Ron Rivera: Talks with Panthers owner about future ‘all positive’
Ron Rivera’s name has been bandied about as possibly being on the NFL hot-seat list, but the Carolina Panthers head coach is feeling good about his future with the team.
Despite the speculation about Rivera’s job security, several sources have stated he’s expected to return for a ninth year. That said, first-year owner David Tepper has not indicated one way or the other whether Rivera will be back. Still, the longtime Panthers coach has been left encouraged by his conversations with Tepper.
“I feel pretty good about it,” Rivera said Friday about the situation, via ESPN’s David Newton. “My intention, and everything I’ve been doing, is working toward the future, and we’ll go from there. My conversations with the owner have been all positive.”
The Panthers stormed out to a 6-2 start only to have an ongoing seven-game losing streak deep-six any hopes of returning to the playoffs for a second straight season.
The fact that Cam Newton has been battling shoulder issues for an indeterminate amount of time has obviously contributed to the Panthers’ shortcomings. The Panthers have been on the short end of a handful of games during the losing streak as well, something Rivera said was the “hardest pill for me to swallow.”
In the end, Rivera, a two-time AP NFL Coach of the Year, cannot help but feel regret over how things played out in 2018.
“I’m disappointed. I truly am disappointed,” Rivera said. “The hard part about it is [that] losing is truly disappointing, but sometimes you feel like you let some people down. That’s probably one of the things I’ve struggled with, knowing that I think we’re better than our record says. But at the end of the day, you are what your record is.”
“Riverboat Ron,” as Rivera is known, obviously would bet on himself to lead Panthers’ resurgence next season. It appears at the very least that things may be trending in that direction.