Carolina Panthers

Panthers coach Ron Rivera, linebacker Thomas Davis disagree on meaning of 15-1

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, left, and outside linebacker Thomas Davis (58) are usually on the same page – but not about the meaning of the team’s 15-1 finish this season.
Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, left, and outside linebacker Thomas Davis (58) are usually on the same page – but not about the meaning of the team’s 15-1 finish this season. AP

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera regularly heaps praise on linebacker Thomas Davis, but he had to disagree with him Friday.

Rivera differed with Davis on the notion that 15-1 is all for naught if the Panthers can’t beat the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

“I disagree. I think that is extreme,” Rivera said. “I think the thing people have to understand is 15-1 is what you did during the regular season. What’s important and what matters is what you do now. That to me is more important.

“What we did, 15-1, nobody can take away as far as I’m concerned.”

Davis said last week that, while 15-1 is gratifying, it “means nothing if we can’t win in the playoffs.”

“It’s a great feeling to be 15-1, something that I’ve never been in my career and anybody in this locker room hasn’t been 15-1. It’s good to share that with our brothers, with each other,” Davis said. “At the same time we know we can’t lose sight of what we’re trying to accomplish, and that’s ultimately to win the Super Bowl.”

Rivera has emphasized that 15-1 does matter, but it just isn’t the focus this week.

“We’re moving from the regular season to the now,” he said. “The most important thing now is every game you’re 0-0. You win, you keep going. You lose, now you’re staying home.

“What we did, hey we accomplished something special. But the focus is playing the game today. So what’s coming this week, that’s important.”

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