Inside the Panthers

12 interesting things Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera said at Opening Night

Here are 12 interesting things Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera said during Opening Night, Monday’s media availability ahead of the Super Bowl:

On Cam Newton’s pants: “He’s a fashion icon.”

On the schedule for the week: “The players will be off Tuesday, then work Wednesday-Thursday-Friday. Normal week.”

On whether Jared Allen (broken foot) has proved he’s ready to play: “Jared looked good today. The test for us will be on Friday. We’ll have to see how he feels and how he is.”

On declining to say something in Spanish for viewers or listeners: “My Spanish is bad.”

On the message to team this week: “Be who you are. Don’t be more, but don’t be less. Be true to yourself.”

On whether he would wear a Mexican wrestling mask with a Panthers logo offered by a reporter: “No.”

On being at the Super Bowl: “I told these guys to appreciate and enjoy where we are, but don’t forget we’re here to play a football game.”

On comparisons to the ‘85 Bears defense: “We’re aggressive and attacking, but not like Buddy Ryan was.”

On whether Luke Kuechly is revolutionizing the middle linebacker position: “I wouldn’t say that. I watch Brian Urlacher and the way he plays, and Luke reminds me so much of him. I watch his cerebral approach, much like Mike Singletary. So it’s not like it hasn’t been done before. But when you watch a guy like Luke, it’s pretty special. But I don’t know if I’d say revolutionize the position.”

On whether the Keep Pounding motto can make a difference: “I think it can help you, most certainly. If you buy into it and you believe in it, you just keep pounding and keep working, eventually something good is going to happen.”

In answer to a first-grader’s question on why he doesn’t go for two every time: “You almost feel like at 95 percent it’s a sure thing and you should take the one, and that’s the way we approach it.

On why that is, if 50 percent of two is more than 95 percent of one: “Probably. I’m not a mathematician. As a football coach I’m limited in my math.”

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