If the playoffs had been expanded to 14 teams in 2013, the Panthers would have hosted the Cardinals in the wild-card round, instead of having the week off. And that would have been fine with Carolina coach Ron Rivera, the 2013 AP and PFT coach of the year.
Rivera favors expanding playoffs by two teams, even if means elimination of the bye week for the No. 2 seed in each conference. Or perhaps in the case of the Panthers because it means no bye for the No. 2 seed.
“[W]e don’t have a good record coming off the bye so I think so I think that our best thing is to stay and keep playing and stay focused,” Rivera said on Wednesday’s edition of The Dan Patrick Show. “But I would have just because in all honesty I have been on a team that had a winning record that didn’t go to the playoffs as both a coach and as a player, and it’s very frustrating to take a step back and look around and say, ‘Man, we were 10-6 and didn’t get into the playoffs.’ That is a tough pill to swallow, so I think there are a lot of good reasons for it. I would love to see it seriously considered this year we will go from there.”
Rivera serves as a member of the coaches’ subcommittee to the Competition Committee, so he has the ability to make his views known in a more formal setting. Ultimately, the question becomes whether at least 24 owners would vote in favor of expanding the postseason by a pair of teams.
Here’s the full segment with Rivera, who also talks about his contract extension and whether his starting quarterback will be looking for a new contract of his own.