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carpantherfan84

Keep your eye on Bucky Brooks...

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Nevermind that was Bucky Covington

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Does it have to do with this?

http://www.nfl.com/n...rolina-panthers

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This is a shocking development for me to watch after spending four seasons (2003 to 2007) working for the Panthers as a college scout. During my tenure, Carolina made a Super Bowl appearance (Super Bowl XXXVIII) and reached another NFC Championship Game two years later, relying on a strong defense and a punishing running game. While John Fox set the direction for team as the head coach, he and Hurney worked together to build a roster that could compete for championships over the long haul. That roster was chock-full of homegrown talent, with Julius Peppers, Kris Jenkins, Jordan Gross, Dan Morgan and Steve Smith drafted and developed by the staff. Hurney augmented that core with a few unheralded free agents, like Stephen Davis and Jake Delhomme, who performed at a high level during a sensational run. Although that team fell short of winning the ultimate prize, the franchise routinely contended over a five-year span.

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1) Is Ron Rivera's job safe?

No. Whenever there is a change at the top of an organization, everyone in the building is under evaluation -- particularly the head coach. Rivera was handpicked by Hurney to turn the Panthers around after a 2-14 campaign in 2010, but the results have been underwhelming through a season and a half. The Panthers have won just seven of 22 games under Rivera and are one of the NFL's biggest disappointments this season.

The team sits in the NFC South cellar with a 1-5 record. The high-powered offense that was the darling of the league in 2011 ranks only 24th in total offense this season. Cam Newton has seemingly regressed in his sophomore campaign, and a potent running game that features a pair of high priced runners in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart has been underutilized, in my opinion. Defenses adapted to the explosive unit from last year, but the Panthers haven't been able to adapt back.

Defensively, the Panthers continue to struggle stopping the run, and an inability to close has led to concerns about Rivera's game management. Four of the Panthers' five losses have come by fewer than seven points, and the failure to get off the field in critical moments has been a continuing defensive theme during Rivera's tenure. Given those issues, Rivera must engineer a dramatic turnaround over the final 10 games to save his job.

If the Panthers opt to fire Rivera at season's end, Bill Cowher will be the obvious candidate for the job. He has strong ties to the area after starring at N.C. State during the late 1970s, and has lived in North Carolina since retiring from the Steelers in 2007. Although Richardson has scoffed at the notion of giving a head coach complete control of the franchise in the past, the growing murmurs from a fan base desperately seeking a winner could lead him to hand the keys of the franchise to Cowher.

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