There’s no immediate Black Monday word out of Charlotte, after Ron Rivera closed his second season with a fourth straight win.
But a bad finish elsewhere could speed the process along.
Rivera said he’d meet with Panthers owner Jerry Richardson soon to evaluate the year, and find out whether he’d return.
Asked if he thought he’d be back, Rivera said (via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer): “Well, I want to be back. We’ll see.”
Rivera’s strong finishes (winning four of his last six in 2011, and five of his last six this year) don’t completely cover up a pair of 2-8 starts which have rendered Panthers seasons over before Halloween for three years running. That also cost general manager Marty Hurney his job in October.
And while there are people around the league who think Rivera and interim GM Brandon Beane can hang onto their jobs, the fact Richardson hired Ernie Accorsi as a consultant seems to point in the opposite direction.
With Accorsi’s ties to the Giants organization, college scouting director Marc Ross and senior pro personnel analyst Dave Gettleman became immediate contenders for the GM job. And now that the Giants’ 9-7 season is over, they’re free to interview.
Having Accorsi giving advice also gave the Panthers a significant head start, and they can hit the ground running today if they choose.
That could get Rivera one day closer to an answer as to whether the next GM wants to give him another chance to coach some more meaningless December games.