Tuesday, January 11, 2011

3 quick impressions of Rivera

New Carolina Panther coach Ron Rivera just completed his news conference over at Bank of America Stadium. It was the first time I and many other folks ever heard him talk at any length, and he was impressive.

3 quick thoughts about Rivera in advance of my column to be published in tomorrow's newspaper (UPDATE -- here's a link to that column):

1) He's intense. When Rivera was speaking, it almost seemed like there was an electric current humming through the room. He didn't joke a lot. There was a laser-like focus to most everything he said and he was extremely well-prepared. I walked out of the room wondering why Rivera, 49, hadn't already gotten a head-coaching job somewhere.

2) He's going to make changes. Rivera's first order of business is to get his new coaching staff in place. But he has already studied the Panthers' roster at length and knows there are places -- particularly at quarterback, as he mentioned several times -- where Carolina must get better performance. Rivera didn't sound like someone who would stand pat, or who would tolerate half-hearted or ineffective performance at any position.

3) He's a former player, and don't you forget it. Rivera mentioned this repeatedly, and I understand that -- it's an integral part of who he is. It's part of why he and owner Jerry Richardson bonded so well, according to Richardson. For the first time, the Panthers have a head coach who has some of his own "NFL player war stories" to share, and that automatically gives you a bigger stick in a pro locker room. As a former teammate of Walter Payton and Mike Singletary and a player under Mike Ditka and Buddy Ryan, Rivera obviously has his share.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know this - but maybe ... JUST maybe ... the previous coaches never had the sort of player leeway Ron Rivera assumes HE has. Or maybe the "Big Guy" woke up or something and realizes (finally?) that unless he just sorta takes a seat up in the Ivory Tower lets his coach really get after business and *COACH* - and by that, I think "coach the players / type of players he wants / needs ... the Carolina Panthers are still mired in mud.

I'll bet Rivera can get the job done. If someone gives him the right 2-legged tools ...

Anonymous said...

Where can I find the press conference in its entirety?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone think that the possibility of maybe trying to trade and get QB Kevin Kolb would be a great acquisition. I know we need alot of help on both sides of the ball, but I'm tired of not scoring any points and have a three and out almost every possession. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Same question...Live in California but still Panther proud! would love to see press conference. Anywhere to see it streaming?!

Anonymous said...

If I was Jimmy Clausen, I would be really nervous right now.......

Anonymous said...

You can find the full press conference here on Panthers.com:

http://www.panthers.com/media-vault/videos/Head-Coach-Annoucement/bd645cd0-6e93-4d94-a82e-89cc5713b594

Anonymous said...

I dont think he wants any more questions about his 'heritage' either Scott

Anonymous said...

That heritage question was very dumb anyway.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to Ronnie grabbing Darin Gantt by the collar and telling him to start getting his facts straight

Anonymous said...

Yeah Scott - You should apologize- He's not a Hispanic coach. He's a football coach.

Idiot

Anonymous said...

Just trying to make chicken salad out of chicken sh*t -- that's all folks. Scott's a journalist covering the freaking Panthers for god's sake. Give the dude a break. And not that I don't think it's a decent/smart choice, when it comes down to it -- it really is just another boring Panther hire. Hopefully just for now. I love how little Jimmy sent out a congrats to his new coach via Twitter -- what a tool.

Anonymous said...

I liked the heritage question. Thanks for being brave enough to ask it!

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of trading for Kolb. A couple years ago I wish we traded for Matt Cassel, Drew Brees, etc... Hope this happens.

Anonymous said...

you fools who say asking questions about his heritage are stupid don't understand history yourselves. Rivera, obviously wants to distance himself from sounding like he is simply happy to be a coach or an affirmative action type hire...Like all minority hires, he wants everyone to know he was hired on hs own "merit", (think of all the White retreads who get hired while minority coaches are not given a chance- Fox in Denver? really? why?) Rivera should say, "yes, it's an honor and privilege to coach in this league and I hope other Latinos see it as hope for themselves too"...The questions about his background will stop once he answers them...but they will also return if he does well so he better get used to it. How do you think he feels about being interviwed for so many openings but not getting a job until the panthers opening? Does he think he wouldn't have been interviewed elsewhere if not for the Rooney rule?...Let's see if the panthers marketing dept. increases resources towards bringing in more Latino fans...There are many reasons why Rivera is a good hire. He just needs to go out there now and do it...

Anonymous said...

Why should Clausen care if we are bringing in a coach who cares about winning more than keeping a bunch of young capable of working another job rich athletes happy. He might bring out the best in Clausen. Draft Farley!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Juan

Anonymous said...

