Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera left his press conference on Thursday after two minutes, aggravated by numerous questions regarding Cam Newton’s status.
The Carolina Panthers will enter its game on Sunday with Kyle Allen behind center. Cam Newton will sit after a week during which his status was up in the air. Naturally, his status was a common topic for head coach Ron Rivera in his press conferences leading up to the game.
“I just asked you to ask me questions about somebody else. So I’m not going to do this anymore, okay? I told you, I won’t know anything until tomorrow. Thank you.”
Rivera answered his first question out of the gate directly: A decision about the quarterback had not been made, and the decision would likely be (and eventually was) made the next day. After more a couple more questions, Rivera stated outright that he wanted the questions he were to field to revolve around Arizona. One member of the media prefaced the very next question about the certainty of Newton’s status, prompting Rivera to sigh and walk away from his podium.
“I just asked you to ask me questions about somebody else,” Rivera said as he exited the conference room. “So I’m not going to do this anymore, okay?” I told you I won’t know anything until tomorrow. Thank you.”
Upon reading the initial headline “Rivera Storms out of Press Conference After Numerous Questions About Newton” or something to that effect, my first thought was that that’s understandable, but I’d need more context. After watching the previous day’s press conference and the infamous Thursday incident, I’m absolutely with Riverboat Ron.
More from Old North Banter
- Carolina Panthers: Secondary battles to watch in training camp 2020
- Carolina Panthers: 2020 training camp kicks off on Tuesday
- NC Colleges Provide Coronavirus Results from Athletic Departments
- Court alleges Zion’s Stepfather received $400k
- UNC Football gets Commitment from Top Cornerback
As someone who spent a good chunk of time at N.C. State’s practice facilities in the lead-up to the Wolfpack’s season opener, I know what’s it like to cover a team where the quarterback position is essentially a floating question mark. However, when Dave Doeren said, “We’ll let you know when we’ve announced our starter,” pretty much all of us in the local media collectively said, “Cool. We won’t pester you about it until then.”
I do get the fundamental differences between what I described and the incident in question. Yes, I’m referring to college, and this is the NFL. Yes, I know it’s a three-way battle for a vacant spot versus a franchise quarterback’s status vague due to injury. However, the fundamental respect for the coach and for the team itself is what I see as the major takeaway.
Rivera was absolutely within his right to say, basically, “I don’t want to talk about this. Please move on to something else.” There are other aspects to discuss when it comes to the Panthers despite Newton’s health being the major topic of discussion. But Rivera gave his answer almost immediately: check back again tomorrow.
But that clearly wasn’t enough. Despite any questions regarding the quarterback position, Newton’s history of injuries, Allen’s readiness for the role, or others of that ilk already being asked during the week, that wasn’t enough.
Members of the media, no matter what medium they present their stories or what topic, team, or area of expertise their scope entails, have their right to interview whomever they are credentialed and approved to interview. However, something they should realize when they have that opportunity is that there comes a time where they just need to shut up.