Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Bucs

What Panthers’ firing of Ron Rivera means to the Bucs

Carolina parted ways with their head coach after nearly nine seasons.
Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera is seen prior to an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn) [MIKE MCCARN  |  AP]
Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera is seen prior to an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn) [MIKE MCCARN | AP]
Published Dec. 3, 2019
Updated Dec. 3, 2019

TAMPA — Ron Rivera lost Cam Newton to a season-ending foot injury after Week 2 and still managed to win four straight games with an undrafted, 23-year-old at quarterback in Kyle Allen to go 5-3.

Less than two months later, the Panthers have lost four in a row to drop to 5-7 and Rivera was fired Tuesday after nine seasons.

That’s how quickly things can change in the NFL.

How does this affect the Bucs?

Well, Rivera was a pretty darn good coach. He went 79-67-1 during nearly nine seasons, becoming the winningest head coach in Panthers history with four playoff appearances and a loss to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50.

In addition to Newton, the Panthers also lost defensive linemen Kawaan Short and Dontari Poe for the season to injuries. Like the Bucs, they were unable to take advantage of a division that included the Saints losing Drew Brees to an injury and the Atlanta Falcons winning only three games as coach Dan Quinn may now have the hottest coaching seat in the NFL.

The Bucs split with the Panthers this season, winning a dramatic Thursday night game in Carolina before committing six turnovers in a loss in London in Oct.

Perry Fewell has been named the interim head coach while offensive coordinator Norv Turner will transition to special assistant to the head coach.

Owner David Tepper said recently he would not accept mediocrity. At this point, the Bucs aspire to it.

The Panthers and Bucs own the same record under vastly different journeys.

By firing Rivera so early, the Panthers will have their pick of the coaching candidates. And because the college football season isn’t over, they can even include some of the bigger names in college football on their head coaching wish list.

Tepper also said the team intends to hire an assistant general manager as well as a vice president of football operations, meaning he has a check on general manager Marty Hurney.

Assuming the Falcons fire Dan Quinn as expected, it means Bruce Arians will be the second-most tenured head coach in the division behind the Saints Sean Payton.

Being the first NFL team to have a head coaching opening has its advantages. The Panthers can begin the process of finding a replacement for Rivera before the college football season is wrapped up. Had they waited until the end of the regular season, it may have been tougher to attract a coach from the college game because of recruiting.

Being the first team to hire a new head coach would mean the Panthers will have their choice of assistant coaches to formulate the staff.

Now you have to wonder if the Panthers have any interest in someone on Arians’ coaching staff such as offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich or defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

We should all find out soon. Carolina has lost a good coach, but they may find a better one. That won’t help the Bucs.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes holds the Lamar Hunt Trophy as he celebrates winning a NFL, AFC Championship football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Kansas City, MO. The Chiefs won 35-24 to advance to Super Bowl 54. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley) [COLIN E. BRALEY  |  AP]
    Rick Stroud | From Patrick Mahomes’ no-look passes to a possibly incredible double honor for John Lynch, they won’t disappoint.
  2. Colin Kaepernick, middle, kneels for the national anthem. He hasn't taken a snap in the NFL for three full seasons now.
    "Inspire Change'' campaign is a sanitized version of what Colin Kaepernick tried to get across by kneeling for the national anthem.
  3. New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) runs on the sideline in the second half of an NFL football game against Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. [ADAM HUNGER  |  AP]
    Manning: “From the very first moment I did it my way.”
  4. NFC cornerback Shaquill Griffin of the Seattle Seahawks gives a thumbs up during Pro Bowl NFL football practice, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano) [STEVE LUCIANO  |  AP]
    Third-year Seahawks cornerback is being rewarded for his standout season, and is excited to share it with his family. “We all made the Pro Bowl.”
  5. In this Oct. 23, 2016, file photo, a New Orleans Saints helmet rests on the playing field before an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo. The Saints are going to court to keep the public from seeing hundreds of emails that allegedly show team executives doing public relations damage control for the area's Roman Catholic archdiocese to help it contain the fallout from a burgeoning sexual abuse crisis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File) [JEFF ROBERSON  |  AP]
    Saints attorneys disputed any suggestion that the team helped the church cover up crimes, calling such claims “outrageous.”
  6. NFC quarterback Drew Brees, of the New Orleans Saints, throws a pass during a practice for the NFL Pro Bowl football game Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) [CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP]
    The Bucs could be impacted as they decide on Jameis Winston, with Brees’ New Orleans backup Teddy Bridgewater as a possible option.
  7. Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Terrell Suggs (94) celebrates a sack of Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019. [REED HOFFMANN  |  AP]
    John Romano | The Bucs played well enough on both sides of the ball to be one of the top 10 teams in the NFL. One stat kept them from possibly being the Chiefs or 49ers.
  8. Former Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm could be an interesting option for the Bucs to consider, if they want to move on from Jameis Winston. [BILL FEIG  |  AP]
    As the Bucs possibly look into moving on from Jameis Winston, here’s what fans should know about this draft’s quarterback class.
  9. In this Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, file photo, then-Patriots receiver Antonio Brown roams the sideline during the first half against the Dolphins in Miami Gardens. Law enforcement authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Brown, who along with his trainer has been accused of attacking a man near Brown's South Florida home in Hollywood. [LYNNE SLADKY  |  AP]
    The troubled NFL wide receiver is accused, along with his trainer, of attacking a man in South Florida.
  10. NFC linebacker Shaquil Barrett (58) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, hands Sean Silverthorn, of Largo, Fla., two tickets to the Super Bowl after a practice for the NFL Pro Bowl football game Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Kissimmee, Fla. [CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP]
    At this time last year, he was a player without a team. Now, having earned his place among the game’s greats, the Buccaneers outside linebacker is making dreams come true for him, his family and a...
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement