Panthers coach Ron Rivera who had to wait six days last January before learning he would keep his job was asked Tuesday whether first-year general manager Dave Gettleman had laid out clear expectations for Rivera’s third season.

“Other than winning?” Rivera said. “No.”

During an interview Tuesday at Bank of America Stadium with the Observer Rivera discussed topics ranging from the development of quarterback Cam Newton as a leader to the health of running back Jonathan Stewart’s ankles to a defensive front seven Rivera expects to be very good.

But as Rivera indicated the bottom line is winning. And he believes the Panthers are well equipped to do so.

If they don’t Rivera 13-19 realizes he might not be back for a fourth season.

“I’m not going to worry about that. If it happens it happens” Rivera said. “At the end of the day I will give my best I will do my best I will implore our players to do their best and we’ll let the chips fall where they may.”

In Newton and middle linebacker Luke Kuechly Rivera sees young budding stars. By taking defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short with their first two draft picks Rivera believes the team added quality players to a position group that was the strength of the defense in 2012.

“The big question obviously is going to be strong safety” Rivera said.

But there are others including what steps Newton needs to make in his third year as a starter.

He has compiled a heap of impressive stats during his two seasons but since Rivera succeeded John Fox and Newton became the starter the Panthers are 2-12 in games decided by a touchdown or less.