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Rivera: Losing Team Shouldn't Have To Face Press After Super Bowl

BOCA RATON, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Panthers coach Ron Rivera suggested Wednesday that players on the losing Super Bowl team should not be interviewed after the game.

Rivera was asked at the NFL owners' meetings about league MVP Cam Newton's meltdown immediately following the loss to Denver. His voice becoming more and more passionate, Rivera went on a lengthy discourse about the subject.

He said perhaps only the coach of the losing side should meet with the media after the Super Bowl. He doesn't think players should be asked to relive so soon losing the biggest game of their career, emphasizing several times that his All-Pro quarterback was showing "raw emotion" after a "crushing blow" of a defeat.

"I've mentioned it a few times," Rivera said about the postgame setup. "I get it. I understand how important it is to get raw emotion. At least show the appreciation this is hard — it's a difficult thing to do after a loss. Let's at least anticipate and expect this will be a tough thing.

"This is not like a run-of-the-mill game. ... Remember, this is the pinnacle of what we do; we worked hard to get there, and when you don't (succeed), it's a crushing blow."

Wearing a hood over his head, Newton sulked while answering reporters' questions, mostly with one-word answers, after the Panthers lost to the Broncos 24-10 in Super Bowl 50. After about three minutes, he stood up and walked out.

Cam Newton Walks Out Of Post-Super Bowl News Conference
Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers walks out of his postgame press conference following their loss to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on Feb. 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

A two-time NFL Coach of the Year, Rivera appreciated that Newton admitted later to being a poor loser, saying, "He told the truth." He added that to expect anything else after coming so close to winning a championship and failing is foolish.

"At least anticipate you will not get him at his best," Rivera said.

Rivera criticized the NFL for placing both winning and losing players at podiums close to each other after the Super Bowl. Newton and other Panthers could hear firsthand the elation of the Broncos and their celebratory comments.

"They shouldn't put the two teams in the same room," he said. "Maybe a solution is that."

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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