Robby Anderson hits back after being criticized for celebration: 'I know this dream don’t last forever'

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Carolina Panthers receiver Robby Anderson knows it is rare to succeed in the NFL. So when he has an opportunity to celebrate a good play, he's going to take it.

Anderson received flack for celebrating at the end of the Panthers' 32-6 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 16. Anderson spun the ball and pointed to the sky after grabbing a 14-yard pass near the sideline on Carolina's final drive.

Anderson defended his actions on Twitter, saying he's going to enjoy being in the NFL as long as he can.

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He also complimented the play, saying he ran a good route and made a good catch.

NFL reporter Dov Kleiman, who posted the clip, compared Anderson's celebration to Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool's first-down celebration that cost his team important seconds at the end of a game.

Both gestures occurred at the end of a game in which their teams were trailing, but Claypool's was far more egregious. He cost his team crucial seconds as the Steelers were trying to come back against the Minnesota Vikings. Claypool celebrated a first down catch with under a minute to go and the Steelers trailing by eight points. He did so while the clock was running, costing his team roughly five seconds.

Anderson's team trailed by 26 points when he made his catch. Anderson also went out of bounds on the play, stopping the clock. Anderson wasn't penalized for the celebration, so he didn't actively hurt his team.

NFL cracking down on taunting penalties

Anderson was fortunate the play wasn't flagged. The NFL cracked down on taunting this season, leading to emphatic gestures being penalized this season. Chicago Bears linebacker Cassius Marsh was fined for celebrating in the direction of the Steelers' bench in Week 9. Steelers receiver Ray Ray McLoud was fined in Week 16 after making a first-down gesture in a defender's face.

After a breakout year last season, Anderson has 44 catches for 459 yards and four touchdowns in 15 games with the Panthers. He signed a two-year extension worth nearly $30 million with the team in August.

Robby Anderson with the Panthers.
Robby Anderson received criticism for celebrating with his team down by over 20 points. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)