Monday, October 22, 2012

Is Rivera coaching for his job? Absolutely

Ron Rivera had an eye-opening news conference Monday afternoon in the wake of the firing of Panther general manager Marty Hurney in which he sounded to me like he was strongly considering the possibility of firing at least one assistant coach.

Asked directly about that possibility, Rivera said: “This is a process that we’re going to go through as far as an evaluation and we’ll see how things go. If that’s what has to happen eventually, then yeah -- maybe that’s what happens. Do we cut players? Yeah. If we have to, maybe that’s what we’ll have to do.”

Everything is on the table now (and here's my Tuesday newspaper column about it). Owner Jerry Richardson firing Hurney – who he was very close to – has made that obvious. I asked Rivera if he felt safe in his own job and he said: “Yeah, I do. I mean I’m here. And so I’m going to continue to work and do the best I can and we’ll go from there.”

But Rivera also said in response to another question about whether he felt like he was coaching for his job: “I always feel like I’m coaching for my job. It’s just like when I was a player. I was drafted in the second round in 1984. For nine years, I came into that facility in Chicago, wondering if I was going to get cut. This is no different. I come to work like I did as a player, and that’s to do the best I can.”

After this season, Rivera has two years left on the four-year, $11.2-million contract he signed in January 2011.

The Panthers are trying to change things. They buried DeAngelo Williams on the bench Sunday, and that sounded like it might well continue. Chris Gamble was placed on injured reserve Monday with a shoulder injury, so another cornerback will be signed soon.

Rivera, as usual, tried to put the best face on the situation. “If I’m being overly optimistic, well, that’s my job, and I’m going to take it to the limit,” Rivera said.

But it was obvious this has been a very hard day for him. Hurney hired Rivera, and the two had developed a close friendship, and now Hurney was gone. Rivera knows he has to be skating on somewhat thin ice now. As I noted in the previous blog, Richardson is 76 years old and not known for his patience.

So Rivera is coaching for his job, yes, just like the players are playing for theirs. The Hurney domino is a very high-profile one, but it is only the first to fall.


Shane P said...

So Rivera takes over a team that stinks and whose issues run so deep, the Lord baby Jesus couldn't fix in two years and he's coaching for his job? I disagree, I don't think JR is that shortsighted and I firmly believe that he'll be back next year as he should be, where if there isn't dramatic improvement, he won't make it to the fourth year. No way JR fires him halfway through his contract though, the move today was a long time coming but has nothing to do with Rivera, which is why he's still here.

PhilW1957 said...

This coaching staff is the worst the Panthers have ever had except for Seifert & Co. CLEAN HOUSE! It can't get any worse.

Anonymous said...

My apologies to you if you feel this way, but Rivera is basically just short of being incompetent as an NFL Head Coach. He lacks the in-game skills required to have his position. Moreover, he simply looks lost at many times on the sideline. Rarely does he seem to have his finger on what the next move within the game is, what adjustments need to be made, and when to make personnel changes. Everyone railed on Fox, but he is 10 times the coach Rivera could ever imagine being. Some Mr. Rivera, but you just do not have it. Several other teams saw this before we bit the hook and gave you a shot. Better to realize this mistake now and let him go. At least he will have a 11.2 million parting gift.

Anonymous said...

Guess I don't need that email reply afterall. JR sees what we (the fans) have seen for the last couple of years, but you guys at the Observer failed to bring up regularly. You guys want to give us a bunch of fluff on who some of the players are vs calling out management and being brutaly judgemental on the organization. Let's face it, this team needs SERIOUS help and the contracts we gave out under the Hurney administration HAVE to get restructured or we are doomed for more mediocrity. Why did we pay Johnson all that money for his lack of production this season and last?? Why do we have TWO RBs making over 7 million a season??? You writers have a lot more influence than you realize, because you have the outlets to say the things to the organization that we don't. I'm not saying that I encourage negative reporting, but a little more asking, "WTF" type of questions couldn't hurt. For example, why are you not asking what was Hurney thinking when he drafted Silatolu in the SECOND round...and analyzing how many QUALITY OL were drafted after him. This year's draft class gets a D+ ONLY because of Keuchly and the future prospect of Norman (because he's got skills, but is still too young to tell). Our line is terrible. Our secondary is unreliable and our DL gets zero pressure on opposing QBs. Where have these articles been????

Anonymous said...

I have never posted on this site before. But I can't stand it anymore.
Cam is a child in a man's body. He is so immature that it boggles the mind. Someone needs to tell him to grow up, keep his mouth shut, stop pouting, stop putting towels over his head and chewing gum while he plays. The bottom line is that he is a spoiled little brat with the emotional make up of a 5 year old.

The Panthers need Gruden.

Anonymous said...

We have two very good running backs but you wouldn't know it because offensive play calling always has them taking the hand off out of a shotgun formation. Line those backs up at least occasionally in the Power-I. The play calling and our running and pass defenses and our special teams play sucks. Fire the offensive and defensive coordinators. And Cam does need to stop holding the ball for so long. Make quicker decisions, but then again we don't know what options he is getting from the OC.

Anonymous said...

Rivera said, " It’s just like when I was a player. I was drafted in the second round in 1984. For nine years, I came into that facility in Chicago, wondering if I was going to get cut. This is no different."

So our coach is a guy who played scared, and now he's coaching scared.

I would rather have a senile old fool who rambles aimlessly about wildebeasts than this.

Anonymous said...

I agree Anon 5:08, bring in Gruden before he has a chance to sign somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Cam and the whole team for that matter need a strong and outspoken in your face coach/father. Not the meek little man over there with that headset thing and colorful charts on paper hiding behind sunglasses.

Dad is not paying attention, so the kids are running the house. Glad there was a move today. Sad it was the wrong one.

Anonymous said...

They need to make sure Cam is reading defenses and looking at Pics f coverages and taking to the OC when he is off the field instead of putting a towel over his head on the bench... All the mature QBs read what the defense is doing, learn, and try to make adjustmnts... take a lesson from the best and prepare more than you are doing at this time.

Anonymous said...

Ask yourself one question. If Harbaugh was coaching here, would this team be 1-5? Hell no. This team has come out totally flat 4 games this season. They are totally unable to score when in the red zone. They are unable to mount a game-winning drive. Our Pro-bowl running back had TWO carries last game. TWO! Fire this staff. I'm sorry, but they are totally sub-par.

Anonymous said...

We need a coach to discipline more, motivate on the sidelines, adjust during halftime. We need an owner to stay away and give a new GM full control of the team. We need a QB who is confident, mature and can get the job done.