Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

11 Jan 2011

Panthers Hire Ron Rivera

The Panthers have hired Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera as their new head coach.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 11 Jan 2011

29 comments, Last at 14 Jan 2011, 8:13am by Michael LaRocca


by djanyreason :: Tue, 01/11/2011 - 5:46pm

As their head coach.

by Alexander :: Tue, 01/11/2011 - 5:48pm

Bout time, he should have had a gig after 06' but the infighting with Lovie gave him a black eye for some reason.

by Insancipitory :: Tue, 01/11/2011 - 9:10pm

Steve Smith via the Seahawks gave him a black-eye. It's hard to argue he fully earned his DC money in 2005.

by tuluse :: Tue, 01/11/2011 - 9:18pm

It's a little hard to blame him for Tillman falling down and Mike Brown getting injured on the same play, and Chris Harris laying the wood on Tillman later on making sure Smith was able to secure the catch, or Rex Grossman being well Rex Grossman for the first half of the game (I still think sitting him in the final game of that season is top 5 worst decision Lovie had made as head coach of the Bears. Probably only behind thinking Archuletta was better than Chris Harris).

by Insancipitory :: Tue, 01/11/2011 - 9:39pm

So you're arguing that the difference in Steve Smith's performance in the two games was simply the Bears bad luck? I remember that post-season slightly differently. I remember two teams with the same defensive concept, and pretty different levels of defensive talent, attacking the same team on consecutive weeks very differently. But I've been wrong before....

by tuluse :: Tue, 01/11/2011 - 9:45pm

No that's not what I'm arguing. I'm arguing that his 2nd game made Rivera's gameplan look worse than it really was. For the record:

Steve Smith game 1: 14 for 169
Steve Smith game 2: 12 for 218

And Rex Grossman being even less useful than Kyle Orton was.

by BillWallace :: Thu, 01/13/2011 - 9:00pm

The first time I read this I was trying to remember when Steve Smith had gotten into a fist fight with a coach. It seemed believable, I just couldn't remember it.

by BillWallace :: Thu, 01/13/2011 - 9:14pm


by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 01/11/2011 - 5:59pm

Chargers take anpther good blow. This like hard jab to midsection. Raiders def. taking afc west in 2011

by Yuri (not verified) :: Tue, 01/11/2011 - 6:44pm

Uppercut to the chin!

by CuseFanInSoCal :: Thu, 01/13/2011 - 6:22pm

It still takes a highly improbable string of events for anyone other than the Chargers to win the AFC West. That this actually happened in the 2010 season is no reason to expect it will again.

by Marko :: Tue, 01/11/2011 - 7:38pm

Has any championship team (or any team for an individual season) in the modern era had more players become head coaches than the 1985 Bears? Rivera joins Jeff Fisher, Leslie Frazier and Mike Singletary in becoming head coaches. Rex Ryan also was a ballboy for the 1985 Bears.

Jim Harbaugh wassn't on that team (he was drafted by the Bears in 1987), but he was teammates with Singletary and Rivera for several years.

by Boots Day :: Tue, 01/11/2011 - 10:24pm

Brian Cabral, a backup linebacker for those Bears, was the interim head coach at Colorado this season, although he doesn't appear to be headed for the NFL.

by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 01/12/2011 - 1:39am

1955 clev. Browns had six

Mike McCormack
VChuck Noll
Walt Michaels
John sandusky
abe gibron (fat guy0
Ootot Graham

by Southern Philly :: Wed, 01/12/2011 - 2:50am

Sean Payton was also on the '87 Bears, but he was a replacement player.

by Marko :: Wed, 01/12/2011 - 4:44am

Yeah, I know about Payton (I mentioned him in the Harbaugh thread), but I don't consider any of the "Spare Bears" (as they were called) to be real Bears players, nor do I consider him a teammate of Harbaugh and Singletary, neither of whom crossed the picket line to my knowledge.

by JonFrum :: Wed, 01/12/2011 - 6:51pm

"Rex Ryan also was a ballboy for the 1985 Bears"

