Panthers (1-4) know turnaround needs to start now

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — 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 4½ 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).

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Online: http://bigstory.ap.org/NFL-Pro32 and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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