CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Panthers coach Ron Rivera isn't buying into the idea the season is over.
Rivera believes the Panthers (1-4) are close to turning things around, and that coaches and players need to improve if they're to make a run at the playoffs.
Rivera said the coaching staff spent a portion of the bye weekend self-scouting and acknowledged that coaches need to do a better job of "putting players in good position to make plays" and players need to "step up and make plays."
The Panthers (1-4) face an uphill climb after three straight losses.
They already trail Atlanta (6-0) by 4 1/2 games in the NFC South.
Players returned to practice Monday after four days off and began preparing for a home game Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys (2-3).