The Carolina Panthers should probably go ahead and begin the search for their next head coach. Even current Panthers head coach Ron Rivera acknowledged on Monday that his time in Carolina has more than likely run out.
Rivera stating via the Associated Press that team owner Jerry Richardson wasn’t making any promises for 2013, telling Rivera “I know that nothing is going to happen until after the season.”
If Richardson’s feelings toward waiting to fire Rivera until after the season are true, then it further shows the class in which Richardson manages his franchise.
Rivera was a well deserved head coaching candidate when the Panthers first hired him in 2011. The team was struggling when Rivera took the reins, though only continued to digress under his watch.
The Panthers went 6-10 during Rivera’s first season at the helm, a respectable record given all of the injuries endured by the defense and the fact that he had a rookie quarterback running the show on the field every Sunday.
In fact, Rivera’s inaugural season went pretty well. It went so well, the expectations for this year’s squad were almost at the level of the playoffs or bust mentality.
To say that this season has been a disappointment would be an understatement. Carolina is a talented club and it’s a shame they can’t win games and win them easily. Instead, they find way to lose games, which is a clear reflection on their head coach.
“There just seems to be something missing,” Rivera said Monday.
He is certainly right. However, it’s obvious that he is the problem or at least the perceived one.
Rivera’s seat has become hotter and hotter with each agonizing loss, reaching peak temperatures following Sunday’s 27-21 melt-down at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
With the postseason way out of the picture, the Panthers and Rivera seem to be at peace with the fact that a new head coach will be in place for 2013.
The conclusion is simple; this relationship didn’t workout and its time to move on.
Robert Kester, Carolina Panthers Columnist. Contact @robertkester1