Well then, there you go.

by BJR :: Tue, 01/11/2011 - 7:53pm

Is it a surprise that the Panthers have gone for a defensive head coach? Their defence wasn't that bad this season, particularly given the amount of time they spent on the field. But their passing offence was historically awful. That's what needs urgently fixing. Who are they going to hire to do that?

by tuluse :: Tue, 01/11/2011 - 7:56pm

The Panthers are pretty terrible team, and I don't think hiring a head coach based on which unit of the team is the most terrible is really the way to run a successful franchise.

by Neoplatonist Bolthead (not verified) :: Tue, 01/11/2011 - 10:53pm

Not only that, but I bet they figured Rivera might bring in a Chargers position coach to be OC. If John Ramsdell can't make something out of Jimmy Clausen, nobody can. Chud, for his part, is one of the NFL's better OCs, having been instrumental in the '07 Browns' anomalous offensive success, and at least a factor of some sort in the Chargers' recent run of offensive dominance.

by JonFrum :: Wed, 01/12/2011 - 6:55pm

The idea that a bad offensive team needs an offensive-minded HC is silly. In any case, the whole system is changing with the new head coach. Unless you do a weird deal and keep the old co-ordinator, which not a lot of HC candidates would appreciate.

by BigCheese :: Thu, 01/13/2011 - 12:59am

I think bringing a HC who was an OC on the side of the ball is one of the most flawed decissions rutinely made by NFL teams.

Even when it works out, it's often not because that side of the ball improved.

Did Brian Billick win in Baltimore because of the Offense?

Did Tony Dungy win in Indy because of of the Defense? (Well, technically yes, on their SB run, but throughout the Dungy years it was Offense all the way with pretty mediocre to bad deffense).

I'd much rather bring in a HC on the side that's not hurting, and have him hire a good coordinator on the side that is. And since that's not the HC's speciallity, he'll be a lot less likely to micromanage and mess things up.

- Alvaro

by Neoplatonist Bolthead (not verified) :: Tue, 01/11/2011 - 10:59pm

So Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune is saying the Chargers will get Manusky. Is this the best choice? Chargers DC is a dream job (you get to live in San Diego and your boss is Norv Turner), so they should have their pick of available DCs, barring home-team sentiment (Phillips) or HC promotion (Rivera). DVOA says his defenses have been just okay, but he is a 3-4 guy. There's also talk about promoting John Pagano, but if Acee says Manusky, that's what I'll believe. Acee is seldom wrong.

Good move? Bad move?

by Anonymous 10 (not verified) :: Wed, 01/12/2011 - 1:04am

Think it's a good move, he was the Chargers LB coach prior to being the SF DC. Knows the Chargers' 3-4 system and terminology. I heard he was well respected and knew his stuff. Makes sense, AJ Smith likes to hire guys that know the system keeping continuity. Of course, it backfired with Ted Cotrell and will probably backfire with Norv.

by bravehoptoad :: Wed, 01/12/2011 - 1:20pm

I always liked Manusky here in SF. I remember when we were playing the Saints early in the season, when they were still pretty fearsome, and was he intimidated by their offense? No...when he was asked about how he was going to play against them he got a look over his face like he was about to devour a really good New York strip.

by AnonymousD (not verified) :: Wed, 01/12/2011 - 3:06pm

Do you have a link? I read an article by Kevin Acee where Manusky is considered a "front runner" for the position, but not that he has been offered the position. Manusky still has an interview with the Cowboys today (1/12).

by Dave0 :: Thu, 01/13/2011 - 1:02am

He seemed to do a competent job with what he had in San Diego. Good for him.

by Dave0 :: Thu, 01/13/2011 - 1:02am

He seemed to do a competent job with what he had in San Diego. Good for him.

by Michael LaRocca (not verified) :: Fri, 01/14/2011 - 8:13am

Three of our head coaches have been quite good (Seifert sucked), but who's gonna throw the ball? I'm willing and I work cheap. I cross picket lines too.