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“"It's funny, because so much has been said about (Newton). Just because he's put in front and doesn't handle it well doesn't mean there's something wrong with him, per se. There are some things that need to be corrected and changed obviously and he has to learn to deal with things a little bit better. The biggest thing we all need to do is continue to improve." Rivera, who said Newton is focused on football, was asked if expectations were set too high for the Panthers and Newton, who earned the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award last season as he led Carolina to a 6-10 record. "Going into this year, one of the things I've always talked about was managing our expectations," Rivera said. "I think that you start talking about what you can become without getting there first. That's one of the things I was concerned with going into the season. "I expected it to be a grind and we'd have to work and make things happen, but no way did I expect to be 1-5. We had opportunities to win our last three games, it came down to the last few minutes of the game where we were put in a position to win, but unfortunately we didn't do those things. So now the reflection is on myself and on our quarterback, because so many expectations have been put on this team and put on him individually. I think at some point we have to learn to manage it because so many things change and you have to adapt to what's going on in the league right now." Rivera was a linebacker on the Bears' Super Bowl XX championship team and the defensive coordinator of the Bears' Super Bowl XLI team. And he has many admirers in the Bears' locker room. "It's a tough situation to be in," Bears center Roberto Garza said. "We've all been there before. He's a great coach and a good friend. It's unfortunate what he's going through, but I think he's gonna have those guys ready to play. We know what kind of a coach he is." Bears coach Lovie Smith offered his support. "We know that Ron and the rest of the staff is an excellent coaching staff with a lot of good players," Smith said. "And yet you go through some times like this. You just keep working on what you believe in, which Ron and their crew will do. We just hope they don't get it right this week. They'll be fine in time."
This is a production-based business; if you don't produce, things happen.” -- Panthers coach Ron Rivera