To call Rivera intense is an understatement. He's almost scary. I love to joke around, but I’d be frightened of joking with Rivera. If it isn’t funny, he might kill me with his stare.
I only saw Rivera crack a full smile once during the whole thing, and that was when he looked at his wife. For her part, it didn’t seem like she wanted to call attention to herself.
Listening to questions: Ramrod straight, hands in front, eyes on the reporter, almost like a military recruit. Answering questions: Hands behind back, rocking back and forth, speaking almost as much at you as to you. Honestly, his constantly standing at attention makes me feel like a slacker slouching in my chair.
I’m not sure Rivera has a low gear. Very much the type of person you’d expect from a military family. I could almost picture his dad being like a Hispanic version of R Lee Ermey.
Speaks like someone who has bought completely into the program. Everything is “we will do this” or “we will do that”.
You could call his philosophy for both sides of the ball the “Triple A” approach: Aggression, Adaptability and Attack.
Interested in some offensive guys that aren’t available right now (coaching on playoff teams).
Being innovative is important to him.
He will be in charge, and anybody that works for him will know it.
Rivera wants a “whole team” approach, i.e. rather than each unit just doing its own thing, the offense helps supplement the defense, the defense the offense, the special teams helps both units and vice versa. It’s a “big picture” approach.
Joe Person sounds like Adam Corolla.
Definitely came prepared for this interview process. I love that he did a breakdown of the roster prior to the whole thing, and in general I agreed with his opinions. I have a feeling that in the future there may be games where he gets outcoached or the team gets outplayed, but I wouldn’t bet on him getting outworked (heck, I’m exhausted just listening to him talk).
I’m not used to a guy this intense or a voice with no rasp.
Good news: Rivera wants a hybrid tight end, doesn’t like Fox’s “committee” approach (and Panther fans everywhere rejoice).
Likes to use the word “solid” when describing our players.
Pretty clear he plans to foster competition at the quarterback slot. He’ll give Clausen a chance, but understands the importance of a franchise QB thanks to his time spent with Philip Rivers.
You get the impression Rivera really hates to lose.
Doesn’t care for laziness either. Guys better be ready for training camp.
Is proud of his heritage, but doesn’t care to define himself in a way that limits him. Wants to relate equally to everyone regardless of differences.
Loved what he said about tackling. It’s a huge deal these days. Nobody wraps up because they’re all going for these “highlight reel” hits. Rivera won’t allow that.
Would love to know what players he met with.
Understands the value of holding his temper until it’s really time to let it go. Will “treat his guys like men” but won’t be afraid to get in their face if needed.
Believes in the “build through the draft” philosophy. Meshes well with what his playing days were like.
Rivera won’t throw his players under the bus.
Believes coaches must be teachers, and should take every opportunity to do so.
Coaching search will start with the prior staff members.
Definitely a face-to-face “show me” guy who’s not going to take anyone else’s opinions as gospel until he’s verified it for himself.
Wants a unified approach with coaches and personnel departments (that works well for the Steelers).
Getting to the big games isn’t good enough. You’ve got to win. And Jerry Richardson and his people are very committed to winning.
Will be very hands-on with the defensive staff. Guys with big egos better take notice of that before they sign on here.
Big believer in player conduct and setting an example in the community, Won’t allow his players to say that they aren’t role models. Last answer, saying he expected his players to carry themselves “like Carolina Panthers should carry themselves” likely went over really well with the team braintrust.
One comment from early in Rivera's presser is likely to be misunderstood, and it's not that he explained it badly (just the opposite) but rather the fact that one of the terms he used has become so cliched' that it makes it easy to miss what he was really trying to say.
The word in question: "Balance" :sosp:
Regarding the offense, he said that he wants to have "a balanced attack". Now, folks hearing that might automatically assume he means an even run-pass ratio, but that's not really what he's talking about when you listen further.
Explaining the concept of balance, Rivera said that by balance he meant, "when you have to throw it, you will throw it; when you have to run it, you have to run it, but you choose to."
So what does that mean?
It means he doesn't like being dictated to :smash:
Rivera spoke at length about wanting to have an attacking, aggressive style on both defense and offense. Thus, what he's looking for on both sides of the ball is for our team to always control the game, set the pace, and force the other team to be the ones that have to react and adapt.
So let's say, for example, that we're facing a team that's strong against the run but vulnerable to the pass. That is one of those situations where you "have to pass". On the flipside, say you're facing a small, speedy defense that defends well against the pass but is weak against the run. That's when you "have to run". Facing someone that's solid overall? Out-execute them. Hit them with something they don't expect and make them play your game, because that's what you choose.
Ah, but how can you do all those things?
That's where "balance' comes in :thumbsup:
What Rivera wants is a Panthers team that's adaptable and capable of running whatever kind of game plan will work best against their opponent. A team that can power run, air-it-out, razzle-dazzle, whatever's needed.