"Fairley" douche

Anonymous said...

The heritage question was typical Scott Fowler. This guy should be writing for The Carolina Nickel or some type weekly free paper. A total waste of column space.

Anonymous said...

One thing's for sure:

"Solid" is the new "It is what it is".

David said...

So, now you have to be a former player to be an effective coach.....You guys are so full of it....Lets see...we have Pete Carroll vs. Lovie Smith....We have Mike McCarthy vs. Mike Smith...Not aware of any prolific NFL careers from that group... ....Assessing talent and managing that talent so each player discovers his potential is the key..Surrounding yourself with great coaches and staffs...Just like corporate America......Energy, enthusiasm, expertise, execution, empathy, work ethic, ethical, empower,.... ..Hire Steve Jobs or Bill Gates...they get it and are worth the money...

Anonymous said...

I hear Philly wants two no. 1 picks for Kolb... He's not worth it.

Anonymous said...

What happened to all the media that stated that Fox would have teams lining up at the door to hire him. It is very likely he will have to return to defensive coordinator. Other teams realize his style does not translate to todays NFL. Too bad it took Richardson so long to figure that out. As far as Rivera goes it all depends on who he hires as his coordinators to whether or not he will be successful.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy Clausen texted Rivera again and told him he loved Speedy Gonzales for lunch

Andrew said...

please please please do not let Kolb come to Carolina. And please, fellow fans, stop counter-wishing me here. Kolb = Moore/any other mediocre QB that, once teams watch on tape know how to handle.

B said...

I have been supporting the Panthers for many years, and I heard a rumor that they do not want an african-american quarterback. If that is true, we as african-americans should not support the Panthers.

John said...

B said...

I have been supporting the Panthers for many years, and I heard a rumor

That sentence should tell you the problem with the rest of your post.

John said...

I still feel like it was rushed. But I have no reason to believe he can't do the job so I guess I'll reserve judgment until he actually does something.

Anonymous said...

The Panthers had a black quarterback as a starter for a season before Jake Delhomme won the job. Don't say that Jerry Richardson hates black quarterbacks. He may be crazy and cheap...but he isn't racist. Did you ever think that maybe there just weren't any black quarterback free agents or college players to take? He wants "character" players and thats why he didn't get Vick at the time. I think secretly he wanted Vick but was afraid of the animal rights activists. Just saying.

John Fox said...

It is what it is

Barrington Slate said...

B's an idiot. Ahem, Rodney Peete?? Hell we even took Armanti Edwards with the 33rd pick in this year's draft. Suck on that.

James said...

I agree wit B. I think the same reason the Panthers orgzanitation is holding off on mine reccomendation to donate 1 game per year to my people is the same reason they wont sign a black QB. Its also same reason they have not and will not sign a minority coach either. One after another, they only hire whitebread coaches. They shuwd have hired Perrie Ferrel.

Anonymous said...

im tell you what- jery ritcherson thinks he can gets away widh shuting my peopel out of what B talkin abot he is crazy. if theys think we cant shuts down his games than he should jus try it- if he ain gone give my peopel our free game weis entytled to than wate and see if we don sht his bojangle down. i likes at popeye chickens bettr anyways thay gots biggr peeces of wing.

Anonymous said...

james...

That was the most uneducated and incoherent comment i think i have ever heard. It's idiot fans like you that cause the Panthers to not even receive a vote when the NFL players voted on the most intelligent fan bases.

Kenneth said...

The new coach is technically a minority. He is Latino. But, I think the issue is more that the Panthers realize that the majority of their fan base doesn't want a black head coach or black starting quarterback. As for Rodney Peete those same fans couldn't wait for someone else to be named the starter.

Lençy said...

Attn: Scott

Are you really this dumb to ask the guy a question about his ethnicity. The guy just got here can you wait just a lil while before you embarras us?

The guy is a football coach. Fans dont care if he were green, WE WANT TO WIN! The sad thing is that in a way you represent us fans and the NC\SC area with you poor writing skills and dumb questions.

I know you have a tough beat in covering 2 of the most private franchises in pro sports but
I cant help but wonder how the world you keep your job. You must know someone...

Lençy said...

Attn: Scott

Are you really this dumb to ask the guy a question about his ethnicity. The guy just got here can you wait just a lil while before you embarras us?

The guy is a football coach. Fans dont care if he were green, WE WANT TO WIN! The sad thing is that in a way you represent us fans and the NC\SC area with you poor writing skills and dumb questions.

