Ron Rivera knows things can change for him quickly with new owner

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Panthers coach Ron Rivera got a contract extension this offseason, and so did Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney.

And they know that might not mean a thing.

The two of them are under contract through 2020, but the Panthers are in the process of being sold by founder Jerry Richardson, who wanted to make sure his guys got their gold watches on his way out the door. But with the expectation that a new owner will be voted on at the May owner’s meeting, Rivera knows that when they take the field this fall, they’re auditioning for a new boss who has no vested interest in them personally.

Asked if that forced the Panthers into an all-in mindset this year, he acknowledged the elephant in the room.

“Absolutely it does,” Rivera said. “That’s what we have to do, we have to understand that we have to go out and show we’re very capable at what we do and that we can continue to have sustained success. We have to be on top of our game. It does add a little bit of pressure, but that’s the nature of the game. It really is a one year at a time as far as whether you get next year.

“We’ll approach it that way. We’ve been under pressure before and we’ve had to prove it and come out and produce and that’s where we are.”

While that doesn’t necessarily translate into a coming spending spree in free agency (they have around $27 million in cap space after ditching three veteran starters this week), Rivera said the reality that they can’t afford to miss this offseason is even more tangible than other years.

“I think what it does, as far as how we handle it, there’s a sense of ‘Hey, we have to get it right,'” he said.

And while having a turn-key football operation to hand the new owner this summer lends a sense of stability, Rivera is well aware that unless his team produces this fall, he and Hurney could be write-offs for a a new owner who is about to spend well north of $2 billion for a football team.

5 responses to “Ron Rivera knows things can change for him quickly with new owner

  1. I remember cursing a blue streak about Rivera years back after choking a game away in Buffalo to the EJ Manuel Bills. Had the game in hand, got super conservative and predictable, went into “prevent” mode and allowed EJ Manuel to drive down the field with ease and win the game, and at that point it was something that was becoming a pattern. I had my pitchfork and torch, calling for his head, all of that.

    Well the very next week, we were introduced to “Riverboat Ron” and that was when this team started growing into an actual contender with some killer instinct. Rivera talked about how he was taught his whole coaching life about how do to things “by the book”, in this situation you do this, in that situation you do that, minimize risk, be safe, blah blah. He said he had to unlearn some of that and start coaching with his gut a bit more.

    I feel like he’s taken a couple steps back towards that “by the book” mentality, and maybe Shula’s predictable and ill timed play calls had something to do with that too. Hopefully some fresh eyes for the offense sparks them again a little bit. But i wanna see a bit more Riverboatin’. We just saw Doug Pederson win a Super Bowl with a “i’m not taking what the defense gives me, i’m doing whatever we need to win whether the defense gives it to us or not” approach.

    All this “by the book” stuff is played out. I’m not saying to be blindly reckless in every situation, but you have to know when to show some gusto and not be afraid to do so when you feel it. If Rivera remembers that, then i’m sure whoever the owner is, he’ll be just fine.

  2. If your team owner has sense, coaching for a new owner or for an established owner shouldn’t make much difference. If you win consistently you keep your job. If you lose consistently you lose your job.

  3. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t see Cam Newton being highly successful in Norv Turner’s offense. Plus it looks like they will lose Norwell, one of their best OLs and they don’t have a solid RB. The defensive players will be playing under their 3rd different Coordinator in 3 years. I can definitely see a long year for Rivera, Hurney and the Panthers, with a house cleaning by the new owners at the end of the season.

  4. If Richardson wasn’t selling, I wonder if Shula would have stayed, which is a little infuriating that they’d accept mediocrity and hope for the best.

    Either way I’m glad with the moves thus far and hope they treat every offseason (and regular season) as if it’s their last moving forward.

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