Man overboard: Panthers fire special teams coach


The Panthers’ 2-7 start has claimed another victim, as special teams coordinator Brian Murphy has joined general manager Marty Hurney in the unemployment line.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera announced in his press conference that he was firing Murphy, whose unit allowed a second punt return touchdown to Trindon Holliday (after one in the preseason when Holliday was with Houston).

Murphy will be replaced by assistant special teams coach Richard Rodgers, who was a Cal teammate of Rivera, who participated in “The Play” at the end of the Stanford Cal game.

The Panthers special teams have been bad for years, and were last in the league in 2011 in the comprehensive special teams rankings of Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News.

Of course, it’s probably not the last firing the Panthers will see this year. There’s a feel of housecleaning around there, and getting embarrassed by former coach John Fox yesterday only hastened the inevitable departures of many.

In fact, a “Survivor” style weekly firing might be the only thing left to entertain the locals.

17 responses to “Man overboard: Panthers fire special teams coach

  1. I wish Rivera would have fired the Offensive Coordinator Rob Chudinski. After scoring a TD early in the game using most of the snaps under center, he reverted back to more option plays and the offense tanked. Chud just doesn’t get it. The Panthers have all the personnel for a power running game, but he continues to try and run an offense ill suited for the personnel. I am ready for a new GM and a new direction.

  2. Unlike Survivor, there are no winners at BOA Stadium right now. I can’t see Rivera staying around much longer.

  3. Yeah, im sure the special teams coach is the reason they are 2-7 ….

    Not the sole reason, but if you’d watched any Panthers games (or actually read the article), you’d know that the special teams have been horrible for a few years.

  4. If we keep losing, maybe chip Kelly will come be our head coach. If you are to run his offense in the NFL, I think we have the personnel to do it.
    I would also like to apologize for saying Carolina would win this week. I thought we finally had stuff turned around.

  5. Eventually Rivera will be the last guy left to receive the blame. But for now he can cut off the heads around him. Covering kicks was an obvious weakness for Carolina last season so why is Rivera just now trying to address it?

    Clock is ticking on Rivera.

  6. habibthomas says:
    Nov 12, 2012 1:01 PM
    Yeah, im sure the special teams coach is the reason they are 2-7 ….
    The Panthers have had horrible special teams for 3 years running. The GM decided this past offseason that the offense and defense were in perfect condition, and spent all available free agent dollars on “special teams aces.” We had the 5th best offense in the league last year. We had a ton of injuries on defense last year, so the moves made sense at the time. The offense has taken several steps back, but it was so good last year that Rivera thinks it can come back. The defense is much-improved; the D only gave up 20 points yesterday and Greg Hardy has been turned into a real NFL player. Sean McDermott is the best assistant coach in the league in my opinion, having taken a unit with so little talent and making it at least average. All the “special teams aces” have done no good, so the unit’s coach got canned. The reasoning is sound, but it’s not the end of the issues.

  7. goodguyattorney says:
    Nov 12, 2012 1:08 PM
    Who’s going to announce Rivera’s firing?
    The new GM, about 5 minutes after he’s hired.

  8. Don’t lose faith Panther fans. What I saw yesterday was a team with a solid base and plenty of talent. Your D was as tough as any my Broncos had seen all year. It’s mostly little things that add up to bite you. Execution, timing and blocking discipline. Your team definitely has the talent on both sides of the ball to be a playoff team. As long as you have Cam you should be a contender.

  9. beauregard – while I very much appreciate you being such a good sport about the thrashing your team gave mine, I have to call a couple things into question. Yes, you guys have a very good defense (I would expect nothing less from a John Fox-coached team), but our O-line is awful. Our best lineman is on IR, the left tackle should have been put out to pasture years ago, and I can’t ever remember us having a right tackle that was worth a crap (other than Jeff Otah, who was a stud for the 15 minutes he was healthy). Also, Cam is not getting good coaching. The OC has the big head after such a good year last year and he has lost his way. I hope our new GM/coach hire Chris Wienke to be our OC; he has done more with Cam at IMG than anyone else.

    Congrats on the win. You almost have the AFC West clinched. Maybe the Panthers can help you out by beating the other 3 teams when we play them.

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