Rivera realizes pressure goes with the territory


As Panthers coach Ron Rivera enters his third season on the job, he occupies one of the hotter seats in the league.  He knows it, and he’s fine with it.

Every year, there is pressure,” Rivera said Monday, via the Winston-Salem Journal.  “I’ve seen a coach that was 14-2 get fired, and last year, I saw a coach go 10-6 and get fired.  I saw a coach one year win the Super Bowl and the next year he gets fired.”

(He’s referring to Marty Schottenheimer, Lovie Smith, and frankly we’re stumped as to the coach who won a Super Bowl and was fired the next year.  Former Cowboys coach Barry Switzer got two years after winning Super Bowl XXX, and former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson’s exit was largely mutual in the months after Super Bowl XXVIII.  Feel free to un-stump us in the comments.)

“This is a performance-based industry, and I understand that,” Rivera said.  “I understand that Mr. Richardson has to sell tickets and put people in the stands, and the only real way to do that is to win. . . .  Now we have to take the next step, and I understand that.  We have to get over the hump, and I get that.  But I do appreciate the opportunity I have, and with the development of these players and the improvement we are showing, we are going in the right direction.”

It starts this weekend with a rookie minicamp.  “I’m actually really glad the draft stuff is over, because now the fun part for me is getting to see those guys in action,” Rivera said.

“Those guys” are led by a pair of defensive tackles taken in the first two rounds — Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short.  Former Oregon running back Kenjon Barner, a sixth-rounder, could diversify the offense and possibly allow the team to move on from one of the various, high-priced veteran members of the running back depth chart.

Still, it could take at least a playoff berth to extend Rivera’s stay to a fourth season, given that Richardson fired G.M. Marty Hurney during the 2012 season and hired Dave Gettleman after it.  Every G.M. typically likes to hire his own coach; it’s now on Rivera to persuade Gettleman that Rivera is the guy Gettleman would hire.

12 responses to “Rivera realizes pressure goes with the territory

  1. Some of Ron’s game day decisions are perplexing to say the least. His teams certainly lacked talent in some areas but coaching lost enough games that if the right decisions were made, Ron could have presided over back-to-back playoff teams. Get it done this year, Ron! Go Panthers!

  2. could meant super bowl winning QB cut, Dilfer. Anyways, they are a lopsided team, too much invested in RB’s and nothing of a passing game.

    I find it so sad that a team would spend huge bucks on a QB, then draft D in top of the rounds. KC did it when they brought in Cassel and Carolina hasn’t drafted or brought in FA worth a hoot for Cam to throw too.

    It’s pretty clear by now, that if an O can move the ball, it keeps the D fresh. And the best way to move the ball is by throwing.

  3. I am pretty sure they brought in Greg Olsen for Cam to throw to and he has been pretty much awesome in a deal that only cost the Panthers a 3rd or 4th rounder, I think.

    I think it is playoffs for Rivera or he’ll be looking for a new job.

  4. Rivera’s job security lies soley on the inaccurate arm of Cameron Newton…

  5. He’s referring to Jimmy Johnson.

    Most folks (as you should know) don’t consider the JJ/JJ break up as that mutual.

    Considering that Jones had to pay the remainder of Johnsons contract, and Johnson could not come back if he wanted to, and that such separation was in fact called a firing in a book written on the cowboys with Jones cooperation, its safe to say, he is talking about Jimmy Johnson.

  6. It’s Jim Caldwell…. Went to the super bowl with Peyton, the he got hurt, didn’t have a backup plan… And was fired after the season..

  7. If it’s Jim Caldwell then he’s off on a couple facts: Caldwell lost the Superbowl … Rivera refers to a coach who won the Superbowl. Plus, Caldwell was gone two years later, not the next year.

    Besides Jimmy Johnson the only other coach who’d come close to a match is Bill Cowher, and I don’t think anybody thinks Cowher was “fired” in any conventional understanding of the word.

  8. it was Jimmy Johnson due to the fact that before the mutual split Jerry Jones was quoted as saying I will fire you and replace you with Berry Switzer from Oklahoma

  9. He’s glad the draft is over because he doesn’t have a clue how to evaluate players….it makes him uncomfortable.

    He just wants to get back to his calm spot on the sidelines where he can watch the game without anyone telling him what to do.

  10. Everyone is aware that Rivera’s head is on the line next season. I just don’t think Gettlemen’s draft helped Rivera any by failing to address the secondary or getting Cam some effective offensive tools to play with.

  11. Listen coach, this is where you went wrong last year. Love Tolbert, but before injuries gave him more touches at RB instead, you used him as a FB just to get him on the field. That offense runs much better with a single back and the 2 TE set. Thats what the difference was late in the year.

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