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Rivera says he’s playing kids, for his benefit next year

Ron Rivera AP

Ron Rivera is doing like many coaches who are playing out the string, he’s playing kids.

But the Panthers coach said he’s doing it in preparation for coaching them next year.

Oh, Ron.

“It is about winning, don’t get me wrong, because I intend to win or try to win every one of these games we play,” Rivera said, via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. “But at the same time, we’ve got to be able to do it with these young guys. If we don’t play these guys, we’ll go into next season with the same questions.

“People say, ‘Oh you’re just getting them ready for the next coach.’ Well I think I’m getting them ready for me. I could be wrong but I’m not going to worry about that. I’m worried about each game, the next four games, and going forward we’ll see what happens.”

Rivera said he hasn’t talked to owner Jerry Richardson about that, however, since general manager Marty Hurney was fired. That’s when Richardson told him he wanted to see them “trend upward.”

The Panthers are 3-9 this year, giving Rivera a 9-19 record overall. His teams are 1-12 in games decided by a touchdown or less, after yesterday’s loss to the Chiefs.

Watching Rivera lately, you can tell he spent a lot of time working for Andy Reid. There’s a quiet realization of what’s all but certain to happen to him in a month, but he’s going down pushing all the buttons he knows how, and he’s doing it with a measure of grace.

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9 Responses to “Rivera says he’s playing kids, for his benefit next year”
  1. ccjcsr says: Dec 3, 2012 1:56 PM

    Over Confident he’ll be around next yr…got to like his swag..or reverse psychology.

  2. jm8ch10 says: Dec 3, 2012 2:25 PM

    He will eventually be gone. You can’t win with Cam as QB.

  3. jwreck says: Dec 3, 2012 2:47 PM

    jm8ch10 says: Dec 3, 2012 2:25 PM

    He will eventually be gone. You can’t win with Cam as QB.
    ________
    Erroneous! Erroneous on both counts!

    While “you” definitely can win with Cam as QB, it just won’t be Rivera doing it, as he’ll be gone in three weeks, not “eventually”.

    That said, Rivera can be a winning coach in this league and the best landing spot for him might be San Diego: the job he should have won away from Turner two years ago.

  4. punkmonkeyfaces says: Dec 3, 2012 2:50 PM

    Playing the backups…Yup, that’s what the people that actually decided to purchase tickets and go to a Panthers’ game want.

  5. spfripp says: Dec 3, 2012 5:24 PM

    While players may get fans to buy tickets those seats will quickly become empty if a team does not produce wins.

    I like Revera’s thinking. They are not going to the playoffs this year so why not use the rest of the season on developing players. Does it mean you give up on winning this year? No, because winning is an attitude and players need to develop in that area as well.

  6. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Dec 3, 2012 5:36 PM

    I swear I find it easy to pull for Rivera. Nice coach and he seems close to getting over the hump however I think the loss to the Chiefs could really hurt his chances.

  7. rbrocking says: Dec 3, 2012 5:47 PM

    Rootin’ Tootin’ Newton could not do nothing with KC they where going to win for their team mate. Panthers could have had 12 men on the field all day and still lost

  8. jgedgar70 says: Dec 4, 2012 7:56 AM

    jm8ch10 says:
    Dec 3, 2012 2:25 PM
    He will eventually be gone. You can’t win with Cam as QB.
    _____
    Well, I see Cam Derangement Syndrome is alive and well today, with yet another person who hates Cam for no reason, and who hasn’t seen a single stat sheet. If you had ever seen a stat sheet, you would know that Cam is playing better than ever right now, he just has fewer rushing touchdowns. No, can’t admit that, just have to keep screaming how much you hate him. Forget the rotten offensive line, the receivers that don’t break routes and come back when the pocket breaks down, forget the defense that is so soft Brady Quinn looks all-world, forget the incompetence of the head coach… no, the Panthers are 9-19 the last 2 years wholly and only because of Cam.

    Shut your ignorant squeal hole.

    As for Rivera, he’s as good as gone. His only hope is to win every remaining game, and with games with Atlanta and at New Orleans, there’s no chance of that.

  9. jgedgar70 says: Dec 4, 2012 7:58 AM

    rbrocking says:
    Dec 3, 2012 5:47 PM
    Rootin’ Tootin’ Newton could not do nothing with KC they where going to win for their team mate. Panthers could have had 12 men on the field all day and still lost
    _____
    Could you translate this post into English? I think you’re saying there was never any possibility of the Panthers winning. Of course, if Brandon LaFell doesn’t drop a TD pass, there’s a good chance the Panthers do win the game. Not that you’re going to acknowledge that or anything…

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