 40 yard-line. Brees completed a pass to Darren Sprolles for 12 yards but the Panther tackled him inbounds leaving the Saints scrambling to get the kicking unit on the field. For some reason the Panthers tried to get their field goal defense on the field as well leaving them with to many men on the field. So instead of taking the penalty Rivera chose to call a timeout. Problem was the Saints more than likely wouldn’t have gotten the snap off and the penalty for to many men on the field wouldn’t have been called. But instead Carolina called the timeout and John Kasay drilled the 46-yard field goal giving the Saints a 20-13 lead and likely was the difference in the game.
It was the wrong call and may have cost the Panthers the football game. After the game Rivera talked about the call.
“Just before the half we were running guys on, they were running guys off,” he said. “Truthfully, I over-thought it. I wasn’t sure if we had 11, 12, 13, how many guys on. And so I called a timeout.
“I thought the last thing we needed was to have 13 guys on the field and give them another chance. That’s why I called it. That one’s squarely on me. Those three points come right on my shoulders.”
It was the wrong call but you know Rivera is a rookie himself and he is learning as he goes as well about how to be a good NFL head coach. Hopefully he along with the team can learn from this loss and move forward and get better.