The Carolina Panthers recently named Ron Rivera their new head coach. He will be the second Latino head coach in league history (Tom Flores being the other one).
Judging from what I saw from his press conference, I think the Panthers will be in good hands. Rivera appeared poised, confident, and did not avoid what was the pink elephant in the room — the Panthers’ sorry-ass offense. Rivera specifically mentioned rookie QB Jimmy Clausen by name, and said he was eager to work with him to determine if Clausen is their franchise QB moving forward.
While I think there were better names out there (namely, Bill Cowher), and that the Panthers may have been better served with an offensive-minded coach, Rivera seems to be a good hire.
He played in Buddy Ryan’s 46 defense in the 1980s, winning a Super Bowl with the Chicago Bears. He also coached in one as the Bears defensive coordinator in Super Bowl XLI. As the San Diego Chargers’ defensive coordinator, he produced the league’s top-ranked defense this season.
I think Panthers fans should give Rivera a chance. After all, it could be worse: they could have hired Eric Mangini or Josh McDaniels (gasp!)…