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December 03, 2012

Rivera preparing for the future -- his

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he is committed to getting a look at the team's younger players, even as he coaches to keep his job.

When general manager Marty Hurney was fired in October, Rivera said owner Jerry Richardson told him he wanted to see the team “trend upward.” The Panthers (3-9) have lost four of six games since Hurney's firing, and are tied with the Eagles for the NFC's worst record.

The Panthers are 9-19 under Rivera, who has two years remaining on his contract after this season.

Rivera said he has had no recent discussions with Richardson, but expects to finish out the season at a minimum.

It is about winning, don't get me wrong, because I intend to win or try to win every one of these games we play. But at the same time, we've got to be able to do it with these young guys. If we don't play these guys, we'll go into next season with the same questions,” Rivera said.

People say, 'Oh you're just getting them ready for the next coach.' Well I think I'm getting them ready for me. I could be wrong but I'm not going to worry about that. I'm worried about each game, the next four games, and going forward we'll see what happens.”

The Panthers put veteran defensive tackle Ron Edwards on injured reserve last week, though his dislocated elbow did not require surgery. Second-year defensive tackle Sione Fua started in Edwards' place, and young backups Andre Neblett and Frank Kearse also saw action there.

Rookie safety D.J. Campbell, the team's seventh-round pick, saw his first action Sunday in a 27-21 loss at Kansas City after Sherrod Martin injured his knee. With Martin headed to injured reserve with MCL/ACL damage, Campbell could get more playing time, Rivera said.

Rivera had no updates on the status of running back Jonathan Stewart, who missed the Chiefs' game with a high ankle sprain, or wideout Brandon LaFell, who injured his foot in the second half against Kansas City.

Rivera said LaFell is undergoing an MRI exam Monday.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on December 3, 2012 at 12:39 PM | Permalink


What ever happened to DT McClain??

Posted by: Cliff | Dec 3, 2012 1:05:05 PM

Play Adams, Pilares, Ziemba, Williams more.

Posted by: par404 | Dec 3, 2012 1:08:08 PM

please Jerry cut this moron loose

Posted by: Roger | Dec 3, 2012 1:23:22 PM

Rivera is NOT a head coach...he couldnt even coach pee wee football...GET HIM OUT NOW!!!!!

Posted by: Roger | Dec 3, 2012 1:24:22 PM

McClain was put on IR earlier in the year

Posted by: Jonny5 | Dec 3, 2012 1:26:38 PM

McClain was cut if I remember correctly.

Posted by: Davey | Dec 3, 2012 1:34:28 PM

McClain was cut weeks ago.

Posted by: StephenS | Dec 3, 2012 1:35:44 PM

Yeah, Terrell McClain got cut before the season. I think it coincided with or was around the same time they picked up Dwan Edwards right before the season.

Posted by: imapone | Dec 3, 2012 1:37:55 PM

Yea. He was cut. Sry

Posted by: Jonny5 | Dec 3, 2012 1:38:44 PM

If I was as good at my job as Rivera is....i'd already be fired.

Posted by: big gulps | Dec 3, 2012 1:40:54 PM

I am waiting to see David Gettis back on the field. In his first season, he was better than LaFell, and the only reason LaFell got his opportunity to develop as the #2 receiver was that Gettis missed last season with an ACL injury. I want to see Gettis get some reps this year, especially with LaFell getting nicked up this past week and dropping what could have been the game-winning pass.

Posted by: BillyB | Dec 3, 2012 1:45:47 PM

Mclian was cut in Sept. Picked up and cut by the Pats and now is a 3rd stringer in Houston.

Posted by: Fred Flintstone | Dec 3, 2012 1:47:24 PM

With so many things wrong with this team - from personnel, injuries, play calling, attitude, preparation, basic positioning on the field, penalties - they need to scour the entire off the field side and make wholesale changes. The new GM - please get someone who knows how to work in the NFL - needs to bring in an entirely new team from coaches to trainers to ball boys, not to mention make some important moves, such as picking in a good spot in the draft.

