Thursday, January 3, 2013

Panther silent treatment is doing no one any good

(UPDATE: Panther coach Ron Rivera is now scheduled to meet with team owner Jerry Richardson Saturday -- following that meeting, Rivera's fate will likely be decided).

So while we're waiting for a decision on Ron Rivera, here are four quick thoughts:

1) Rivera better not be twisting in the wind here. It's a cruel and unnecessary punishment if team owner Jerry Richardson is going to fire Rivera now, several days after the season, or allow a new GM to fire him after leaving the coach hanging out there for so long. That's not the way you fire a coach and a good man. Seven other NFL teams fired coaches, and they all did it the day after the season -- the so-called "Black Monday" -- which is the right way to do it. You cut somebody loose and then give them a chance to get in the mix for other jobs (same goes for the assistant coaches, as staffs fill up quickly in the NFL).

2) Given that Richardson hasn't fired Rivera yet and the team owner is an honorable man, I tend to think the longer this goes, the safer Rivera probably is. In the past three instances where he's fired coaches, Richardson has done it far more quickly than this. He fired both Dom Capers and George Seifert on "Black Monday" -- on the day after the 1998 and the 2001 seasons, respectively. Richardson announced two days before the 2010 season even ended that John Fox and his coaching staff weren't going to be retained (and that move was long expected that season).

3) The wild card in this, of course, is that the Panthers are searching for a general manager. My colleague Tom Sorensen believes the new GM should decide Rivera's fate, not Richardson. I respectfully disagree. I think Rivera has earned his shot at a third year, and that Richardson should tell the new GM he and Rivera will work together for one year, and then, if there are no playoffs in 2013, the new GM is free to hire whomever he wants. The new GM is going to have enough to do anyway given that the Panthers find themselves in salary-cap jail once again, and so soon after the contract purge of 2010.

4) In the meantime, the Panthers' official "cone of silence" is doing no one any good. If Rivera is going to be retained, the Panthers need to say so. If the new GM hire is going to come first, they need to say so. And if Rivera was going to be fired, they needed to have already said that on Monday.

43 comments:

samurai said...

Agreed... The Panthers should have learned at least something from how they handled the John Fox situation. While i truly feel Rivera is still learning, i would have thought the front office would have learned something.

Here is hoping they have said something to the Coach behind the scenes and it's just not leaked out.

Anonymous said...

Again Scott makes little sense. Jerry has informed Rivera behind scenes

Alexander Schenck said...

Scott,
I think this is a very poignant piece. It is cruel to keep Rivera on pins and needles for this long. I think a post-season "attack plan" should have been prepared so that immediate moves could be made at the conclusion of the season.
They have been actively scouting GM candidates for some time now, and I believe that they should have narrowed that list to a short list of names that should have been interviewed immediately. Had Richardson hired a GM within 1-2 days, Rivera's fate would already have been decided.
If that had been the case, the organization would have been in a position to, at the very least, be a potential landing spot for some of the more highly touted ex-coaches that have already begun interviewing.

Anonymous said...

C'mon Scott...honorable? You couldn't get jerry to shut up nor was there anyone he wouldn't talk to when he was courting for this team. Now he's a snobbish old man with unhappiness written all over his face. An honorable man wouldn't drag something out like this or have to speak thru a spokesperson.

Anonymous said...

If he is going to let him go, by holding out this long, Richardson is also limiting the ability of Rivera and the rest of the coaching staff to find alternate employment. I would hope that the holdout is not intentional in thie way.

Clay said...

Don't be so dramatic Scott.

Richardson will be paying Coach Rivera $2.8 million a year for the next two years whether he coaches or not.

That's not exactly twisting in the wind. Settle down.

Anonymous said...

The Panthers/Rivera didn't make it easy for Richardson buy finishing so strong. I think all would agree unless you have an assured HOME RUN person/GM waiting in the wings (which if you did, it would be a done deal by now), that stability is better than rolling the dice given the ongoing development of Cam and the coach. The bone-headed move of keeping 3 starting RBs and still not being totally competent on D has to be addressed, something a good GM can help fix.

Anonymous said...

We are Carolina true to form way behind the times ! Swift and decisive action is needed NOW. That does not compute around here.

Anonymous said...

Fowler,

Following your advice is #3 does nothing but undermine the new GM and their decision making capabilities before they even get here, and would extremely limit your candidate pool.
Who wants to come work for an owner that is already limiting your job responsibility?
Not to mention having to deal with a coach that has proven he only wins when it doesn't matter, and a payroll that's $15 or so million over cap already.
I respectfully agree with Tom and respectfully think that your idea is detremental and does nothing but help keep this team average.
All that being said, someone wake Richardson up, tell him the season is over, and get to work on hiring a capable GM.

Anonymous said...

Scott, once again you are over reaching. It hasn't even been a week and you are looking for some drama. It's a job. Not a death penalty. And we should recognize that he would leave VERY rewarded (ie, contract buy out) vs how you or any of the rest of us would be "fired". Why don't you make up some other silly list to fill up your column...this one is a waste of space.

