It appears all but done. Ron Rivera is reportedly the new head coach of the Carolina Panthers. No doubt, official word will be coming soon. A 5 pm press conference is scheduled.
Many fans had their minds set on a big name former head coach. Names like Cowher, Gruden and Dungy were tossed around, and many were very upset to hear owner Jerry Richardson and General Manager Marty Hurney confirm that they were looking in another direction; the same direction Carolina has looked for each of their head coaches. Each of the first three had been Defensive Coordinators before taking the reins in Carolina. That means Rivera, the DC of the San Diego Chargers fit the mold well.
Just a quick note on this: If you are one of those concerned fans, take a few minutes to check out San Diego Charger forums. You will be pleasantly surprised to see many of their fans showing a great deal of respect for Rivera, feeling that he has earned this position. You will also find that the overall feeling is that they are losing a great coach.
Bear in mind that the Chargers have been the “Close but not quite” team for several years. After falling short of the playoffs this season, their fans would be looking for someone to lay the blame on. This makes their praise of Rivera even more encouraging.