I know you have a tough beat in covering 2 of the most private franchises in pro sports but
I cant help but wonder how the world you keep your job. You must know someone...

Anonymous said...

This was the coach I wanted. He knows The NFL. Now we just need to have him go back and rebuild the D Line so its as good as the Superbowl year. Alot of people point to Peppers and Rucker being the main guys but it was Jenkins that made it work. SO what we need is to Draft the Next Kris Jenkins in Nick Fairley. Having that sort of body in the middle will take care of other Teams Run games Just like Jenkins did plus he would have alot of time in the other teams backfield. My first reaction was to say OFFENSE OFFENSE>. but if the other Team can't score points or pass or Run the ball you don't have to score that many points.

latopia said...

Wow. Did the Panthers miss Mike Singletary?

1st, 2nd, 3rd impressions: Rivera = Singletary.

He'll get a bump (2-4 wins more) ... just for his "intensity."

His players should buy-in ... initially.

But intensity only takes you so far.

And Rivera, like Singletary, won't take the cats to the playoffs, especially in this division.

Anonymous said...

"January 11, 2011 11:18 PM"

Hes not a minority you moron. He is a white Latino. There are 2 races of Latinos with the original white European Latino and then you have the red Asian Latino conquered 500 yrs ago by the white and forced to speak Spanish.

Fans dont want a black QB or black coach? 90% of the players and starters are black in the NFL. Do those fan supporters not want white starters? Same with the NBA.

Does every starter have to be black? Peete sucked.

Ignorance.

Rodney Peete said...

You's wait plum a minute. ah' wuz some baaaad Quarterback. Ya' know? If it wuzn't fo' dat honky Jake Delhomme, I'd still be startin'.

Anonymous said...

Rivera is untested like Fox. He needs to gets Luck as QB in 2012 and trade for #1 pick in 2012 if thats possible.

Fox will be the next Broncos HC stepped up and went 7-9 his first season in 2002. If Rivera repeats that you can forget Luck and a top class big strong Manning type QB with a gun who could be around 10 yrs and take the Panthers to the SB.

Anonymous said...

Hey Scott- Next press conference, be sure and ask Ron "Whats your favorite pepper?"

or better yet---- ASK A FOOTBALL QUESTION

Anonymous said...

So, who do we take now with the first pick?

Anonymous said...

I'm a bears fan, but congrats to the panther fans for getting a new coach that should have been a head coach a few years ago.

He will make your team better, he may not take the panthers to the playoffs next year, but I am sure teams will know that they just played a well coached team at the end of the day, and just got hit in the mouth.

From everything I have ever heard about Rivera, every player that has played for him, loved him, and his intensity. He will make the players work their butts off, but they all seem to love him.

I know the bears defense was extremely upset when he left after the 06' season.

So once again, congrats on a great hire.

Joseph3LC said...

Doesn't it only make sense that the Panthers approach ANDREW LUCK and offer him the opportunity to pick an offensive coordinator who Andrew would like to work with in hopes that he will change his mind and go pro ???? Best case scenario Luck picks a coordinator and becomes a Panthers.....Worst case scenario Luck gratefully declines and heads back to get his degree

Anonymous said...

I can think of roughly 31 other teams who would NOT even consider giving Philly one 1st round pick, yet alone two first round picks, for Kevin Kolb. Kolb is not the next Matt Schaub.

James said...

Joseph,
Damn, and peeps be calling me stupid? You a goddam fool. Evens I knows you can't talk at the players when their still in collage. You're comments are just plane stupid.

Jimmy C said...

Bring Phil Rivers too, Ronnie.

Go Irish!

Kenneth said...

Some of you have said that Scott Fowler makes dumb comments on his blog. I don't agree with much of what he says either but I give him credit for this. He is not hiding behind his words like some of you. We all know who he is, but many of you post your comments anonymously so people don't know who you are. Cowards! Recently I have read where posters made cruel racial jokes about Ron Rivera and African Americans. There has been a Speedy Gonzales reference. I read another post where someone posed as an illiterate African American who mis-spelled everything and craved Popeyes chicken. Unbeleiveable. I also saw one where someone pretended to be an ignorant version of Rodney Peete who couldn't speak in complete sentences. This one made no sense at all, because Peete is a very well-spoken gentleman. Don't get mad at other posters,and myself when we tell the truth about the racial issues that are present in sports and just in Charlotte. Why is it that many of you want to be able to be the people that you are naturally, but doesn't want to be called out about it? The truth hurts doesn't it?