After an unsettling week, Ron Rivera is now settled in for another season.
A Panther spokesman said Saturday that Rivera (13-19 in two seasons) would return for a third season as the Panthers' head coach, which is a move I've been advocating for the past three weeks. Rivera has improved as a coach, and he deserves one more year. This was the right thing for Panther owner Jerry Richardson to do, even though waiting six days to do it was awkward and unnecessary.
I also believe it was fine for Richardson to make the call on Rivera rather than wait for a new general manager to come in and do it. Richardson has seen Rivera's style up close and personal for two years now. He's more familiar with him than any GM would be. If he's comfortable with Rivera, hey, he's the one writing the checks.
I asked Rivera a few weeks ago if he thought he was better as a head coach compared to January 2011, when the Panthers hired him. “Without a doubt in my mind,” Rivera said. “I think the biggest thing is management, more than anything else…. I'll put myself up against anybody with X’s and O’s. I feel very confident about that. But I've had to learn a lot about management. When you're managing 26 people and five coaches [as a defensive coordinator] and now you're managing 61 people and 17 coaches, it's a little bit different.”
A man who can't admit to mistakes will never learn from them. Rivera deserves one more year to get this right.