In case the Carolina Panthers didn’t learn their lesson about keeping cool heads in their 2013 playoff loss, coach Ron Rivera pointed to Saturday’s Cincinnati-Pittsburgh game for further evidence of its importance.
Rivera delivered the message to his team Monday morning after the Panthers came back to the team facilities following their bye week.
“I used some examples from what happened in some of the games this weekend to make sure everyone understood it,” Rivera said. “That’s why you play the whole 60 minutes. You can’t let individual situations or circumstances get in the way. It was about making sure the guys understood how important it is.”
The Panthers lost 23-10 in the divisional round game against the 49ers in January 2014. Carolina had three personal foul penalties in the game, and Rivera has since pointed to that game multiple times as a lesson to remain calm and keep composure.
The Bengals-Steelers game offers more evidence. Cincinnati was poised to win the game when two personal foul penalties against the Bengals helped the Steelers get in field-goal position to win the game.
The Panthers also had a flare up last month against the Giants in a game that ultimately got Odell Beckham Jr. suspended for a game.
“That’s something I reminded them of was we have to maintain our composure,” Rivera said. “We want to keep our personality. We want to be who we’ve been. It’s gotten us this far and we want to continue that.”