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October 28, 2013

Cowher: Rivera has grown as a coach

A former head coach pointed to the Panthers' Ron Rivera as a coach who's benefited from being given time to develop.

And that former coach who praised Rivera on Sunday is the same one often mentioned by some head-in-the-clouds Panthers fans as a possible replacement for Rivera.

During a discussion on head coaches during CBS Sports' "The NFL Today" show, former Steelers coach Bill Cowher mentioned Rivera, along with the Jets' Rex Ryan, as coaches who have grown into their roles.

"I think other owners should look at coaches and see that they can grow on the job and still be good coaches, and give them time to experience the things they need to experience like Ron Rivera," Cowher said. "Because we fire coaches way too quickly in this business and don't give them a chance to grow as coaches."

Cowher's right about the trigger-happy nature of some owners. And Rivera readily agrees that he's learned a lot in his first head coaching job, most famously his shift in philosophy on fourth-down situations.

A three-game winning streak has put the Panthers (4-3) above .500 for the first time since 2008 and made them "relevant," in the words of Rivera and several of his players.

But if the Panthers fall apart during the second half of the season, Cowher's comments could be irrelevant come January.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on October 28, 2013 at 09:16 AM | Permalink


I'm a complete idiot, and I could have this team 4-3.

Our coach is getting mockingly called "Riverboat Ron", he's a joke. The Panthers are a laughing stock.

We would be better off to upgrade at coach for the long haul, I fear now that he will do just good enough to stay.

Posted by: big gulps | Oct 28, 2013 10:01:20 AM

Big gulps, you are correct. You are an idiot.

Posted by: EFord | Oct 28, 2013 10:04:20 AM

I knew I'd get some agreement!

thanks EFord

Posted by: big gulps | Oct 28, 2013 10:07:20 AM

Big Gulp hasn't had his medicine today.

Posted by: TM | Oct 28, 2013 10:11:53 AM

I agree with Cowherd and to call the panthers a joke is is a statement by an uneducated person the panthers have been competitive in nearly every game... the Joke is the folks who call the Falcons & Steeler & Giants good team who are having bad luck

Posted by: ken Picklesimer | Oct 28, 2013 10:25:23 AM

I agree with Cowherd and to call the panthers a joke is is a statement by an uneducated person the panthers have been competitive in nearly every game... the Joke is the folks who call the Falcons & Steeler & Giants good team who are having bad luck

Posted by: ken Picklesimer | Oct 28, 2013 10:25:25 AM

And which teams have the panther's beaten?Giants, Vikings, Rams & Buc's. (Not to mention being crushed by a very average Cardinals team)

If Ron thinks that makes his team relevant then something is WRONG!

Just BTW:
In total Offense: Giants Vikings Rams and bucs are 21, 29,30,31 and in defense: 16,30,21,13

And the cardinals are 26th on Offense 14th on D and they hammered the Panthers.

If this is relevant, then I am sure Gettleman will make the right decision.

Posted by: Sean | Oct 28, 2013 10:46:52 AM

Cowher will be ours!

Posted by: 2020 | Oct 28, 2013 10:48:52 AM

If not for a fumble, they most likely beat the best team in the league too. Just keeepin' it fair.

Posted by: Me | Oct 28, 2013 10:54:49 AM

I see the Panthers as being in the best position in franchise history. Unlike the past 20 years, they now have a "build to succeed" model to go by. Best combination ever of a GM & Head Coach. Relentless in improving the management of players as well as the coaching of them. The team mentality is now right & the goal of winning has replaced hidden agendas. Selfish players have been shown the door and replaced by hungry talent willing to co-opt into a team concept.

Posted by: charlesbright | Oct 28, 2013 10:56:27 AM


Posted by: 2020 | Oct 28, 2013 10:56:47 AM

I find it hard to beleive that so called fans keep wanting to put Rivera down. With any job you have to get the experience and grow from your mistakes. I think Rivera has done just that and is shaping into a good NFL coach. The Panthers are doing well and benefitting from good coaching now. I agree with Cowher and kudos to GM and Jerry Richardson for keeping Rivera around.

Posted by: Gmoney | Oct 28, 2013 11:04:43 AM

Except at the expense of two Panthers seasons.

