i don't think it's a lame duck situation because there is a chance that he can keep his job by pulling off a good year so i think the effort is going to be there for him, his staff, and the players (who actually want him there). people in lame duck situations have no chance of coming back and give up. that won't be the panthers next year.
unfortunately effort and desire doesn't always equal production or goal reaching. sometimes you're just incompetant or too slow of a learner.
We'll find out if Rivera can put it all together this season. For our sake, I truly hope he does.