BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — Panthers coach Ron Rivera suggested Wednesday that players on the losing Super Bowl team should not be interviewed after the game.
Rivera was asked at the NFL owners’ meetings about league MVP Cam Newton’s meltdown immediately following the loss to Denver. His voice becoming more and more passionate, Rivera went on a lengthy discourse about the subject.
He said perhaps only the coach of the losing side should meet with the media after the Super Bowl. He doesn’t think players should be asked to relive so soon losing the biggest game of their career, emphasizing several times that his All-Pro quarterback was showing “raw emotion” after a “crushing blow” of a defeat.
“I’ve mentioned it a few times,” Rivera said about the postgame setup. “I get it. I understand how important it is to get raw emotion. At least show the appreciation this is hard — it’s a difficult thing to do after a loss. Let’s at least anticipate and expect this will be a tough thing.
“This is not like a run-of-the-mill game. … Remember, this is the pinnacle of what we do; we worked hard to get there, and when you don’t (succeed), it’s a crushing blow.”
A two-time NFL Coach of the Year, Rivera appreciated that Newton admitted to being a poor loser, saying, “he told the truth.” He added that to expect anything else after coming so close to winning a championship and failing is foolish.
“At least anticipate you will not get him at his best,” Rivera said.
Rivera criticized the NFL for placing both winning and losing players at podiums close to each other after the Super Bowl. Newton and other Panthers could hear firsthand the elation of the Broncos and their celebratory comments.
“They shouldn’t put the two teams in the same room,” he said. “Maybe a solution is that.”
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL