WATCH: 3 Things to Know about Panthers interim coach Perry Fewell
The Falcons' NFC South rival, the Carolina Panthers, fired head coach Ron Rivera on Tuesday after nine seasons. Rivera went 76-63-1 as Carolina's head coach, but he led the Panthers to just three winning seasons in nine years.
Since advancing to the Super Bowl during the 2015 season, the Panthers earned just one playoff berth in the last four years.
With Rivera axed, the Panthers named defensive backs coach Perry Fewell interim head coach. Here are three things to know about Fewell as the Falcons prepare to host the Panthers in Week 14 on Sunday:
1. He posted a 3-4 record as Buffalo Bills interim head coach in 2009
It's been 10 years, but Fewell has served as an interim head coach previously. In 2009, he took over for Dick Jauron after the Bills began the season 3-6. In the final seven games, Buffalo went 3-4 under Fewell.
2. Possesses 34 years of coaching experience
Fewell became his second career as a graduate assistant at North Carolina in 1985. In 1987, he became defensive backs coach for Army. He served as a wide receivers coach and defensive line coach in the late 1980's and early 1990's, but since 1995, he has only been a defensive backs coach or defensive coordinator.
He's held those roles for eight different teams or schools.
3. Has 22 seasons of experience as defensive coach in NFL
Over the last decade since his short stint as a head coach, Fewell has served as a defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. He was the New York Giants defensive coordinator from 2010-2014, helping the team win Super Bowl XLVI. He moved on to be the defensive backs coach in Washington from 2015-16, Jacksonville from 2017-18 and then in Carolina.
With him replacing Rivera, another head coach with a defensive background, not much will likely change for the Panthers from a strategic standpoint.