agreed. we barely got away with wins that we essentially just got lucky with and we lost games that we had in the bag. again, players made mistakes but the coaching staff made bad calls that helped give those games away.
and performance of the players always falls back on the coaching staff. it's their job to put them in a position to win, and part of that is not giving games away or giving control to the other team. it's also putting together a plan that the players can win with or even excel in. it's also getting the right people in the right positions at the right time and ensuring that they can carry out the plan/directions you've given them.
team management. game management. it all falls on rivera. he improved in some areas, but my main concern is 1) his ability to continue growth and 2) having a low ceiling. it's quite possible that this team will never get much better than average with rivera calling the shots.
but hey...as long as the players are content with their coach and we don't have to rock the boat again, it's all worth it, right?
meh.....if rivera stays, it should be with a very short leash that he will be released from if he doesn't perform as expected...and those expectations are winning season next year or he's gone. not 8-8....winning. playoffs the year after that. that's the bare minimum.
i would also make sure that there's a coach on staff that has HC experience and if rivera's team goes through a losing spell, as in 3 in a row...he's gone and the assistant will take over. if the team is losing by the bye week....he's gone. losing can no longer be tolerated.
if the players think it's harsh or putting too much pressure on him...too bad. play better and know that it's not just your job on the line, it's the coaches.
If you have to put him on a short leash then he doesn't need to coach the Panthers. The reason is that he should be able to go into the season with full confidence. Putting him on a short leash with rock the boat with him and the team which could lead to being a disaster. If the new GM keeps him he really needs to keep him no matter what. But if he have his doubts and don't feel Rivera is the guy then he needs to let him go.