CHARLOTTE - Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera held his emotions in check Monday, but fully supported Cam Newton's comments about officiating.
Newton was vocal after Sunday's 30-20 win over Arizona in his displeasure over officials not calling what appear to be illegal hits.
"It's really taking the fun out of the game for me," Newton said Sunday. "At times I don't feel safe."
Newton said he was going to talk to the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell, and Rivera says the Panthers already have this season.
"I've reached out to the league concerning our quarterback," Rivera said, "They've responded. They've responded appropriately. They're trying to do the things that they need to."
The most egregious hit on Sunday came in the second half, when Cardinals defensive lineman Calais Campbell hit Newton below the knees in the pocket, which should have drawn a penalty flag.
"I could've torn my ACL," Newton said after the game. "That was the breaking point."
"When he gets hit he absorbs them, and it doesn't look as bad," Rivera said Monday. "I think sometimes that might be part of the reason he doesn't get he calls that he deserves."
Rivera, who wouldn't discuss the nature of his discussions with the NFL, or even when they've taken place, says he understands the league has a tough job.
He was asked if it's frustrating to have ongoing discussions with the league that likely began after Newton took some vicious hits against Denver.
"I think you could say that," he said. "I understand. I get it. It's difficult for the referees, it's difficult for the coaches and it's difficult for the players. And we've just got to continue to work through it and have the right type of solution."
In terms of a solution, Rivera offered several popular strategies including: employing an eighth official, hiring the officials full-time, and allowing replay reviews of hits that may be illegal.
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