Carolina Panthers

Ron Rivera defends Panthers’ offense after off-and-on day

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, left and wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, right, talk as they walk to practice at Wofford College on Sunday, July 31, 2016 in Spartanburg, S.C.
Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, left and wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, right, talk as they walk to practice at Wofford College on Sunday, July 31, 2016 in Spartanburg, S.C. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Quarterback Cam Newton wasn’t in MVP form Sunday, but his coach took umbrage with the sloppy tag applying to the entire offense.

Newton threw two interceptions, dealt with a bad snap and had a fumbled handoff to Jonathan Stewart in the backfield during team drills.

But Ron Rivera saw plenty of good out of the offense outside of those miscues.

“Oh yeah he did but if you sit there and look at what we did in 9-on-7, the way we ran the ball offensively,” Rivera said. “I thought with the exception of his first throw in the blitz period, I thought they did a nice job handling what they need to do. In the first team period I thought they moved the ball progressively well.

“Just because a guy throws an interception doesn’t mean everyone else played poorly. That’s my point. I sit there watching the offensive line block and we’re getting six or seven yards a crack and I’m getting concerned on the defensive side.”

Newton’s first interception of the day came at the hands of linebacker Shaq Thompson who, for the second time in two days, snared a one-handed interception off Newton.

Safety Kurt Coleman got the second one on a woefully underthrown pass from Newton.

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