Monday, November 12, 2012

Heads keep rolling at Bank of America Stadium as Panthers fire special-teams coach

The heads continue to roll at Bank of America Stadium -- Panthers head coach Ron Rivera fired special teams coordinator Brian Murphy Monday. He has replaced Murphy with Richard Rodgers, a college teammate of Rivera's at California who he had brought in as the special teams assistant for 2012. Here's my column about the firing and what it means for Tuesday's newspaper.

Murphy's coverage teams allowed a 76-yard punt return touchdown in Denver's 36-14 whipping of Carolina on Sunday. It also got a missed field goal from Justin Medlock and, as usual, nothing good from its own kick and punt coverage teams.

By doing this in midseason, we get another indication of how serious Rivera's own situation is. General manager Marty Hurney has already been fired -- team owner Jerry Richardson issued that pink slip -- and Rivera and his staff are also coaching for their jobs over the final seven games of the season.

So was this a good move? I think so. Murphy's special teams have mostly underperformed for the past year and a half. Rivera characterized the move as necessary because of "philosophical differences" and a lack of production from the special teams. He's got to try something, and of the three chief Panther assistants (the offensive and defensive coordinators being the other two), Murphy has shown the least when you look at the entire history of all the coaches' 25-game tenure.

Of course, no one has shown too much -- the Panthers are 8-17 under Rivera and this staff, which is why all of them have a tenuous hold on their jobs. But if you were going to shake things up, as Rivera obviously thinks he needs to, Murphy was the likely choice to go.

Now what about Rodgers? Well, he shares a name with the American composer who co-wrote Oklahoma, South Pacific and The Sound of Music. But he's not that guy. This is the Richard Rodgers who was part of the five-lateral affair called "The Play" that beat Stanford in 1982. This is his first year in the NFL, so there's really no telling how he will do.

One thing it sounds like is going to happen, though: Joe Adams is going to start returning kicks again before long. Adams got in Rivera's doghouse because he fumbled three times this season, but the Panthers are getting so little out of their punt and kickoff returns that they've got to try something. Rivera said Adams would be getting an opportunity before long.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I peronally think we should put the full court press on Sean Peyton.

dan said...

they aren't getting much, but since they have had Armanti returning kicks he has had them all go deep into, or beyond endzone...no chance so far for #14

Anonymous said...

I think Andy Reid is who we need to get on our sideline next year if he is let go in Philly

J said...

Is everyone now ready to admit that McDermott is doing a very good job? The D is yielding a reasonable amount of points and Greg Hardy has actually become an NFL player. I hope the new GM/coach keep him.

Jason Witt said...

If Rivera would at least look mad on the sideline he might last the whole year. At this rate no chance!

Anonymous said...

Hey Scott,

Let's hope Richard Rodgers brings Many A New Day to the Panthers. After all, in special teams, You've Got to Be Carefully Taught. Otherwise, the whole staff will be saying So Long, Farewell at the end of the season.

Anonymous said...

I fully endorse the full court press idea. Match up zone, shift the infield, tripping opponents if they get too close to the Panthers bench area, hiring the cast of "Swamp People" for defense.

Heck, hire Jim McMahon as head Coach. They need a short memory.

Anonymous said...

Bring CHUCKY to Charlotte!!! He stinks as an announcer on ESPN and he'll definitely wake up BoA Staduim. Or, Rob Ryan.

Anonymous said...

McDermott is the only one of the coaches worth keeping. He has gotten Hardy to play well and CJ to play consistently well. Rivera needs to go on Jan 2 and Chud should be fired before then. Boy how Chud fooled us last year - bet he is regretting not taking a job offer when they were "rolling in" - and we were all worried he was going to leave. Now we cant give him away to anyone!

Hopefully we will get a decent GM and follow with a decent coaching staff!

Anonymous said...

J the waterboy with the fake website?

Sportsdon said...

The defensive line has been much improved but the secondary is still a weakness. You look at Denver's coverage on the Cam sacks and he had no where to throw. Our DBs rarely bump at the line and allow receivers to run unopposed for first down yardage.

Anonymous said...

laI like the panthers uniforms yesterdy all black with the silver and blue awsome

Anonymous said...

I thought the poor punt returns were all Armanti's fault.

Anonymous said...

Bring back Bersin #5. He returned punts and kickoffs at Wofford for 4 years and never fumbled once. And he's a great WR to boot!

Anonymous said...

I keep my Panther jacket in the back of the closet. Too embarrased to wear it in public.