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February 03, 2015

Rivera reassigns special teams coach Rodgers, promotes DeHaven

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera has reassigned special teams coordinator Richard Rodgers after the Panthers' special teams finished at or near the bottom in a number of major special teams categories this past season, league sources said Tuesday.

According to the sources, Rivera will promote Rodgers' assistant, Bruce DeHaven, who came to Carolina in 2013 with 26 years of NFL coaching experience. Rodgers is expected to have a role on the Panthers' defensive staff.

DeHaven arrived in Charlotte from Buffalo, where he had two stints totaling 16 years as the Bills' special teams coach.

In 2012 during DeHaven's last season with Buffalo, the Bills led the league with a 17.1-yard punt return average, and were fourth with a 27-yard kick return average. Both marks were franchise records.

The Panthers struggled mightily on special teams in 2014. They allowed four special teams touchdowns, including two on blocked punts in a Nov. 30 loss at Minnesota.

It was the first time in more than a quarter-century a team had allowed two punts to be blocked and returned for scores.

Rodgers, Rivera's teammate at Cal, had no NFL coaching experience when he was hired as the special teams assistant in 2012. He took over near midseason after Rivera fired specials team coordinator Brian Murphy.

The special team units improved under Rodgers in 2013, jumping from last place to 13th in the Dallas Morning News' annual special teams rankings.

But they plummeted to 31st among 32 teams in the newspapers' ranking this past season.

Carolina was last in three categories -- punt coverage (15.5 yards allowed per return), net punting (36.5 yards) and points allowed (24).

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on February 3, 2015 at 05:38 PM | Permalink


I kind of look at it this way you don't just make a position for someone who failed to do their job and to promote his assistant is crazy the things he was good in Buffalo weren't the areas if weakness on our special our problems were covering punts and kick offs and blocking when punting. Look at Greenbay if you want to see blueprint on how franchise is to be run. I never understood why you would put someone in as cordinator with no experience anyway. Just saying the good old boys club won't win us a Super Bowl

Posted by: Larry | Feb 3, 2015 6:20:30 PM

The big problem he had was lack of talent on the Special Teams. For instance, we had one of the best return men in the game last year and a nobody this year.

Posted by: David H Godfrey | Feb 3, 2015 7:05:52 PM

What a load of crap and a pathetic attempt at solving a major problem. What kind of GM is Gettleman? Step in and fire Rivera's friend aka incompetent coach since Rivera won't man up and do it.

Posted by: Frank | Feb 3, 2015 9:46:16 PM

Cam is still AWFUL!

Posted by: Cam is awful | Feb 4, 2015 6:50:41 AM

it's just to placate the idiots who think it was all rodgers' fault.

it was very clear that this was a biproduct of gettleman's lack of value for guys who made the 2013 team so much better than the 2014 team. a lot of those guys who left played big roles on special teams.

people forget that while munnerlyn was never a big time punt returner like ted ginn.......he was a lot more sure handed than brentin bersin and had big play ability at the very least. his interception returns speak to that. would have been nice to have him for critical punt situations. not to mention for defense.

slew of other guys were just no-name solid get it done special teams guys who we replaced with no name poor no idea what they were doing special teams guys.

you can't blame the guy for being bad one year after he was good when it's extremely obvious that he didn't have talent where it was needed to succeed.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 4, 2015 7:12:57 AM

Release the Kraken!!!

Posted by: The Kraken | Feb 4, 2015 9:06:22 AM

just the good ol boys......
never winning no championships.....

Posted by: tony clifton | Feb 4, 2015 11:31:23 AM

We need to sign Jordan Senn.

Posted by: Bradley Rayne | Feb 4, 2015 2:19:39 PM

We need to draft Phillip dorsett.

Posted by: heefus | Feb 4, 2015 3:04:08 PM

Demote Shula to asst. ball boy and get an experienced off. co-ord,

Posted by: ed linser | Feb 4, 2015 7:16:14 PM

Roy Jones Jr. is fighting at Cabarrus Arena March 6th. Click on my direct link below for a 20% discount on tickets. Or just enter promo code: Gheen

Posted by: Gheen | Feb 4, 2015 9:57:22 PM

will tom sorenson cover the roy jone jr fight? i know he loves him some boxing.

Posted by: tony clifton | Feb 5, 2015 9:56:33 AM

Dwayne Harris anyone? It's a shame Ginn is gone but get a confident returner in there with that burst of speed and shifty moves. Who knows, maybe he can be a solid #3WR too

Posted by: Steve M. | Feb 5, 2015 10:29:01 AM

He had nothin to work with. They sat him up to fail! We didn't draft anyone to take ginn's spot or pick up anyone capable of big play potential!! This is on getty and rivera not special teams coach!

Posted by: lakerman4567 | Feb 5, 2015 1:45:26 PM

Bring back Scott Obrien when we were blocking extra points, field goals, and gaining major chunks of yardage on kick returns

Posted by: ActinAFool | Feb 5, 2015 9:32:01 PM

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