Chuck Noll's record early on was 12-30 in his first three season and he was 3-11 in games decided
by one score or less. He turned out “okay.”
Bill Walsh was 8-24 and had a record of 4-13 in games decided by one score or less and he turned out “alright.”
Plenty of other good examples.
I'll admit I was on the fire Rivera bandwagon for the poor records in close games(among other things) for quite some time, and I know there will be absolutely nothing anyone can do to convince the naysayers for quite some time. But IMO, after giving some thought, I think one more year (paired with the right GM, of course) was not the horrific decision than most huddlers make it out to be. Of course Rivera needs to improve on a few things, and I would list those necessary improvements if I wasn't so beat.. And I also think the progress we made at the end of this year was different and much more positive than the progress we made at the end of the year prior. I'll agree we need some significant changes on the offensive staff, as well as a GM who isn't Beane, but I think one last shot for Rivera to prove his worth isn't as bad as most think.
DISCLAIMER: In NO WAY do I think Rivera is a Bill Walsh or a Noll(he could be worse than Steve spurrier next year, for all I know), well obviously not yet at least, but it's an interesting stat nonetheless.