Michael Bacon said...

Well said. I think other fans are unduly hard on Richardson, who by and large has been a very good owner, but Rivera deserves to know his future.

The obvious answer is to give Rivera another year. Asking a new GM to hire a new coach three weeks after walking in the door is too much. Tell Rivera he's got one more year, and that it's up to the next GM to figure it out after that.

Anonymous said...

Cam Newton is the best thing the Panthers have going. Rivera is not the coach for him. Newton needs to be developed to his maximum talent now not five years from now. Bring in a coach who can do that.

Anonymous said...

come on , TOM AND SCOTT HAS PUT INTO WORDS THE LAST 8 WEEKS THAT A COACHING CHANGE WAS IN THE WORKS. THEN JR SAYS THE PANTHERS MUST BE ON THE UPWARD TREND. THEY DID , SO GET A GM AND CUT SOME OF THESE OLDIES, GO TO DRAFT DAY FOR SOME WRS, AND OFFENSIVE LINEMAN TO HELP CAM STAY IN THE POCKET , KEEP ANGELO AND GO TO THE SUPER BOWL.

Irishfan said...

I agree with you Scott. If Rivera is not to be retained, he deserves to know now so he can move on with another position before all the vacancies have been filled. I personally would like to see him here one more year. If we don't make the playoffs, then get rid of him. But it would be morally wrong for a new GM to fire him, and all positions filled. That would probably be the same for Chud and McDermott.

Chad from Cherryville said...

The potential for the Panthers is obvious in these last 4 games. So the talent is clearly there. If I was the Big Cat I would keep Rivera for one more season, with this clear expectation; make the playoffs at least as a wild card team next year, or you're done. That way everyone knows where you stand, and if they get to a point where it's mathematically impossible to make the playoffs, there would be no handwringing about firing the coach.

I also agree with Anon 9:42 that Ron already knows where he stands, and given the timeline, is going to be coach again next year. He was told he had to improve, and they did.

Anonymous said...

Not sure I agree with you on taking so long. Black Monday was a whopping 3 days ago! How is this suddenly an eternity? Sports writers are an interesting bunch.

If this were to drag on another week or two yes... that's too long, but three days? C'mon... stop the sensationalism

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty tired hearing about what the players deserve and what Rivera deserves. How about what the fans deserve? We pay the bills. Get rid of Rivera.

Exit 0 said...

Two things that never belong together are Jerry Richardson and "honorable man."

Bounty Hunter said...

Jerry Richardson and Ron Rivera are reported to be meeting today in Charlotte for Rivera's exit interview, and more importantly we could have news whether Rivera will remain the Panthers' head coach. Despite reports that Rivera remains 'in limbo' while the team finalizes it's search for a general manager, it's highly unlikely he leaves the stadium today without knowing his future -- whether this is made public is another thing.

ImJustSayin said...

JR should have hired a GM by now and let the GM bring in his own man. Since this team is obviously going to be built around Cam, an offensive minded coach would be a good move. Panthers have never hired an OC as head coach.

Anonymous said...

You're dead wrong Scott! The new GM should have plenty say on wether Rivera stays or not. If you were a manager of a company wouldnt you want to have say on who your employees were? This should be the GMs call not JRs

Anonymous said...

I hear that jerry is having a hard time researching things because someone took all the computers in the panther organization over the weekend.What lowlife would steal a computer?

Jim Hynes said...

As for hiring a GM by now, remember that the Panthers cannot talk to anyone on a team that is still in the playoffs. Would you want to choose a GM from another team that didn't make the playoffs, or wait a few weeks until candidates become available from teams with proven success?

Anonymous said...

I'm completely with Sorenson on this one. I like Rivera and I hope he is retained but that decision should be in the hands of the new General Manager, whoever that turns out to be. I regret that Rivera and staff are in this position but Richardson's first obligation is to the organization. He tends to do things the right way. He may have the right to force a coach and staff on a new GM but that doesn't make it the right thing to do. I believe that Richardson knows that. With all apologies to Rivera and staff, Richardson is proceeding exactly as he should. JMHO

MTNH2O said...

Jerry Richardson will do whatever he thinks is best for the Carolina Panthers. My guess is that he wants to interview GM candidates from playoff teams so that is why we haven't hired a GM yet. Also keep in mind that it will be hard to hire a legit GM candidate if he is hamstringing him with a coach who is 13-19 in 2 seasons with a talented team. The Panthers have had enough talent to be within a TDs difference 14 times out of 32 games and have lost twelve of them. That means they have talent but can't finish. That is a coaching problem. I think the new GM will want to hire a new coach. If not you can look at what the Bears did and see what will happen next year. If Rivera doesn't make the playoffs next year he would be gone. Considering his track record he will probably start out 2-8 again if we keep him. I hope the Panthers allow the new GM to make the call on Rivera whether or not it is now or in two weeks it doesn't matter to me.

