Hard work and dedication don’t always pay off in the NFL. You can be the hardest working head coach the league has ever seen, but if you don’t win, it doesn’t mean a thing. Ron Rivera nearly found that out. Depending on who you ask, Rivera was a loss or two away from losing his job early on in 2013. But after a shaky 1-3 start, Rivera righted the Carolina Panthers ship in a big way.
The Panthers would go on to win 11 out of their last 12 games and earned themselves a first round bye in the playoffs. After week four of 2013, no one was predicting that. No one.
But now all the hard work and dedication has paid off for Riverboat Ron in the form of currency. The Panthers announced that they’ve given the head coach a contract extension, which will keep him in Carolina through the 2017 season.
There’s really no beating around the bush on this one – he flat out deserves it.
To weather the storm that Rivera did in 2013 and for the Panthers to finish the way they did, was truly remarkable. There’s no question in my mind that he also deserves the Coach of the Year award. A team that had a head coach they didn’t believe in would have never been able to accomplish what the Panthers did in 2013.
You can be a lot of different things as a head coach. There are lots of ways to motivate and to win. But if the players don’t respect the coach, the team is going nowhere. The Panthers players are clearly all in with Ron Rivera and therefore it would have been moronic to not give him this extension.