Reactions Vary to Rivera Firing

Scott Hamilton

The Carolina Panthers fired Ron Rivera on Tuesday, ending his nine-year run as the fourth head coach in the team's 25-year history.

The coaching change came less than 48 hours after a 29-21 loss to Washington at Bank of America Stadium. That defeat dropped Carolina to 5-7 and was its fourth straight loss as well as its fifth in six games. 

It also fueled the ire of a fan base that has been unsettled for much of this season if not for many season's during Rivera's tenure. 

One faction points to the 15-1 regular season and NFC title the Panthers gathered in 2015 along with three other playoff appearances. Also noted are the various charities and other initiatives Rivera and his family spearhead in the Charlotte community.

Critics, however, cite that Rivera had only three winning seasons; that one playoff spot came despite a losing 7-8-1 record thanks to a weak NFC South division; and that Carolina is 29-31 since going to Super Bowl 50. 

Their argument is strengthened by a seven-game losing streak in 2018 after starting 5-2 and the current woes of this season's team. Again, that's a two-headed coin with one side saying it's because of injuries, another side blaming a lack of coaching and/or appropriate depth.

Then there are the fans of other teams dealing with their own struggles, one's who've either already fired their coach, whose coach is on a hot seat -- or fans who simply want change.