John Fox wanted balance too, sort of. His primary focus was on the run game, and the passing game was only there to keep defenses honest. It's an approach that can work, but it malso meant that teams preparing to face the Panthers pretty much always knew what to expect. Rivera won't operate that way. He wants teams coming into Charlotte with no idea what we're gonna hit them with (and thus, no set answers).
If that "pick your poison" approach sounds familiar to you, it should. That's how New England likes to operate. Rivera wants the Panthers to work that way too. Make no mistake, that's not an easy thing to put together. You have to have the right players to do it, guys that can learn and execute whatever you tell them to. It'll take some roster tweaking before we're at that level, but that's what Rivera has in mind when he talks about sitting down with Hurney and his people and hashing things out.
Bottom Line: No more sitting back and reacting on either side of the ball.
It's been two years since I started researching possible head coaching candidates, and if you put all the different threads together I believe it would total around 250 pages or more. All those pages of discussion, speculation, questions, debate and, as my Dad would have said "just plain argyun"
But as of now, all the research, the questions and the theories can be put to bed.
We have our guy. The new head coach of the Carolina Panthers, Ron Rivera.
Personally, I'm very excited about the hire. Even more so after hearing what he had to say in the press conference. Rivera impressed me with his manner, his confidence, his preparation...everything. Hard for me to believe he's been passed over eight times, but here's hoping that their loss is our gain.
There's still the assistants to get to - and we've already started that discussion - but it's nice to get to the end of this search and be happy with the result.
So from today forward, a new era begins.
But as far as the search, in the words of a man who was alive when the whole thing started, but has since passed on...
"Turn out the lights. the party's over." :thumbsup:
Coaches that are now or are expected to be on the open market. Some have connections with coaching finalist Ron Rivera (indicated by *) some with the Panthers, others neither. Likelihood varies. Some are already available. Others could be if their contracts are up or if their current team gives them permission.
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR - Rob Chudzinski (former TE Coach, Chargers)*
- John Ramsdell (QB Coach, Chargers)* - likely to be retained - Tom Clements (QB Coach, Packers) - Frank Reich (QB Coach, Colts) - Brian Daboll (OC, Browns) - hired by the Dolphins - Matt Cavanaugh (QB Coach, Jets)* - Bill Musgrave (QB Coach/assistant HC, Falcons)* - hired by the Vikings - Wade Wilson (QB Coach, Cowboys)* - Charlie Joiner (WR Coach, Chargers)* - likely to be retained - Tom Rathman (RB Coach, 49ers) - will be kept on 49ers staff - Clarence Shelmon (OC, Chargers)* - likely to be retained - Bruce Arians (OC, Steelers)* - Ken Zampese (QB Coach, Bengals)
QB COACH -Mike Shula (former QB Coach, Jaguars)
- Jim Zorn (QB Coach, Ravens) - Jeremy Bates (former OC, Seahawks) - Darrell Bevell (OC, Vikings) - hired to be OC for the Seahawks - Brad Childress (former Head Coach, Vikings)* - may have options elsewhere - Jay Gruden (Head Coach, UFL; formers Bucs assistant) - interviewed but not hired - Paul Hackett (QB Coach, Raiders) - being let go by the Raiders - Ted Tollner (Passing Game Coordinator, Raiders) - Carl Smith (QB Coach, Browns) - Geep Chryst (former TE Coach, Panthers) - joining Jim Harbaugh's 49ers staff - Dan Henning (former OC, Dolphins) - may retire
- Edgar Bennett (RB Coach, Packers)* - Tim Spencer (RB Coach, Bears)* - Anthony Lynn (RB Coach, Jets) - Jimmy Raye (former OC, 49ers) - Gene Huey (former RB Coach, Colts) - Jim Skipper (former RB Coach, Panthers) - interviewed by Ron Rivera; has since been advised team is going in another direction - Eric Studesville (RB Coach, interim Head Coach, Broncos)* - retained by the Broncos - Kelly Skipper (RB Coach, Raiders) - appears likely to stay with the Raiders; might have been odd anyway given the team let his dad go
