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January 16, 2014

Rivera is PFWA's Coach of the Year

Riverboat Ron is rolling in the postseason awards.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera, who led Carolina to the playoffs for the first time in five years, was named the Pro Football Writers of America's Coach of the Year on Thursday.

Rivera was the NFC Coach of the Year in the NFL 101 Awards announced earlier this week.

Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey was named the PFWA's Executive of the Year. Former San Diego Ken Whisenhunt, hired as Tennessee's coach this week, was the Assistant Coach of the Year.

The Panthers went 12-4 in 2013 after two losing seasons under Rivera, who was thought to be in danger of losing his job after the Panthers got off to an 0-2 start this season.

But Rivera's decision to break from his conservative tendencies and become more aggressive on fourth downs earned him his nickname and helped instill confidence in his team. After falling to 1-3 after a road loss to Arizona, the Panthers rattled off 11 wins in 12 games to claim the NFC South title for the first time since 2008.

Rivera, a longtime NFL defensive coach before former general manager Marty Hurney hired him before the 2011 season, is entering the final year of his four-year deal.

Current general manager Dave Gettleman declined to discuss Rivera's contract this week, but said he had the "ultimate faith in Ron moving forward."

Rivera is a candidate for the Associated Press' Coach of the Year Award, which will be announced during the NFL Honors awards ceremony in New York on Feb. 1.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on January 16, 2014 at 12:59 PM | Permalink



Posted by: bt | Jan 16, 2014 1:06:37 PM

Way to go Ron!! I'm grateful that we didnt give up on you. Great Job!

Posted by: PantherPride28 | Jan 16, 2014 1:19:48 PM

Congrats Riverboat!

Posted by: Taurus | Jan 16, 2014 1:26:57 PM

totally deserved it, Congratulations Coach

Posted by: Joe John Johnson | Jan 16, 2014 1:41:41 PM


Posted by: Charles | Jan 16, 2014 2:31:03 PM

The ghost of Marty Hurney (salary cap) is going to make like really difficult for a repeat next season.

I hope Gettleman can add to the roster for next season.

Seems like we were just one or two Offensive players away from going deep into playoffs this year.

Posted by: Sean | Jan 16, 2014 2:34:44 PM

Congrats coach, You deserve every honor coming to you! Great season

Posted by: George M | Jan 16, 2014 3:12:53 PM

I'm sending you a new pair of shades

Posted by: big gulps | Jan 16, 2014 3:43:53 PM

Well deserved. Unfortunately, often the kiss of death too (see George Karl, Mike Leach, Avery Johnson, Sam Mitchell, Matt Doherty, Al Skinner, need I go on?).

Posted by: Jay | Jan 16, 2014 3:47:44 PM

jay chill!

Posted by: chuckwagon | Jan 16, 2014 6:59:22 PM

Congrats Ron, keep pounding...great season...

Posted by: jaysonH | Jan 16, 2014 7:56:31 PM

sean - you're eating up the BS that gettleman is serving.

hurney built this team and we're getting a few key guys back from injuries. our cap problems are fictitious. the panthers have ALWAYS been this way because of how hurney structures contracts and then restructures them. every year, look back since 2003ish. that 20 million we were under this year, carries forward. franchise tag for hardy eats up around 12 of that. olsen and godfrey will restructure/extend, there's no way they are seeing the bloated cap figures (that aren't guaranteed) that are listed.

gettleman is using that as a crutch to take any pressure off of him to succeed. he got handed this team of young talent that's locked up for a while. he drafted the right guys, he brought in ted ginn and colin cole and mike mitchell and florence. but everybody else? hurney.

only reason we weren't 12-4 last year was rivera which is why he IS somewhat deserving of this award because he improved more than anybody this year. he's still making poor decisions in crunch time and critical situations, but it's nowhere near as blatantly bad as it was last year and at the beginning of this year.

when this team goes 8-8 next year it won't be for lack of talent, it will either be a return to the coaching gaffs of before, injuries, or some unlucky bounces. but you're talking about a stacked team returning.

of the 21 free agents, only hardy, mitchell, lafell and munnerlyn are starters. we have 7 draft picks coming in on rookie scale (something else that will help gettleman look better). you have godfrey and silatolu coming back. we'll see if kugbila is worth anything.

PAY ATTENTION GUYS: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1923808-best-worst-nfl-salary-cap-situations-in-the-2014-offseason/page/5

how could we even possibly be ranked 4th best cap situation if we were in "cap hell" as the observer ran with all year. you could argue that gettleman should have gone all in this year and done more to contend.

we SHOULD have a lot of free agents every year. who in their right mind would give backups long term deals? not to mention a few of those free agents were fill ins for injured guys.

steve smith could be extended as well. we have PLENTY of cap room. stop buying the bull-ish.

Posted by: charlottean | Jan 17, 2014 10:13:44 AM

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