The NFL regular season has now creped into week six and the proverbial hot seat for some head coaches has begun to heat up. Overtime, the figurative coaching leash has grown shorter and shorter for new head coaches working to turn losers into winners.
Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera could be one of those hot seat candidates after only his first 21 games as an NFL head coach.
Collins writes, “If you’re the head coach of an NFL team sporting an overall number one pick at quarterback, and that quarterback is Cam Newton, there aren’t going to be many losing seasons you will get away with.”
Rivera is a meager 7-14 through his first 21 games with the Panthers and Newton has to be growing more and more frustrated with an offense that has been heading south since the end of last season.
Of course Rivera’s time is short in this his second season, it was short when he first got hired. Rivera and Newton will forever be linked in NFL lore, as they both joined Carolina at the same time. Rivera, a defensive minded head coach has been tapped with grooming or at least hiring the right people to groom Newton into becoming the next great passer.
A vast undertaking, that if Rivera falls short on this year, it could very well be his last. However, Rivera hasn’t had enough time and it would be surprising if Panthers’ ownership gives up on Rivera so soon.
The Panthers and Rivera still have plenty of time to turn 2012 around. It will take hard work and a serious change to the offensive game plan going forward. Look for Carolina to retain Rivera after the season and give the team a third year under his guidance. That’s the fair approach for a coach that earned his coaching stripes working as an assistant coach and coordinator since 1997.
Then again, fairness and time is not always a given in the cut throat work environment, that is NFL coaching.
Robert Kester, Carolina Panthers Columnist. Contact @robertkester1.