The Panthers won for the first time since Week Two against the Redskins on Sunday, a victory that ended a string of near misses for the team and left coach Ron Rivera feeling a bit better about his chances of sticking around beyond this season.
Rivera told Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports that he had a meeting with Panthers owner Jerry Richardson after General Manager Marty Hurney was fired last month and that Richardson told Rivera that there were certain things that had to happen for Rivera to avoid the same fate. Rivera didn’t elaborate on just what the Panthers needed to do to save his job, but said that winning games is a big part of it.
“It was hard, but my discussion with Mr. Richardson was a good one. He told me that we are in a production-based business. You have to perform. I get it. I understand his point,” Rivera said. “The biggest thing is we have to be trending up. We have to be showing that we are improving as a football team. Whether that’s a specific number of wins, I don’t know. To some degree, it’s about perception. People have to see that we’re competing. And I think these last five weeks, you can see there is a reason [to believe that we are]. Now, it’s about learning how to win those games.”
Rivera went on to say that he thinks the team “kind of found” their way in Sunday’s 21-13 win over the Redskins. A new General Manager is likely going to want his own guy as the coach, but the decision will be much harder if that result can repeat itself against the Broncos next week and in enough of the weeks to come to make it look like Rivera can still push the Panthers in the right direction.