“I believe this is the best decision for the long-term success of our team,” Panthers owner David Tepper said. “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.”
Rivera took over the Panthers head coaching spot in 2011. He built a resume that included a 76-63-1 regular season record and a 3-4 postseason mark. In nine seasons, Rivera guided the team to a Super Bowl appearance, an NFC Championship and three NFC South titles.
There’s little doubt that Rivera will land on his feet and his phone will be ringing with opportunities for another head coaching gig. NFL analyst Chris Simms thinks that could come in Cleveland.
“Early guess: If the Browns hit the reset button, we could see Rivera pairing up with [Steve] Wilks again in Cleveland.”
Wilks is currently the defensive coordinator for the Browns. He spent 2012-2017 on Rivera’s Panthers staff before getting a head coaching gig with the Cardinals in 2018. He was fired after one season.
Freddie Kitchens on the Hot Seat With Browns
With the Browns sitting at 5-7 and needing a small miracle to make the postseason, first-year head coach Freddie Kitchens is firmly on the hot seat.
On top of the poor performance on the field, the Browns have been one of the most undisciplined teams in the NFL — whether that’s as the the most penalized team in the league, or through various issues with players. And he didn’t do himself any favors in changing the culture this week with his controversial shirt selection.
When asked about his job security on Monday following the Browns stunning 20-13 loss to a depleted Steelers team, Kitchens insisted that he’s not worried about it.
Everybody has to do a better job of handling their job. Caches, players, everybody has to do a better job of doing their job when they are supposed to do it, especially in critical moments. I have said for a long time now you have to understand when the game can be won and then take advantage of those situations, and we had several opportunities and did not make those plays.”
Former NFL WR Brandon Marshall Petitions for Freddie Kitchens
While Kitchens isn’t a popular figure in Cleveland right now, he has a supporter in former Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
TMZ caught up with Marshall recently and he said that Kitchens deserves a second year to work things out
“I didn’t like him wearing that [Pittsburgh started it] shirt,” Marshall said “It made no sense for him to do that. Nothing that justifies that. But I hate letting a coach go in the first year. He has got to turn it around and has some cultural things he got to fix.”
The Browns and Kitchens have a chance to turn things around this week against the one-win Bengals.