Panthers owner David Tepper speaks out after Ron Rivera firing
The Carolina Panthers fired long-time head coach Ron Rivera on Tuesday. This was coming on the heels of a four-game losing streak. The latest of those losses was a game in-which they blew a lead to the Washington Redskins.
Team owner, David Tepper, spoke out after the move.
Panthers’ owner David Tepper on the firing Ron Rivera: “I have a great deal of respect for Ron and the contributions he has made to this franchise and to this community. I wish him the best. I will immediately begin the search for the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 3, 2019
Rivera has been the head coach of the Panthers since 2011. In that time, he’s gone 76-63-1 (.546 winning percentage). He’s made it to the playoffs four times (3-4) record, and even made the Super Bowl back in 2015.
With all that in mind, it’s easy to see why this probably was not the easiest decision for Tepper. Rivera has been with the team for a long time, and help make them a winning program while he was there.
However, they were well on their way to a second-straight losing season. The Panthers went 7-9 in 2018 and after starting 5-3 in 2019, were at 5-7 when Rivera was axed.
Four-straight losses is enough to put any coach in not the most comfortable position in the world. Especially considering two of those losses were to the Redskins and Atlanta Falcons, two 3-9 teams.
Rivera will likely have quite a few suitors. He’s proven he can get a team deep in the playoffs on multiple occasions and there are a couple of teams that will be looking for a new head coach in the offseason.
Even if a head coaching job does not come up, Rivera is an excellent defensive mind and a lot of teams could absolutely use that.
Meanwhile, the Panthers now have four games to Perry Fewell has been given the interim head coaching spot. This gives Carolina a chance to see what he has to offer, and possibly convince him to play some of the younger guys (like rookie quarterback Will Grier).
Tepper has proven that he has no ill feelings towards Rivera though. The firing was simply a business move.