Saturday, January 5, 2013

Panthers do the right thing and keep Rivera

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.


Anonymous said...

I agree. Wouldn't be a good idea for the Panthers to have another transition year with new coaches, etc so soon for Cam and Co.

dardjohn said...

I agree completely with this decision. Rivera knows that he must make the playoffs next year or he is gone. I like that instead of all this drama about who's going or staying. Also the Panthers have invested 2 years in developing Rivera as a head coach. Let's see what he's got. I wonder how many times Cleveland has lamented firing Belicek (sp?). One other comment: a great coach is made by a great quarterback. There is no Lombardi with Starr, no Belicek without Brady, no Coughlin without Manning, no Noll with Bradshaw. You get the drift. Rivera's success is almost completely dependent on Newton.

John W. said...

My sincere hope is that someone (utilizing third parties) at least sought out and received a "no" from one or two of the most attractive candidates.

If they did not, then this was a move of convenience, designed to save face and born of this twisted sense of loyalty that Richardson seems to have (the situation with his son excepted).

I'm thankful for all the man has done for area sports fans, but he will always have a weakness for earnest, serious and limited men like Ron Rivera.

I just hope we are not wasting the early career of an all-time great (Newton) and the final years of a franchise legend (Smith) because of Richardson's judgment.

But hopefully we managed to confirm that the best names were not an option for us first. If we did, then the move is not all that bad.

On a related note, does anyone suppose this job becomes less attractive to the GM candidates currently being considered? Hiring a coach is an honor for a general manager, and I bet some of those being courted had it listed in the "pros" column before today.

frankiec said...

Totally agree Scott, why start over.

Anonymous said...

I think the GM job will remain attractive to all the candidates because we will hire someone with no experience on the cheap and it will be their first GM job. Just getting the GM job will be attractive to them. We will not go after a big name GM that would be turned off by the awful situation here in Carolina.

Anonymous said...

@ John W.
The Panthers hired a "big name" coach before..George Seifert.
Tell did THAT work out for you?
Big name coaches, like big name players, are useless if they don't get the job done. It just costs more to find out.
Leave the star-gazing to astronomers, will ya?

Anonymous said...

Very good news! I think Rivera is going to end up a great coach and lead the Panthers to a Super Bowl Victory in the near future. Getting Cam and Luke as your first choices in your first two drafts speaks volumes. Keep the whole staff as it is and they will give Mr. Richardson and the Carolinas what we want most, a Super Bowl title witin 2 years. Kick butt Panthers!

John W. said...

Anonymous 11:07:

I did not suggest they hire a big name. I suggested they secure a firm "no" from their top choices.

And considering they nearly fired yet another first-time head coach this year, it would seem that the non-George Seiferts haven't worked out too well either. Right?

And leave metaphors to the poets, will you?

Anonymous said...

Folks in New Orleans, Atlanta, and Tampa are also cheering this decision. Ron Rivera appears to be a great guy, but can you really picture him holding up the Lombardi trophy?

Scott, I hope you're right, but my gut says with Rivera at the helm, 2013 will be another tough year for us Panther fans.

Anonymous said...

So Charlotte will continue to be loser city with a losing football team supported by losing fans who don't give a damn.

Anonymous said...

Great decision! Can't wait for the Falcons and Saints to battle it out for another division title. It's not hard getting to the playoffs with the Bucs and Pussycats in the same division.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely with the decision by "The Big Cat" and hope for better coaching decisions next year. It is ironic that your poll now says 84% of the readers agree with the decision now when after the Chicago Bears game the poll results were reversed; and I was one of those "he's got to go" people. But 10th in the league on Offense and 12th in defense with all the injuries the Team endured is incredible!! Of course there are so many "what ifs" but we were only a handful of plays from being a possible Playoff Team this year. Go Panthers!!