Anonymous said...

Maybe waiting on Chip Kelly?? One can only dream what he would do with a QB like CAM.....

Anonymous said...

It was never Richardson who said Rivera was going to be fired. The speculations came from sports writers and fans.

Anonymous said...

Scott - How can he inform Rivera of what he doesn't yet know himself? He is waiting to hire a GM first. Until then, he won't know or decide Rivera's fate. Get a grip man.

Anonymous said...

They had better get on the move and start interviewing GM candidates. Other teams have already started that process and the good ones may be gone before we pull the trigger.

Anonymous said...

Two Points:

1. I am not sure why so many posters here think that hiring a new GM is the answer to the teams ills or necessary to making a judgment on Rivera and staff. GMs make mistakes; indeed, according to lots of fans the prior GM made tons of them. So, why assume that a new GM will set down in Charlotte, wave a wand, and make all good again.

2. I would suggest that the silence on Rivera on the team can be traced back to the influence of consultant Ernie Accorsi. Is it some sort of surprise that the first two (and only?) names to come forward for GM are Giants execs? And is there perhaps a Giants co-ordinator in the deeper shadows angling for a Giants GM to bring him in as head coach?

I like the Giants, but I don't want the Panthers to become the Giants' southern subsidiary. So keep Rivera. Anybody can see he is learning with every game how to shape this team into a winner. Of course, I won't object to a good scout, though an honest analysis would probably show that Marty Hurney's real weakness was money management, not scouting deficiency.

Shane P said...

In my mind, JR should've waited till "Black Monday" to fire Hurney, not a few games into the season, that was his first mistake so who knows what he'll actually do with Rivera? He's a stubborn guy so nothing would surprise me at this point but firing Hurney when he did made absolutely ZERO sense. I mean what did that accomplish other than undermine the coaching staff and make Rivera's job that much harder and unstable? My feeling is he'll hire his guy, Brandon Beane, who will be his yes man, then bring back Rivera for another year. This is my gut feeling, we'll see how it all pans out but coach defintely deserves another year. He's such a cool guy, if you haven't met and talked to him then you wouldn't know but I've been lucky enough to speak to him on numerous occassions and I can tell you, there aren't many guys in his position who wouldn't look down their nose at somebody like me trying to talk football with them, but coach treated me like I was an NFL insider and actually gave me the time of day. Thanks coach, no matter what happens you're still a good man and will be successful in this league, hopefully right here for many years to come!

Anonymous said...

Richardson's a coward, pure and simple. Self-centered to the Nth degree. "Twisting in the wind" is exactly what he has Rivera doing. What a putz.

Nichole Jackson said...

I agree if you were going to let Rivera go, it should of been done already. He earned that much respect. I would rather him stay, then go into next season rebuilding. Have you seen the teams we will be playing next season? We need our team to continue to improve. I think a new head coach now would be 2 steps back and a wrong move.

Anonymous said...

There are some real dumba--es sommenting here. My guess is Rivera already knows he'll be back, and Mr Richardson will let the new GM announce it as if it were his ow decision. Rivera is the head coach, not the QB coach or the OC. I doubt Coach Rivera interacts with Cam that much, I haven't noticed it in game situations. Sure he gives input, but more to the coaches.

Alex said...

Richardson's waiting for Chip Kelly to come available, mark my words. He'll either stick with the coach he has and knows, and who is trending upward or roll with Kelly. Carolina's roster makes for Kelly's dream scenerio and he would be much better here than going elsewhere and having to build a team like ours while other coaches learn how to defeat his new schemes. IF Richardson and Kelly can agree to terms, it's the obvious choice.

Richardson's a smart business man, he knows what he has is beginning to show dividends, albiet slowly, but any chance to upgrade his business will be pondered and reviewed. I give him kudos for not making a rash decision.

Anonymous said...

I wish someone would pay me 575,000 to twist in the wind. Hell I would twist for 75,000.

Anonymous said...

Again, Panthers fans are naive! Riveira and team won 4 games at garbage time at the end of the season. They'll be in the same boat next year.

Anonymous said...

I hope the new GM is better at his job than Scott is with his.

Anonymous said...

Twisting in the wind for 2.8 mil. Where can I sign up?

Onsitecom said...

Scott. He's still the coach. Until he's fired he's not. Why announce something you're not doing? That's why Bigcat hasn't said anything because there is nothing to say. He's still the coach and will be next year.

BigMikey said...

Either this is a fairly long, productive meeting where a lot of ground is covered and a mutual meeting of the minds happens, or this meeting lasts about two minutes and Rivera gets the boot. In which case, this franchise will be even more screwed up than it already is.

I'm growing weary of being a Panther fan, honestly.

Anonymous said...

Scott is really good at finding things to whine about...

Anonymous said...

I agree if he fires him now it is def a low class move. I dont see where dragging this thing out helps anyone. I dont see where bringing in a new coaching staff with a new offense helps Cam progress.