Posted by: par404 | Oct 28, 2013 11:08:34 AM

Cowher was being nice people. come on

Posted by: big gulps | Oct 28, 2013 11:20:28 AM

The Panthers weakness is the o-line so the teams that they struggled against are the teams with a great pass rush. Arizona, Seattle and Buffalo all have a great pass rush. Teams remaining on the schedule with a great pass rush? San Fran and maybe the Saints with some blitzing but that is about it. The Panthers will finish around 10-6 and will be battling Detroit and Chicago for the last playoff spot. GB, SF, NO, Dallas and Seattle are basically locks to make the playoffs. Of course Dallas could blow it but I don't think the other four will. I was bad news for the Panthers when Detroit won yesterday - we need to be pulling for the Lions and Bears to lose every week. Hopefully SF and Seattle will keep AZ and the Rams from making a playoff run too. Although i could see the Cards making a run - they have a great defense and if they can get a consistent running game they could win 10 games this year.

Posted by: Dom | Oct 28, 2013 11:30:06 AM

I agree with Cowher, Riverboat Ron has grown which is a good thing. And nevermind the Panthers have only beaten losing teams so far. They SHOULD beat them! And not only did they BEAT them, the games were blow-outs, so Im encouraged that going against the toughest part of their schedule coming up, they will do good things and keep winning!!!
If they barely beaten Giants, Vikings, Tampa and St Louis, then that may be cause for some concern but they're peaking at the right time! GO PANTHERS GO RIVERBOAT RON!!!

Posted by: Agreed | Oct 28, 2013 11:31:34 AM

Cowher is done coaching folks, so move on. The game has changed too much since he retired. He's just not coming back.

For everyone who gripes about the Panthers only beating bad teams... you can only play the games that are on your schedule and prior to the season beginning, this was expected to be one of the toughest schedules in the NFL.

For crying out loud, have you noticed that the Chiefs are 8-0 yet they haven't played a team with a winning record. Does that make them bad? Of course not. Look at the loss to Seattle, only the Panthers have held Seattle to less than 20 points and only Houston lost to them by a narrower margin. The 1 point loss to Buffalo the following week should be viewed with the realization that every team that has played Seattle this year, lost their next game as well.

The big disappointment was Arizona but those happen. This team is better than its record.

Posted by: John | Oct 28, 2013 11:35:29 AM

If Rivera were on a learning curve starting from wild-card playoff team to first round bye team, great. I see the reason to be patient. When the learning curve is how to go from a below .500 team to wild-card team or better in his third season, time is of the essence.

Posted by: 2020 | Oct 28, 2013 11:37:29 AM

Im happy Atlanta is 2-4!!!

Posted by: Agreed | Oct 28, 2013 11:38:33 AM

Im happy Atlanta is 2-4!!!

Posted by: Agreed | Oct 28, 2013 11:38:33 AM

I'm sick of all the idiots who talk about the quality of teams the Panthers have been beating. Good teams beat bad teams. Point blank. Secondly, it is about the consistancy of which the Panthers have been playing. Being aggresive, not settling. That is what is exciting. It is one step finally in the right direction.

Posted by: Smitty | Oct 28, 2013 11:50:08 AM

Folks who are still calling for Rivera's head.. give the man a chance. He has done well in developing into a good head coach. The first 2 seasons he learned some important lessons and has adjusted this year to that. To be fair, he took over a team that was 2-14 the previous year with a mess of a cap situation thanks to Marty Hurney. It's not like he walked into a winning situation, and those that know anything about football know that a 2-14 rarely reaches the playoffs the next year with a new head coach and rookie QB. It takes a bit of time to develop the team and the roster. Furthermore if you can't stand by your team and support when times are tough, then you don't deserve to call yourself a fan when they do well.

Posted by: Hugo | Oct 28, 2013 12:13:22 PM

Glad to see all the hard work I put into this franchise is finally coming to fruition.

Posted by: Marty Hurney | Oct 28, 2013 12:30:42 PM

Uhm.....you hire someone who has never been a head coach before, you expect that there will be a learning curve and a rebuilding period.

That is exactly what is happening.

So the teams the Cats have beaten have been bad ones. No one expected those teams to be bad and as previoulsy posted, you play the teams that are scheduled. They not only have beaten the teams they are supposed to beat but did it in a convincing fashion.

Other than a few buffoons on here, I haven't seen any analysts calling the Panthers a joke.

And calling Rivera "Riverboat Ron" only goes to show that he is taking chances - where is the mock in that??

Seriously, some people just want to hate.....

Posted by: Yuppa! | Oct 28, 2013 12:38:10 PM

When you go from a bad team, to a team that just beats other bad teams, what have you got. A almost good team. Sure, give them all the time in the world. Steve Smith will still be catching passes from his walker. He might even occasionally sneak up on a teammate and hit him in the back of the head with his cane. Please.

Posted by: Harpo | Oct 28, 2013 12:44:23 PM

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