The minute Ron Rivera got canned in Carolina, rampant speculation spewed on his next job.
Eagles fans were clamoring for Rivera to return home to Philadelphia, a place he spent four seasons as linebackers coach. Conventional wisdom put him in the defensive coordinator role there.
Donovan McNabb had a different destination in mind for the man known as “Riverboat Ron.” The former Eagles quarterback predicted Rivera would take over as head coach in Dallas. It’s an interesting thought, to say the least.
It’s no secret the Cowboys’ job will be a highly-coveted one, assuming Jerry Jones fires Jason Garrett at the end of the year. The NFC East is still very much up for grabs with four games left, so don’t perish the thought of the Cowboys going on a late-season tear and making a long playoff run. The same improbable outcome can be applied to the Eagles.
For now, Rivera is a hot name for potential coaching vacancies. The two-time NFL Coach of the Year has been linked to the Cowboys, Giants and Browns.
McNabb’s best guess at Rivera’s next job is a good one. Although maybe a short stay as a defensive coordinator somewhere would be a good way for him to repair his image.
Rivera Established Winning Culture in Philadelphia
Andy Reid hired Ron Rivera to be his linebackers coach in 1999 and his toughness helped establish a winning culture.
Remember, he won a Super Bowl as a player with the 1985 Bears. Rivera oversaw some stout defenses while coaching under legendary Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson (may he rest in peace).
The team advanced to three consecutive NFC Championship Games and Rivera was largely credited for developing Jeremiah Trotter into one of the best middle linebackers in football. Trotter was a two-time All-Pro under Rivera’s tutelage.
From there, Rivera went to Chicago and assumed the role of defensive coordinator. He also served as both linebackers coach and defensive coordinator in San Diego before accepting the head gig in Carolina in 2011. His 2005 Bears defense ranked No. 1 in the NFL, but his units steadily declined over the next five years. Always good, just not tops.
Eagles Fans Pound the Drum for Rivera Reunion
It remains anyone’s guess if Jim Schwartz will be relieved of his duties as Eagles defensive coordinator.
Personally, I’m not sure his performance warrants a dismissal. He really hasn’t had much to work with in terms of personnel, not to mention the slew of injuries that ravished that side of the ball.
No matter your opinion on Schwartz, there is a strong contingent convinced that Ron Rivera is the hero the Eagles need. Right now.
Does it make sense? Maybe.
The Eagles were considered Super Bowl contenders coming into the season and the defense has been a big reason why that hasn’t happened. Schwartz’s defense is allowing 23.7 points and 332.7 yards per game this season. Not awe-inspiring numbers.
“Different every week. Different philosophy. Same, within the execution,” Schwartz said recently to describe his philosophy. “Like I said, schemes change from week to week.”
Of course, that would be assuming Rivera is available and wants to take a lesser pay grade. He’ll likely have head-coaching offers as many astute fans on Twitter pointed out.
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