Panthers Trying To Get Past Tumultuous Offseason

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Panthers coach Ron Rivera says he's looking for bigger and better things from his team this year despite a tumultuous offseason.

Rivera said following Friday's rookie minicamp that "status quo isn't good enough." The Panthers went 12-4 last season and won the NFC South before losing 23-10 at home to San Francisco in the divisional playoffs.

Improving on that could be difficult considering their all-time leading wide receiver Steve Smith was released, left tackle Jordan Gross retired, quarterback Cam Newton underwent ankle surgery and "franchise" defensive end Greg Hardy was arrested for assault on a female and communicating threats.

Rivera declined to answer questions about Hardy, who was released from jail Wednesday on $17,000 bond, except to say "Greg's a heck of a young man and we'll go from there."


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