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January 05, 2013

Breaking: Rivera will be back next season

The Panthers are still in the market for a general manager, but they won't be looking for a new coach.

Ron Rivera has been retained following a long-anticipated meeting with Panthers owner Jerry Richardson on Saturday, a team spokesman said.

Rivera, 13-19 in two seasons in Charlotte, has two years remaining on his original, $11.2 million contract.

Rivera did not immediately return a phone message Saturday.

Rivera's future became an issue over the final 10 weeks of the season after Richardson fired general manager Marty Hurney in October, telling Rivera he wanted to see the team “trend upward.”

The Panthers (7-9) won five of their last six games, including their final four in a row, to finish in second place in the NFC South, a game better than Rivera's first season. The winning streak was the longest since 2008, the last time the Panthers made the playoffs.

Rivera waited six days following last weekend's 44-38 win at New Orleans for his meeting with Richardson. Rivera has said all along he believed he had the owner's support.

Despite tying a team record by placing 18 players on injured reserve – including five starters – the Panthers were 10th in the league in total defense, and 12th in total offense.

The Panthers struggled in close games for the second year in a row. The win at New Orleans improved Rivera's record to 2-12 in games decided by a touchdown or less.

But Rivera pointed to the development of quarterback Cam Newton, the improvement of the defense following Luke Kuechly's shift from outside to middle linebacker and the big plays on in all three phases as signs of the team's growth.

The team will begin interviewing GM candidates Monday. Interim GM Brandon Beane, who was Hurney's top aide, will receive serious consideration.

With former New York Giants GM Ernie Accorsi consulting on the search, the Panthers reportedly have asked permission to speak to two Giants executives – senior pro personnel analyst Dave Gettleman and director of college scouting Marc Ross.

--Joseph Person




Posted by Observer Sports on January 5, 2013 at 01:12 PM | Permalink


It's Obvious that Jerry Richardson only cares about Profit than Winning. Enjoy Next year not being in Playoff and winning bunch of games;when we’re out of contention Playoff. I really Feel sorry For Cam having owner who doesn't care about winning. Also, firing Hurney is all Counterfeit. JR will not hire a New GM and instead, he will hire Brandon Beane who handles administrator and budgets. Plus, Mr. Beane lack of experience in-terms of handling football operation.

Posted by: Al-King | Jan 5, 2013 2:02:19 PM

To Al King, if that's your real name. The cardinal rule in dealing with these matters is to do so privately and above all don't listen to the fans (if you are one) or the news media. Do us all a favor follow another team.

Posted by: scoot1 | Jan 5, 2013 2:49:10 PM

If JR doesn't care about winning, then why did he let Hurney go? It's more clear that he was the buffoon of this crowd. Who was capable of taking a team with the lowest cap number in the league after 2010 (pending the lock-out and under instruction of JR) to being significantly over the cap in 2 years? Hurney! Too much money went into a limited number of pockets in positions where it was unnecessary. No reason in the world why we have multiple running backs with big contracts, why Charles Johnson got a $76 million contract, etc. Quality players they are, but not intelligent decisions by Hurney. Now the new GM will have to make some hard decisions and some will have to go, but RR in his first stint ever as a head coach at any level, is learning to be a quality coach. Mistakes happen along the way of learning, and I believe he's turned the corner and will only get better, and we will see the post-season next year! I suppose you we're a master of your craft as soon as you began doing it, right?....or are you even employed?

Posted by: David Crabb | Jan 5, 2013 3:02:34 PM

anybody criticizing richardson is an idiot. all the owners try to win. owning a pro sports franchise is like big game hunting or high stakes gambling.....these guys are putting a hundreds of millions into teams that often don't bring the same kind of returns their other investments do. this is the guy that BROUGHT the nfl to charlotte. he should be thanked by any panthers fan, not criticized.

can't say I like retaining rivera as proof was in the pudding that he, not hurney, was to blame for the losses this year and last. he has a stacked team with one hole (FS) and that will surely get addressed for next year. i like the idea of continuity for cam, but i mean....if we run the ball more....we get more FG attempts out of drives that come up short....more points.....more wins. there's no reason why deangelo williams should be let go. you give the guy the carries he needs and play off of that and we win.

it IS that simple. look at the facts. too many 3 and outs caused by incompletions and sacks. too many punts from mid field. too many losses by a touchdown or less. most of cam's turnovers come by result of a poor play call and him trying to make the play that is destined to fail. chudzinski looked like a genius last year and looked like an idiot this year. and rivera has NO IDEA what he's doing with clock management and timeouts. NO IDEA what to do on 4th downs. NO IDEA what to do with a lead. NO IDEA how to manage field position.

could have been worse I suppose, but honestly.....we desperately need a better coach. the coaching didn't trend up at the end of the year.....the players did.

Posted by: charlottean | Jan 5, 2013 8:20:48 PM

For all of those so called Panthers fans that are saying Mr Richardson is only concerned about profits, I have one thing to say to you "find another team to support, we don't need you". Most people will never know all the kind, morally correct things that our owner does outside football. Most owners would never give us the time of day, not ours. The decision to keep Ron correct. He has the support of Mr Richardson, the players and the true Panther fans. Go Panthers 2013.

Posted by: Johnny V | Jan 5, 2013 8:57:03 PM

Great news!!!!! Happy to see Rivera back. Also I agree with the fan above. Go support another team if you don't like the way things are going in Carolina!!!!

Posted by: Jack | Jan 6, 2013 8:14:40 PM

Same story the past 2 years. Start off slow and win a few at the end. I like Rivera but not sure he is the right man for the job.

Posted by: Pat Daddy | Jan 7, 2013 9:39:00 AM

Sounds like we got rebuffed by Chip Kelly(possibly others) so JR decided to keep Rivera.....based on the timing of everything, that is my thought.

Rivera can't feel good about having to wait while the Big Cat checked with a few other options....haha.

Posted by: big gulps | Jan 7, 2013 10:12:13 AM

Panthers have the hotest cheerleaders. We're number #1. We're number #1....

Posted by: Crispy Bacon | Jan 7, 2013 11:05:56 AM

Welcome to 8-8 and mediocre AGAIN!

Posted by: Cecil Newton | Jan 7, 2013 7:14:28 PM

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