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Carolina Panthers fire head coach Ron Rivera: What this means for Cam Newton and the Panthers

Carolina Panthers fire head coach Ron Rivera after nine seasons
The Carolina Panthers fired head coach Ron Rivera. Pic credit: Carolina Panthers/YouTube

The Carolina Panthers announced on Tuesday that they have chosen to part ways with head coach Ron Rivera after nine seasons.

As for Carolina, they will finish this season with secondary coach Perry Fewell as interim head coach. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner will transition to special assistant to the head coach, and quarterbacks coach Scott Turner will serve as offensive coordinator.

Ron Rivera out as Panthers head coach

Rivera is the head coach who guided the Panthers to the second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history in 2015.

Since that Super Bowl appearance, where his team lost to the Denver Broncos, Rivera led the Panthers to the playoffs four times but has only made it to the postseason once in the last four years and lost in the Wild Card game in 2017.

The Panthers have gone 29-31 since the Super Bowl season, and if the 2017 playoff season is eliminated, they only finished with an 18-26 record in the other three seasons.

As a head coach, Ron Rivera has an overall regular-season record of 76-63-1 and a playoff record of 3-4. All three of those playoff wins came in the 2014 and 2015 NFL seasons.

The former head coach had experience in a number of systems over the years, working with the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, and San Diego Chargers as a defensive coach. If he doesn’t pick up a head coaching job elsewhere next season, he has the experience to return as a coordinator.

What this means for Cam Newton in Carolina

Rivera has had to deal with seemingly non-ending injuries to franchise quarterback Cam Newton, who has only played two games this season.

The Panthers have hinted that they will move on from Cam Newton after this season, but the quarterback told ESPN that even if he ends up leaving the Panthers, he wants to remain in Charlotte.

“Charlotte is a place I know people know me. They’re not just assuming. They know how I am,” Newton said. “We’re looking forward to countless more years in Charlotte to impact the community in ways outside of the game of football.”

Ron Rivera has been a huge proponent for Cam Newton over the years, and there is a chance that his departure opens the door for Newton to depart the team as well. Franchises in Cincinnati, Oakland, and Chicago all could use a quarterback like Newton.

Shawn S. Lealos has been a freelance writer for 25 years, more

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