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January 13, 2012

Panthers let secondary coach Ron Meeks go

Panthers secondary coach Ron Meeks, one of only two holdovers from John Fox's staff, has been relieved of his duties, sources told the Observer on Friday.

Meeks, who has two decades of NFL coaching experience, was with the Panthers' for three years, including two as Fox's defensive coordinator. Meeks and assistant defensive line coach Sam Mills III were the only assistants retained by Ron Rivera when he was hired last year.

In a brief phone interview Friday, Meeks was noncommittal when asked about his status for next season. Rivera was unavailable for comment.

The Panthers were 24th among 32 teams in pass defense in 2011, allowing an average of 246.8 yards a game.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on January 13, 2012 at 06:26 PM | Permalink


I figured the special teams coach would have been the first to go.

Posted by: CarPanFan1 | Jan 13, 2012 7:04:25 PM

so true

Posted by: steven danner | Jan 13, 2012 7:06:44 PM

Too bad, he and his defense was the only good thing about the Panthers last year. All year long I kept hoping he would weld more influence on the overall defense. I guess McDermott may have felt a little intimidated with Meeks looking over his shoulder. I wish him luck. Like someone said, where's the special teams coach?

Posted by: qdog112 | Jan 13, 2012 7:14:07 PM

"Too bad, he and his defense was the only good thing about the Panthers last year."

Uhhh what?

Posted by: cchsol68 | Jan 13, 2012 7:32:50 PM

I think the poster who said that the defense last year didn't mean this past year but the year before that.

Posted by: RGJ | Jan 13, 2012 7:44:02 PM

Sad. I actually like him and true his defense in 2010 was fun to watch unlike this year's defense. Like someone said, McDermott probably got a little intimidated and probably felt stupid for not following some of his advice. They better put up next year !!!

Posted by: taz | Jan 13, 2012 7:50:32 PM

The more I think of it, the more I think Meeks was setup by this coaching staff. They didn't bring in any good secondary help and expected him to turn the Captain & Martin into elite players. He did help resurrect Gamble. SAD :(

Posted by: taz | Jan 13, 2012 7:55:04 PM

I thought the defensive secondary played better this year, than they have in a long time. They've been weak at the secondary position since the franchise began, with the exception of a few years here and there. I thought he should have been allowed to have one more year, with some player improvements.

Posted by: Steeler and Panther fan | Jan 13, 2012 8:12:15 PM

I liked Meeks, but when the secondary looks dazed and confused most of the time, usually the secondary coach is gone. Hopefully, he finds success.

Posted by: Kenny | Jan 13, 2012 8:12:45 PM

Well. Ron Meeks let go they keeping the special teams coach. I would think he would have been the first to go.

Posted by: par404 | Jan 13, 2012 8:21:32 PM

I liked Meeks, too. But the pass defense was really atrocious this year. Too bad for him-he's had good success with the Colts and Panthers.

Posted by: pantherd | Jan 13, 2012 8:23:06 PM

I wouldn't be so sure the Specials Team coach won't go... somebody has to be first and the secondary didn't get the job done and he was NOT Rivera's guy so not much surprise here.

Posted by: John - Harrisburg, NC | Jan 13, 2012 8:43:26 PM

Yeah, I liked Meeks too, and you can't blame the secondary problems on him. Most teams who have a good secondary usually have a good pass rush too. But then again, there is this thing called a coverage sack which means your secondary is holding it down so the QB has to hold the ball longer. That could be part of the reason he was let go. We really need a second Corner opposite Gamble, cause Cap'n just isn't cutting it. He's a nickle corner, even I know this

Posted by: el | Jan 13, 2012 8:47:56 PM

Don't blame the secondary...you can only do so much with that weak D-line!!

