Ron Rivera got what he wanted Friday night.
The second-year Carolina Panthers' coach wanted to see his team play with spirit, intensity and focus in its second preseason game of the season, unlike how it approached the opener last Saturday night.
Panthers' quarterback Cam Newton even admitted to being "lethargic" going into last Saturday's affair, but he and the rest of the Panthers were the complete opposite Friday in dispatching the Miami Dolphins, 23-17.
In many respects, Rivera saw what he wanted before the first quarter even ended. The Panthers scored on all three possessions in the period using eight, eight and five plays to put 17 points on the board. On the other side of the ball, Carolina's defense went three-and-out on its first two series on the field.
"I thought we came out with a lot of energy," Rivera said. "I thought Cam really handled the offensive tempo and threw it very nicely. We get the ball three times (with Newton in the game) and score all three times....