Deciding to promote from within was a smart move for the Carolina Panthers…
Anytime a team gets new coaches, there is reason to be wary about the pending results. In the case of the Carolina Panthers, that should not be the case.
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Tuesday, head coach Ron Rivera noted that the team would stay in-house for defensive coaches with Curtis Fuller no longer on staff. Per a report from Stephen Igoe of 247Sports, Rivera feels comfortable with defensive back coaches Richard Rodgers and Jeff Imamura leading the way.
"“We’ve got the two of them out there, that’s what we’ve got,” Rivera said. “Those are our secondary coaches. I just feel good about them. They’ve done a nice job. They’re handling things very well. So we’ll just continue with what we’ve got.”"
Panthers fans should feel very comfortable with both Rodgers and Imamura. Rodgers has been a part of the Carolina Panthers staff for seven seasons, coaching special teams and manning the secondary.
Imamura has a lengthy resume that has seen him all over the National Football League. Entering year two with the Carolina Panthers, he spent two seasons (2015-16 with the Rams coaching the defensive backs. He also spent 2006-13 with the Minnesota Vikings as the linebackers coach for six seasons and the secondary coach for two campaigns.
Last season, Imamura worked with the Panthers as a nickel coach while Rodgers handled the safety position.
Rivera is right in trusting these guys to take over the defense. They have a familiarity with the defense already and the itinerary to prove it. Rather than bring in an outsider to take over the defense, the Panthers feel more comfortable with keeping guys who have been with the team and know what they are doing. I do not fault Rivera or the organization at all for deciding to stick with the pair. It’s a great move. Rivera trusts these two guys to get the job done.
It will be interesting to see how they do in manning the defense. Even though there has been some turnover coaching-wise, I would expect the defensive philosophies of the team to remain mostly intact.
That is a very good thing, as now the Panthers have added even more talent to an already stocked defensive line. Things can only go up.