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Panthers HC Ron Rivera Stands Behind Cam Newton’s Benching

Bob Leverone/AP

The Carolina Panthers found themselves dismantled by the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night 40-7 for their 8th loss of the season, and Panthers head coach Ron Rivera was the one that arguably ignited the route of his team.

Rivera surprised everyone by sending quarterback Derek Anderson out onto the field for the team’s first offensive drive of the night in-place of Cam Newton, which happened because of a reported violation of a team rule.

Anderson threw an interception on the first play of the game to Seahawks linebacker Mike Morgan when he was attempting to throw a screen pass to fullback Mike Tolbert, which then prompted Newton to be inserted in on the next series after the Seahawks took a 3-0 lead.

It was later revealed that Rivera elected to bench Newton because of a dress code violation, and that he has done this with players in the past – just not the quarterback.

“I’m very comfortable with it,” Rivera said Monday during a press conference. “Because the truth of the matter is I have to treat everybody the same. I really do. And that’s all that was. There’s no underlying message. There’s no feud. Because I’ve done this before. It’s just unfortunate that the guys that I’ve done it before weren’t the quarterback.

“I think that’s why it’s such a big deal. I think that’s quite honestly why it’s being made bigger than it really is. Because all I did was treat a player like I treat any other player.”

Following the game, Newton told reporters that he agreed with Rivera’s decision. Newton failed to wear a collared shirt with a necktie for the game.

“I feel I wore a similar outfit as this before and nothing was done, but [Rivera] says he has rules in place and we have to abide by them,” Newton said on Sunday night. “No person is greater than the next person and, you know, it is what it is.”

The Panthers, who are now 4-8 on the season, are back in Carolina for the first time since Week 11 versus the New Orleans Saints when they take on the San Diego Chargers this Sunday.

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About Tony Montalto (1996 Articles)
Twitter: @tony_montalto

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