Just too painful to watch them each week - it's like whatever works they quickly abandon and then just play backyard football all the way (go deep and I'll hit you).

Posted by: tv22 | Dec 3, 2012 1:50:51 PM

This just in: Jerry Richardson has decided to save the money and make Coach Ron Rivera honor the remaining 2 years of his contract.

Cheap owner!

Posted by: Paywalls are Berlin walls | Dec 3, 2012 1:56:35 PM

whoa!!! TV22, step away from the ledge!! The ball boys are doing a great job!! No need to bring them down with the rest of the team! I can agree with the rest of your post though. ;)

Posted by: DaveT | Dec 3, 2012 2:09:08 PM

Where are all the folks who said Cam was going to turn things around-- seems he's not what he was cracked up to be---

Posted by: Netranger | Dec 3, 2012 2:37:57 PM


Since when did Cam start playing defense?

Posted by: catamount 79 | Dec 3, 2012 2:54:10 PM

Players have not been the problem. They aren't drawing the schemes and calling the plays. This is a coaching disaster, nothing more. Sure these guys aren't flawless, but 99% of the flaws could be fixed or hidden by proper coaching. No question if fox was coaching this group, we're in the playoffs.

This dude punted on 4th and 4 with less than 4 minutes to go and 2 timeouts against a team whose only strength is their running offense with charles and hillis. Rivera has no business leading a team. 23 carries for a team that averaged 7.5 ypc and were never behind more than 4 points. In effing credible.

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 3, 2012 3:00:12 PM

He's right about playing these younger players. Next year will be a reconstruction period...again...no matter who the coach is.

Posted by: wolfpackpanther | Dec 3, 2012 3:12:19 PM

Pilares and Ziemba are on IR! We need Cowher as the GM! We need leadership! We are lacking leadership in the entire organization! Rivera is a pencil pusher not a leader!

Posted by: joe cool | Dec 3, 2012 3:18:55 PM

I don't think Rivera should be fired this year. If Hurney was the problem, we've no clue what type team Rivera might've intended to build. I'd like to see a new GM with Rivera and see whether Rivera is, indeed, the problem. The Panthers have already provided Rivera the on-the-job training during the first two years as a head coach. I say give him another year under the new GM and see where we end up. Changing all these variables simultaneously leads the team nowhere in terms of knowing where to look next time similar trouble arises.

Posted by: Z-100, WJZR | Dec 3, 2012 3:35:57 PM

Save us the pain, forfeit the remaining games......

Posted by: Jstreuber | Dec 3, 2012 3:45:30 PM

Its ridiculous!!! I cant wait to see all the empty seats next Sunday! Hey if you thought the turnout for the ACC championship game was bad, you haven't seen nothing yet! When is JR going to wake up!!! Stop the bleeding sir!!! You are disappointing a once loyal fan base! We have got to turn this around and be a consistent winning,playoff bound organization!! Some veterans deserve it! Fans deserve it! JR YOU deserve it!!!!!

Posted by: Big Daddy | Dec 3, 2012 3:50:05 PM

im still young. Yay i get to play!!

Posted by: Cam | Dec 3, 2012 3:53:12 PM

Rivera had a prime opportunity to send a loud, clear message to his team during the KC game after Josh Thomas made the bonehead personal foul. One of the coaches called Josh out from the game and Rivera sought him out on the sideline. However, this is where Rivera screwed up. He should have absolutely lit into Josh in a manner that Josh and all teammates within earshot could clearly understand that this stupidity is unaccepatable, especially in such a close game and in the nemesis 4th quarter. Instead, Rivera has an emotionless chat in Josh's ear that likely only Josh could hear. We wouldn't want to embarass little Josh on live TV, now would we coach Powder-Puff.

Posted by: dangburnit | Dec 3, 2012 4:22:29 PM

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