- Ron Turner (WR Coach, Colts)* - Darryl Drake (WR Coach, Bears)* - Terry Robiskie (WR Coach, Falcons) - Wendell Davis (Assistant WR Coach, 49ers)* - Ray Sherman (former WR Coach, Cowboys) - said to be interviewing for the recently vacated Titans head coaching job - Jerry Sullivan (WR Coach, 49ers) - reportedly planning to retire - Al Saunders (Offensive Assistant, Ravens) - taking the offensive coordinator job in Oakland - Tyke Tolbert (former WR Coach, Panthers) - joining John Fox in Denver - Mike Johnson (OC, 49ers) - reportedly taking over as offensive coordinator at UCLA
TE COACH- Pete Hoener (TE Coach, 49ers)*
- Pete Mangurian (former OL Coach, Buccaneers) - Rob Boras (TE Coach, Jaguars)* - Bob Ligashesky (TE Coach, Broncos) - Jason Michael (QB Coach, 49ers) - hired by the Chargers to replace Rob Chudzinski as TE Coach
OL COACH- John Matsko (former OL Coach, Ravens) ASSISTANT OL COACH - Ray Brown (FORMER Assistant OL Coach, 49ers)
- Tom Cable (former Head Coach, Raiders) - hired by the Seahawks - Clancy Barone (OL Coach, Broncos)* - took job coaching TEs in Denver - Mike Munchak (OL Coach, Titans) - the Panthers made an effort to get him but he chose to stay in Tennessee; now it looks like he'll get the head coach job there - Mike Solari (OL Coach, 49ers) - staying with the 49ers - Jerry Fontenot (Assistant OL Coach, Packers)* - Luke Butkus (Assistant OL Coach, Seahawks) - Harold Goodwin (Offensive Assistant, Steelers) - Dave Magazu (former OL Coach, Panthers) - joining John Fox in Denver
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR- Sean McDermott (former DC, Eagles)*
- Dave Wannstedt (former Bears head coach, Pitt Panthers head coach) - has talked to Browns and Bills - Rob Ryan (DC, Browns) - named DC of the Cowboys - Greg Manusky (DC, 49ers) - hired by the Chargers to replace Ron Rivera - Bob Babich (LB Coach, Bears)* - Winston Moss (LB Coach, Packers) - Ray Horton (DB Coach, Steelers)
DL COACH- Eric Washington (DL Coach, Bears)
- Mark Carrier (DL Coach, Jets)* - Bryan Cox (DL Coach, Browns)* - Mike Waufle (DL Coach, Raiders) - Clarence Brooks (DL Coach, Ravens)* - Don Johnson (DL Coach, Chargers)* - being retained by the Chargers - Jim Washburn (DL Coach, Titans) - took the same job with the Eagles - Wayne Nunnely (DL Coach, Broncos)* - staying with the Broncos - Karl Dunbar (DL Coach, Vikings)* - Bucs tried to steal him from the Vikes; he's reportedly staying in Minnesota
- Bill Shuey (former LB Coach, Eagles)* - Dave McGinnis (LB Coach, Titans)* - might be allowed to walk now that Jeff Fisher is being let go in Tennessee - Roman Phifer (LB Coach, Broncos) - Frank Bush (former DC, Texans) - Mike Haluchak (LB Coach, Raiders) - John Marshall (DC, Raiders) - Greg Biekert (Defensive Assistant, Raiders) - Ken Norton Jr (LB Coach, Seahawks) - Don Martindale (DC, Broncos) - getting attention from three teams, but not us - Mike Singletary (former Head Coach, 49ers) - joined Leslie Frazier with the Vikings - Richard Smith (former LB Coach, Panthers) - joining John Fox in Denver
DB COACH- Ron Meeks (former DC, Panthers)
- Steven Wilks (DB Coach, Chargers)*- likely to be retained - Ed Donatell (DB Coach, Broncos) - hired by Harbaugh in San Francisco - Gill Byrd (assistant DB Coach, Bears)* - Chuck Cecil (DC, Titans) - fired by the Titans - Johnnie Lynn (DB Coach, 49ers) - Vance Joseph (DB Coach, 49ers) - hired by the Texans - Jerome Henderson (DB Coach, Browns) - Lionel Washington (DB Coach, Raiders) - Kevin Ross (Defensive Assistant, Raiders) - Ron Milus (former DB Coach, Panthers) - hired by John Fox in Denver - Horton
SPECIAL TEAMS COACH- Brian Murphy (former ST Coach, Vikings)
- Brad Seely (ST Coach, Browns) - probably staying in Cleveland - Kurt Schottenheimer (ST Coach, 49ers) - Dave Toub (ST Coach, Bears)* - Chris Tabor (Assistant ST Coach, Bears) - hired by the Browns - Jeff Rodgers (former ST coach, Panthers) - joined John Fox in Denver - Keith Armstrong (ST Coach, Falcons)* - Jeff Ulbrich (ST Assistant, Seahawks)
OFFENSIVE QUALITY CONTROL - Scott Turner (former WR Coach, University of Pittsburgh; son of Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner)
DEFENSIVE QUALITY CONTROL - Sam Mills III (previous Defensive QC, Panthers)
- Mike Kelly (former CFL Head Coach; possible Offensive QC) - was reportedly scheduled to be interviewed early on; no word on him since - Jerry Simmons (former Strength and Conditioning Coach, Panthers) - Jim Arthur (assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach, Bears) - Duane Carlisle (Strength and Conditioning Coach, 49ers)*