Posted by: NCJimbo | Jan 13, 2012 8:52:17 PM

It wasn't Coach Meeks' fault; we just don't have the talent in the defensive secondary. Captain was Fantastic at times, but he's clearly a Nickel Back. Then, there's Sherrod Martin, who's still looking for his jock strap after the last game against the Saints. You got Charles Godfrey, who played more like Bats in the Belfry.

Then you got me...Chris Gamble; superstar, fat wallet, proven skills, former Pro Bowler. I don't got nuthin' to prove to you mo fo's, because I already gots the contract! I don't need to do no tacklin'! Deion didn't do no tacklin', and he's Prime Time! The refs are blind every time they call P.I. on me...Fools!
Hurney betta not think he's bring in no rookie in here to take MY job! 'Member, I's the one who's got the contract!

So what I only caught 7 balls since my contract, when I caught 20 before I cashed in; HEY, my hands are full with Benjamins! You people are just jealous. Go ahead and cut me, fools...you know I'm the best thing you have and I'll just come back to haunt you. I'm Chris Gamble, fools!

Posted by: Chris Gamble | Jan 13, 2012 8:56:48 PM

Perhaps Rivera will bring in Charlotte native and current Chargers' DB Coach Steve Wilkes. Wilkes would definitely be an upgrade and has turned around Pass Defenses everywhere he's coached on the collegiate and professional levels.

Posted by: Football Fanatic | Jan 13, 2012 9:21:17 PM

I liked Ron Meeks but outside of Gamble the secondary really struggled. I would have to say part of the issue was Meeks. Seemed Martin took a step backwards from 2010. This could be because 2010 Meeks was DC and had is own system. The system Rivera and McDermott had differed and Meeks philosophy didn't match theirs. I am sure he will find a spot with another team.

Posted by: davethepanther | Jan 13, 2012 9:31:56 PM

QDoggy112 is not a Panther fan, you could fit his knowledge of football o the head of a pin and have plenty of room left over!

Posted by: Ray | Jan 13, 2012 9:53:50 PM

have we even had a special teams coach the past 5 years?

Posted by: likwit | Jan 13, 2012 10:14:17 PM

My guess is that Meeks disagreed with McDermott and McDermott felt threatened. Rivera has been here a year now, so he's already inured to not admitting that he could ever make a mistake, like hiring someone who got fired at his last job, when hiring coordinators.

In other news, Danny Crossman got a new contract in Detroit.

Posted by: Ben | Jan 13, 2012 10:27:00 PM

Meeks' defense was the only good thing in Fox's last year. I feel like Chris Gamble and Captain Munnerlyn came a long way under his tutelage. Sorry to see him go.

McDermott's record doesn't give me a lot of confidence, but this year's D was gutted by injuries and inexperience. I'm certainly willing to give him another shot.

Posted by: Bull City Dog | Jan 13, 2012 11:36:04 PM

I don't know, Meeks was listed as the worst defensive coordinator in a couple of publications after his first year under Fox. Martin's lack of development - especially that last game against the Saints - certainly didn't bode well for Meeks' future. When the owner says one of the starters "plays safety" you know there's heat under someone's seat - not just players.

Posted by: Ashe | Jan 13, 2012 11:51:16 PM

Please God let our first pick be a cornerback. Morris Claiborne, Dre Kirkpatrick, Dennard, Minnifield...
We need to draft at least 2 corners considering we have to beat New Orleans to win the South.

Posted by: denrec | Jan 14, 2012 1:23:54 AM

Denrec, I agree completely! Chis Gamble is not effective anymore any needs to take a cut in his pay to keep his job. Only 3 interceptions in 2 years? Gamble avoids contact and he doesn't tackle well at all.
No sir, not for $8 Million per season. I wouldn't trade him, but I would re-work his contract. He is a 2nd CB, at best.

Posted by: Bill Polian | Jan 14, 2012 4:22:29 AM

why would you fire him put him back at dc and fire mcdermott he sucks

Posted by: uoewuoi | Jan 14, 2012 8:23:11 AM

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