The Carolina Panthers just formally announced Ron Rivera as their new head coach.
Here are a couple quick highlights from the press conference that you might find interesting:
- Rivera is a former player… just like Jerry Richardson. According to Richardson, this was apparently something that caused “a pretty quick bonding” between the two.
- Rivera said that he intends to have an aggressive offense and defense. He also promised a balanced offense. (This is likely a welcome thought to Panther fans who are quite used to John Fox’s philosophy of keeping the game close and always focusing on the run first.)
- There are two positions Rivera hinted at upgrading. Obviously, of first and foremost concern is the quarterback, and Rivera said this would be looked at closely and be a big factor in choosing an offensive coordinator. While he didn’t rule out Jimmy Clausen as the starter, he did mention that the team has the finances to address this position through the draft or free agency.
- The other position he mentioned was intriguing: While he likes the current tight ends that are “by committee,” he hinted that they might search for another TE in draft or free agency. (For years, mock drafts have had Carolina taking a pass-catching TE early. But Fox used TE’s primarily for blocking. This may be about to change.)
- Carolina will remain a 4-3 defense, but Rivera said he feels there are some elements of the 3-4 that can be used here to “give our opponents a little bit of trouble.”