NFL Network cameras didnt catch Steve Smiths on-field scolding of Cam Newton last week.
Ron Rivera and Newton didnt mention it in their post-game press conference.
But after the veteran wide receiver aired his thoughts on Newtons late-game sulking to the public last week, Rivera said he wished it would have stayed in-house.
Whether you get criticized or youre the one criticizing, you take it for what it is, Rivera said Monday. Its a discussion. Honestly, I just wish it was a discussion that would have been kept between the two of them. I dont think it needs to be out there. But thats what happened, so Ill leave it at that.
Smith said Friday he had some unchoice words for the quarterback late in the fourth quarter of Thursday nights shellacking against the Giants. After Newton threw his third interception of the game, the second-year quarterback sat alone on the bench with a towel over his head.
The 12-year wide receiver and one of the teams captains told Newton to stand on the sideline with the rest of the team like backup quarterbacks Derek Anderson and Jimmy Clausen do every game.
Smith aired his grievances with Newtons sulking with the media Friday. Last week, Rivera said as a captain, Smith deals with things how he saw fit, and Rivera refused to say how he would deal with Newton in private.
I think if two players talk about things, hopefully it stays between them and then we move on from there and starting thinking about the fact that we have to play Atlanta on Sunday, Rivera said.
PAY NO MIND: In light of Newtons reaction on the sideline, ESPNs Chris Mortensen reported Sunday that Newton has been working with a mind coach to help him with the expectations of his second year in the league.
But Newton refuted that report Monday and said he is seeing no such coach.
I have not hired a sports psychologist, Newton said. I have no idea where that came from. I have a strong support system in my teammates, coaches and family. My focus is on improving this week and getting ready to play Atlanta.
Before Newton confirmed he is not seeing a mind coach, Rivera talked about meeting with his own sports psychologist.
Ive got a guy on speed dial that is a sports psychologist that Ive talked with since 1999, and hes been outstanding with me, Rivera said. So I see no issues with it. I think its great that hes trying to be proactive and help himself, if thats what hes doing.
FAMILIAR FALCONS: Even with the latest available TV package to never miss a score on Sundays, Rivera saw only one game in earnest this weekend.
The Panthers head coach was tuned into the Atlanta-San Diego game, as the Panthers had the day off. He said he was impressed with the Falcons, but added that theyre no different than what hes seen before.
The Panthers went 0-2 against Atlanta last year, and the Falcons are one of three teams in the NFL with a perfect 3-0 record. In fact, they lead the NFC South by two games already behind quarterback Matt Ryan.
In three games, hes very efficient, Rivera said. I think hes handling what theyre doing. I think the changes that theyve made fit him very well. I think Dirk Koetters doing a nice job as the offensive coordinator. I see Julio Jones in that process of continuing to mature and become a big part of what theyre doing.
I think Roddy White is as dangerous as ever. Michael Turner ran the ball exceptionally well the other day. Tony Gonzalez keeps saying hes going to retire, the sooner the better.
While there were several familiar faces for Rivera on Atlanta, he recognized both faces and plays on the other side of the ball. Rivera, a former defensive coordinator for the Chargers, was fortunate enough to see what San Diego was doing welland not so wellagainst the Panthers next opponent.
It was great because when they were doing things on the defensive side I had a pretty good idea what they were trying to do, Rivera said. I saw some things (the Chargers did) that were successful and some things they did that werent successful. So as the defensive staff sits down and starts to game plan and I pop in on them I can say, Hey this is what I saw as well.
INJURY WATCH: Linebacker Thomas Davis said theres no way he misses his homecoming game in Atlanta. The Georgia native suffered a left hamstring injury last week and did not play against the Giants.
He said that injury has nothing to do with his right knee and jokingly said all questions about the health of the knee should cease.
The knee is good. You dont have to ask any more knee questions. The knee is good, he said.
Fellow linebacker Jon Beason is coming off a shoulder injury he suffered last week, and his coach said it was noticeable during Thursdays game.
He tried to play through it and it showed, Rivera said. If it had been a normal week he probably wouldnt have had an issue with it, but because (of the Thursday game) it was an issue and he struggled in some facets of the game. He struggled with the tackling, but the player he is, he tried to play through it.
Defensive ends Greg Hardy and Antawn Applewhite are also banged up. Hardy broke his right thumb when he was in the gunner position during special teams during the first quarter of Thursdays game.
Applewhite had his right calf wrapped after practice Monday but said he expects to play Sunday against the Falcons.