Rivera Plans To Continue Coaching After Being Fired By Panthers
Rivera Fired As The Carolina Panthers’ Head Coach
Although it happened less than five years ago, it feels like a lifetime since Ron Rivera’s Carolina Panthers went 15-1 and made a trip to the Super Bowl. Less than four full seasons later, Rivera has been fired as head coach in Carolina.
In the three seasons that followed that Super Bowl loss to Denver, the Panthers have gone 6-10, 11-5, and 7-9 with only a single playoff berth. This year, with Cam Newton having completed only the first two games of the season, Carolina is 5-7 and doesn’t stand a chance of making the postseason.
For new Carolina owner David Tepper, the final straw was Sunday’s 29-21 loss to the Washington Redskins that capped off a four-game losing streak. Tepper made the announcement of Rivera’s firing on Tuesday.
“Absolutely” wants to coach again
At that point, many were suggesting Rivera may call it quits. After all, Rivera told former Panthers owner Jerry Richardson that he only wanted to coach for eight to 10 years when he was originally hired in 2011.
However, Rivera has apparently changed his tune with the news that he “absolutely” wants to coach again:
“My intent is to coach again. I love coaching. Not just coaching because it’s about winning football games, but coaching because you have an opportunity to impact young men and people. And that’s what I want to do”.
Potential Landing Spots For Rivera
Rivera finished his tenure in Carolina as the winningest coach in franchise history with a record of 76-63-1. With a record like that alongside a Super Bowl appearance, many owners around the league will be happy to hear that Rivera plans to continue coaching.
The question now becomes, where will Rivera end up?
When searching for an answer to that query, a few teams come to mind.
The Cleveland Browns
First of all, the Cleveland Browns entered this season with Super Bowl aspirations after an offseason full of transactions and hype. Now at 5-7, Cleveland’s playoff hopes are all but dashed, and head coach Freddie Kitchens is on the hot seat.
Replacing the inexperienced Kitchens with the highly experienced Rivera makes perfect sense with a talented roster that should be ready to win right now.
The Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons could also be a team in search of a head coach if they decide to move on from Dan Quinn. Much like Rivera’s Panthers in 2015, it feels like forever since Quinn’s Falcons were up 28-3 on New England in the Super Bowl in 2016 before losing in overtime.
Now, Atlanta is 3-9 and has certainly been underperforming. The Falcons could easily decide to give Quinn another shot, but if they don’t, Rivera would be an easy choice.
The Dallas Cowboys
One intriguing potential landing spot for Rivera is with the Dallas Cowboys. Yes, those NFC East-leading Cowboys.
Right now, Dallas is 6-6 and has a good shot to make the playoffs. However, making it into the postseason won’t be enough to save Jason Garrett’s job as head coach. In fact, many analysts agree that Garrett would need a trip to the NFC Championship Game to even give him a chance at remaining in Dallas.
If Jerry Jones decides to move on from Garrett, he could certainly take a long, hard look at Rivera – a coach who’s been to the Super Bowl within the last decade.
Who Will Be The Panthers’ Next Coach?
As for the Panthers, betting odds are already out on who will be the next head coach, and some interesting names are on the list.
After the likes of Greg Roman (+250) and Mike McCarthy (+400), Jason Garrett is sitting on odds of +1000, and Bill Cowher is holding odds of +5000 to become the next Carolina head coach.