Defensive end Greg Hardy said Wednesday that his Panthers are better than the 11-1 Atlanta Falcons, and now we have a clearer picture of why he was so fired up. The Associated Press reported that "several" Panthers are upset about how cameras caught Ryan telling them to get off his field at the Georgia Dome, with a few choice expletives thrown in for good measure.
Said Hardy: "We owe them something, and it is coming. I'm trying to mess with their whole playoff experience. I want them to go home sick in the stomach and mad about life, a couple of depression issues, all types of things. It's going to be a long day from my point of view. I'm coming."
This all felt a little manufactured for motivation, but defensive end Charles Johnson said Ryan's words have bothered him since Week 4. The Panthers could have evened their record at 2-2 back then, but it spiraled out of control when they gave up a big lead. They pressured Ryan well in the game and plan to again.
"He likes to hold the ball, and that's something he should do when you're coming to play the Carolina Panthers because it's going to have repercussions," Hardy said.
"Truthfully, if you want to do something about it, (then) do it on the field," Rivera said. "That's the way I look at it. Let's not talk about it, let's let our actions speak for us on the field."