Josh Thomas had been with us since last year.
What are the chances that he spontaneously hit some huge development milestone mid-season this year when he had been here a full season and a half, IIRC?
And I don't think he replaced Norman, I believe he stepped in with Gamble's injury and Captain moving inside more often after that. Norman continued to start initially. And honestly, I saw no big change in Norman's play from the beginning of the year to his demotion. So what changed there? He was a great tackler, made great plays on the ball when he was in position, but the problem was he gave too much cushion as was rarely ever in good position.
As for Joe Adams, it's like I said... I just threw his name out there among others, in hindsight, he shouldn't have been included because he earned his demotion. I'm not a Joe Adams-guy, so to speak. I was excited when we drafted him, but that quickly dissipated early on after he started muffing punts. My bigger point was that Nakamura was doing the equivalent to what Adams was doing on defense and he wasn't deactivated.
Yes, everything on our end is done in hindsight because we don't see what is going on day-to-day at every practice. But, in a case like Nakamura's, Rivera could've suited up himself and played better than Nakamura was.
I think Rivera plays favorites, and often, it isn't justified. Deangelo IS the prime example there. The argument with Gettis on the sidelines during one of the games when he was inactive comes to mind as well. Naanee last year anyone?
As to your point about Chud being the problem offensively and with some of the personnel being misused... There's a reason Rivera is the HC. He oversees ALL OF THAT. Especially the general philosophy and approach on both sides of the ball. If what Chud was doing wasn't working, then he needed to step in and say so and change it. Instead, he threw Deangelo under the bus and rode with the read option until Hurney got fired and they went back to traditional runs against Chicago.
Rivera gets blame because he deserves blame. He told on himself numerous times in pressers that demonstrated how dysfunctional his staff was, as well as his own decision making.
No, he doesn't deserve all of the blame and I'm not blaming him for all of it. But, he should be held responsible for game-related management/decision making because he oversees all of it... Or at least he was supposed to. And when you are the head guy, as Rivera said himself, the buck stops with him.
We won a few games and now people forget all of the problems that got us in the hole we were in to begin with.
You can throw out all the justifications for why you want him gone and you will find people who agree with you. And you can find some situations where personnel-wise he made some mistakes but your context is to look for the negative and try to find issues even to the point of manufacturing them. For example, no one would say that Nakamura was the answer after the Atlanta game but to that point he was the best free safety we had against the run and he was likely the best of the rest in practice against the pass. I think everyone thought he was going to better than he was and it didn't turn out. You could say that everyone should have been ready to step in for him but it likely took time to give everyone else enough reps with the 1s and game experience in order to move everyone around. Add to that the fact that injuries caused shuffling lineups most of the second half.
I can't tell if you are like most of us and are disappointed in the season and need to argue and bitch about the team and this is the way you chose to do it. You are obviously unable to see any of the positives and only focus on the negatives. Like stages that people go through when faced with an emotional issue, perhaps you can get through this and move on. I am not happy with the first 10 games of the year but instead of all the problems I see all the things we actually did right. I look at 4 or 5 plays where the coaches made the right decisions and the players didn't execute as the difference between 7-9 and 10-6. I also see the 4 or 5 boneheaded coaching decisions that could have made the difference between 10-6 and 12-4. I see what could have been and what I expect to happen next year.
Why am I optimistic? Because while it hasn't been at anywhere close to his level, I have coached teams over the years and I know that when I screwed up I was always my hardest critic. And while I might make the same mistake again, it won't be frequent and I will make steps to prevent it at all costs. I agonized about how I screwed up in private. But like him, I wasn't going to discuss it in public. I firmly believe he is going to review everything and learn from his mistakes. It is not bad to make a mistake, it is bad to keep repeating it and not learn from the experience. I think he will and you think he won't. Difference is I am not on a mission to tell everyone we need to fire him. I am fine with whatever the Panthers do. After they have the most at stake and have insider info we don't.