Rivera waiting; end of Giants season could hasten news


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.

10 responses to “Rivera waiting; end of Giants season could hasten news

  1. I would love to see what Chip Kelly and Cam could do together but then again I am scared to death of another unproven head coach. I hope Jerry at least gives Gruden a call but I don’t think he is interested in Carolina.

  2. Just an observation: The Panthers didn’t quit on their coach when their fans/city did. That’s saying something. If I had a vote, Rivera would’ve earned it.

    – Titans fan in Charlotte

  3. I think the Panthers should give Rivera another season. Superbowl teams don’t happen in just a couple seasons, they’re built on teamwork from top to bottom, but finally after Fox and Delhome gettin’ the boot, bringin’ in Rivera and other coaching changes, some new players, especially Newton, I think we’ve got a solid base to build on. FINALLY. If he can’t at least get us to a playoff berth next season, send him, as well as some others packin’. At least in baseball they give ya 3 strikes before you’re out, so I say keep Rivera and let Newton mature another year as a Pro player, not college and see what happens. Next season can’t be any worse than some we’ve had before when hardheaded upper level decision makers loved Fox and Delhome more than they did the reality of makin’ a real team, they wanted the Panthers to be like the Waltons. Nice guys are nice, but nice guys don’t always make a good football team.

  4. It would be stupid to fire Rivera now. I think he is a better coach now than when we hired him. Fire him now and another team gets the benefits of his experience. He made some mistakes this year, but you can discount what he has done with this team in the second half of the season with what I think is 16 players on IR and somewhat hamstrung by some bad moves the GM had made.

    I think you give him one more year and he has to get above .500 or the playoffs. Firing him now is just taking a step backwards.

  5. The thing about Rivera that I can’t get past is that when games are tight, and end up being within 7 points, we always lose. Yeah, we won yesterday by 6, but if there were 2 more minutes in the game we would have lost. Rivera just can’t seem to get things done when the game is on the line at the end.

    All that being said, I think winning the Atlanta game bought him another year. Also, the other wins at the end were against rotten teams, but nearly everybody on defense was injured. Our D had the Saints buried until we went to the prevent with 5 minutes left. Overall, McDermott has worked miracles with this defense. Once Chud got over having the big head and started making better play calls, Cam got rolling again.

    As unsold as I am on Rivera, I am totally sold on Chud and McDermott. The only way to keep them is to keep Rivera, so I grudgingly say keep the coaching staff 1 more year. But make it a very short leash. If we start 1-6 again, can Rivera immediatly after that 7th game.

  6. I agree. Give the guy another year. The whole team is “gellin'” and gettin’ better together. I think Rivera is worth another year at least. I like the path I see him takin’ the Panthers on, and the fact we’ve got Newton, and neither of ’em are afraid to take chances, much unlike the Fox/Delhome comedy hour doin’ the same plays all the time. We HAVE a shot at an above average season next year at the least. I still smell playoff sometime soon though. Maybe another shot at the Super Bowl as Newton matures a lil more as a pro league player. He’s def got potential, and Rivera isn’t afraid to let him show it.

  7. Rivera will be back next year IMO. His team never quit on him and they finished strong. I find it easy to pull for Rivera and think he will be a very good head coach.

    By firing the GM earlier, the Panthers were putting the blame on him so now let Rivera have his opportunity with a new GM.

  8. Know what’s hilarious? John Fox took a 1-15 team, revamped the defense and offense and turned it into a Super Bowl contender in 2 seasons, fought back to a 7-9 2004 season even though it was decimated by injuries, NFC Championship game in 2005 and then underachieved for 2 years before returning to form in 2008. Now he has the best team in football in Denver. So you have to wonder, how much is coaching affecting this team and how much is ownership handicapping it?

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