Panthers hope to get Benjamin open


Carolina quarterback Cam Newton didn’t want to reveal how the Minnesota Vikings took away his top target, wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin last week.

Newton, the league’s reigning most valuable player, only threw one pass toward Benjamin in the 22-10 loss.

“Do you really think I’m going to tell you that?,” Newton said.

When asked how the Panthers hoped to get Benjamin going against the Falcons, Newton said, “Throw it to him.”

Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant said that Benjamin was double-teamed at times and that the Vikings rolled a safety to Benjamin’s routes when they were in zone.

Instead of forcing the ball to Benjamin, Newton held the ball, according to Panthers coach Ron Rivera, and that led to the Vikings registering eight sacks and a safety.

Rivera and offensive coordinator Mike Shula would like for Newton to go to his check-down receivers quicker.

“But one thing again, Cam is competitive,” Rivera said. “He wants to complete every pass he throws or tries to throw. He’s just going to have to learn that sometimes you can’t hold it that long. You just have to dump it and we’ll wind it up another time. He wants to win. He wants to make things happen. He’s very competitive.”


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