Ron Rivera tired of people calling Panthers arrogant

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Arrogant? Brash? Poor sportsmen?

Ron Rivera has heard all the knocks of his Carolina Panthers (17-1) — and the head coach doesn’t care.

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Rivera said Wednesday he has told players not to dial things back amid criticism that the Panthers are excessively showy. That means you can expect plenty of Cam Newton "dabs" and footballs being handed to kids in the crowd if the quarterback is able to score Sunday in Super Bowl 50 against Denver.

"We’ve kind of crashed the party," Rivera said Wednesday when addressing Super Bowl media. "We’re new to the scene. Not a lot of people know who we are. To draw a quick conclusion based on a couple things is disappointing.

He was responding to a question about his team being considered cocky and arrogant, so Rivera continued, saying:  "We’ve got to keep our personality to make sure we are who we are. We’re not going to have guys change now and have everyone tighten up. We don’t want to get that point. We want to stay who we are and I think that helps us."

Rivera, who was a linebacker on the 1985 Bears (one of the brashest teams of all time), did admit he would “dread” if Panthers players had decided to make a “Super Bowl Shuffle” video.

“It’s funny because when the Super Bowl Shuffle came out, it was after we lost to Miami,” said Rivera, referring to Chicago’s first — and only — loss that season. “I don’t know how much of it was arrogance or just being confident in who were as a Super Bowl team or the fact we were doing (the video) for charity.

“It was pretty fun idea at the time. But if our guys wanted to do something like that I would be concerned. Really, what you try to do is eliminate the distractions. We try to embrace situations and circumstances and make them ours … If you fight it and make a big deal about it, it becomes a distraction. It’s constantly talked about.”

Newton learned that the hard way last week when making a comment about how his being a successful African-American quarterback is something that puts a “scare” into some of his critics. Newton has declined to revisit the issue during his first two Super Bowl media week sessions.