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Panthers OC denies calling plays with a 'tight butt'

Following Sunday's 31-24 Divisional Round win over the Seattle Seahawks, Cam Newton said the Carolina Panthers played with their "butts tight," watching their big lead wither in the second half.

Specifically, Newton said "a lot of guys playing with their butts tight, coaches with their butts tight" and included himself in the "butts tight" equation.

On Monday, offensive coordinator Mike Shula denied calling plays with his sphincter clenched, instead crediting the Seattle defense with making changes.

"It's a fine line in keeping it wide open and also trying to call plays that are really good that also will keep the clock moving," Shula said, via "(The Seahawks are) really good. I don't think there is anybody here that doesn't think they are really good on defense."

It's the fourth time this season the Panthers saw a big lead dwindle. Coach Ron Rivera cited those games being against quarterbacks Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers, Eli Manning and Russell Wilson.

"I'll be honest, I get it, I understand," Rivera said of the concern of losing big leads. "But shoot, we won those football games, and look who we played against. If this was someone that was 2-14 that did this to us, then I'd be really concerned. But it wasn't. Am I concerned? Yeah. But are these things correctable and fixable? Most certainly.

"Let's stay focused on what we did. We did some really good things. We made some things happen. And we won the football game."

The last sentence is the most important. Big leads or not, the Panthers have beaten every opponent this season, save one. With two now needed to hoist a Lombardi Trophy, there is no more time for tight butts.

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