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Panthers coach Ron Rivera admits he has to ‘evolve’ and ‘change’

Ron Rivera, Panthers

The Carolina Panthers won just seven games this past season and missed the playoffs for the second time in three years after making three straight postseason appearances from 2013 through 2015.

Rivera is taking full responsibility for the Panthers’ lackluster 2018 campaign, saying that he needs to do some things differently moving forward for the team to succeed:

“There are some things that I have to look at and be honest with myself about, and a lot of it starts with me,” said Rivera, according to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Charlotte Observer. “I have to evolve, I have to change. This team has to evolve, this team has to change. … I’ve got to step up. I’ve got to set the standard.”

Of course, Carolina’s struggles this past year were hardly all Rivera’s fault regardless of how much accountability he accepts.

After all, the Panthers got off to a 6-2 start and looked primed to contend for a Super Bowl before Cam Newton began having shoulder issues which plagued him for the entire second half of the season, resulting in Carolina shutting him down for the final two games.

The Panthers actually lost seven in a row before winning their season finale, and at the start of the offseason, Newton underwent arthroscopic surgery on his throwing shoulder to repair the issues bothering him.

Rivera has been at the helm in Carolina since 2011, going 71-56-1 overall and leading the team to four playoff appearances along the way, including a 15-1 campaign in 2015-16 that ended in a trip to the Super Bowl.