Despite pass push, Panthers secondary struggling

Associated Press Modified: October 4, 2012 at 4:34 am •  Published: October 4, 2012
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Rivera said not all of the errors were Nakamura's fault.

"As you're watching the tape and knowing what we're doing and what we're trying to do, there's more than one way to look," Rivera said.

So what did Nakamura learn from Sunday's game?

"Don't be stupid, first of all," he said. "You look at that situation and we have them back up on the 1-yard line. You play deeper. There's only one way they can get downfield and that's the deep and unfortunately I played it the wrong way."

The Panthers secondary could catch a break Sunday after opening the season against four veteran quarterbacks in Josh Freeman, Drew Brees, Eli Manning and Ryan.

This week they face Wilson, the Seahawks' third-round draft pick this year.

Wilson, who began his college career at North Carolina State and later played minor league baseball briefly in Gastonia — about a 20-minute-drive from where the Panthers play their home games — said he expects a stiff challenge from Carolina's defense.

"They have a tremendous front seven and they can really get to the quarterback," Wilson said. "We have to be able to block it out and get the ball out on time."

"The defensive line played Sunday about as good as they've played the last two seasons," Rivera said. "The energy they helped bring to the defense was tremendous."

Rivera said that raises the bar for this week against a Seattle team that has allowed eight sacks.

"I told the guys you put it out there now, you showed what you're capable of so there's no reason not to do it every week," Rivera said. "So we'll see how they respond."

NOTES: LB Jon Beason, DE Frank Alexander, OL Geoff Hangartner, CB Chris Gamble and SS Colin Jones did not practice Wednesday for the Panthers. Rivera said he's most concerned about the availability of Beason, Hangartner and Gamble on Sunday.

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