Panthers make changes on defensive staff

AP

The Panthers are making some changes in midseason, if not the big names some of the locals are looking for.

According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the Panthers have fired “multiple assistant coaches,” including defensive line coach Brady Hoke and cornerbacks coach Jeff Imamura.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera has had to scramble a bit to keep his staff filled in recent years, losing coordinators Sean McDermott and Steve Wilks in back-to-back years to head coaching jobs. Wilks then took longtime linebackers coach Al Holcomb with him to Arizona as his coordinator, and Rivera was forced to backfill quickly.

That made former line coach Eric Washington (who is very good as a position coach) their coordinator, and there have been struggles in his first year. Hoke was tabbed late to replace Washington, and Imamura was hired after former defensive backs coach Curtis Fuller resigned following some improper workplace behavior.

The net effect has been a defense that has struggled during a four-game losing streak.

UPDATE 10:22 a.m. ET: The Panthers announced the moves, and said that Rivera will handle play-calling while Washington oversees the front seven.

“In my judgment, I felt this was best for the team moving forward,” Rivera said in a statement. “These are always difficult decisions, and I thank Brady and Jeff for their hard work. Ultimately, I’m charged with putting the team in the best position to succeed, and I felt these moves were necessary in order to do that.”

18 responses to “Panthers make changes on defensive staff

  1. Panthers are in a major tail spin and Rivera is trying anything. But those coordinators had nothing to do with Newton throwing all of those picks yesterday.

  2. These are all welcome changes, even if they’re a bit later than they should have been. My biggest complaint about my Panthers, aside from the George Seifert fiasco, has always been that they’re too loyal too long. There are worse problems to have. #KeepPounding

  3. Four more losses and Rivera is the one that is going to be fired. The Panthers are not going to make the playoffs this season and could very well end up 6-10 which means Hurney and Rivera both will be fired at the end of December. Eric Washington is the one who should have been fired as he has done a terrible job with the defense. Firing position coaches is a band aid to a bigger problem as the Panthers have forgotten how to win a game. Mark my word. Rivera will be fired at the end of the season and Hurney will go right along with him if the lose out the season and that appears likely at this point.

  4. These are all welcome changes, even if they’re a bit later than they should have been. My only complaint about my Panthers, aside from the George Seifert fiasco, has always been that they’re too loyal too long. There are worse problems to have. #KeepPounding

  5. Norv Turner should be the only one to stay on that staff. He’s really creative and I hate to say this but is making Cam Newton look good, like really good. The Seahawks game Carolina was going up and down the field with ease. Newton is having his best season throwing the ball.

  6. Time will tell, but I have a sneaky feeling that the Panthers will regret firing Dave Gettleman and the Giants will be thankful the Panthers fired Gettleman. Carolina has been pretty much the definition of mediocrity since Gettleman was shown the door.

  7. Up In Your Business says: “These are all welcome changes, even if they’re a bit later than they should have been. My biggest complaint about my Panthers, aside from the George Seifert fiasco, has always been that they’re too loyal too long.”
    ===============================

    Sorry, but fans were calling for Rivera to be fired after the 2012 season after just two years (6-10 and 7-9). If Panthers actually listened, they would’ve missed the great 12-4 and 15-1 (Super Bowl appearance) seasons from Rivera.

    A good coach is just that – a good coach. You don’t fire people just because you’re going through a tough spell.

  8. The Panthers got a new owner right before this season. New owners like to hire there own coaches. The Panthers aren’t winning the way everybody expected. Could this be the end of Ron Rivera tenure in Charlotte?

  9. I like it. Bradberry used to be good and will be good again. Jackson has gotten worse as the season went on. Munnerlyn forgets how to tackle. Our front 4 arent keeping our LBs clean. Circle the wagons w the coaches that can coach.

  10. So your QB throws four INTs and you resolve to fix your winning streak by firing two defensive coaches. Makes perfect sense.

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