Redskins Recon: Panthers Fans on Ron Rivera

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Boone

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'Keep your friends close. And your enemies closer.'


For our first Redskins Recon mission of 2020, we snuck behind enemy lines to gather intel on Ron Rivera from the Carolina Panther fans who know him best. As with any fanbase, we expected Rivera's departure from the Panthers to draw mixed reactions. We were right.

Most Panther's fans seem to mourn the loss of Ron Rivera, viewing him as a very good coach, more the victim of some unfortunate luck and injuries, than fatally flawed and needing to go …

BurnHurnBurn said:
Ron is the closest thing to a real coach Washington has had since Gibbs 2.0
ickmule said:
The skins will be competitive next season with Ron as HC. They will finish above .500 which this team will not.
Ron could easily have sat out a season and still been a hot commodity. More of this fall is on Hurney and not Rivera.
App Panther said:
He will have them in playoffs in 2 years. That roster isnt as bad as you think.
Ivan the Awesome said:
Good luck to him. The skins have a very good young D. He'll make it his team and be successful. Which is fine, I wish nothing but the best for him, except when he faces us.
Jarrod said:
It's a great situation for him. Washington has a lot of talent. Ron's hangup here the last few seasons has been Sean McDermott and Steve Wilks leaving. He couldn't replace them on defense and he can't handle calling plays and being the HC at the same time.
steve Wilks will go with him and will be like Dick Lebeau forever being just what he should be,.. a DC. Young quarterback and a lot of talent and a great place to live. They also have the 2nd pick and could very well trade Haskins and draft or make a trade for Cam Newton.
Bull123 said:
smart move by Rivera...5 yr deal, likely for big money
high draft pick, their defense is gonna be really good
and he can handle Snyder
The NFL Shield at Midfield said:
Ron is a culture change/turnaround guy so my guess is he'll have them in the playoffs in two years. After that who knows.
DeAngelo Beason said:
Safe... taking a job on a horrible team in one of the most popular football markets in the country. Yeah. Playing it safe.
Khyber53 said:
There's a very good chance that Rivera has the Redskins relevant and challenging for the championship before the Panthers are again.
He's a good coach, things just wore out here. And we'll be coached by??? We don't know and we have no idea of the quality of that coaching to be.
Peon Awesome said:
I don't understand the vitriol for Rivera. I swear he must've slept with a couple of your wives. Playing it safe? The Redskins are a complete rebuild job with big market expectations. The desperation some people have to make up slights on Rivera to somehow make themselves feel better is perplexing. It was time for a new voice in Carolina but I wish him well in Washington.
panthers55 said:
He took the job because with Allen gone he has complete control and a lot to say about GM and President. He is in charge of football operations in a 5 year deal for big bucks.Rivera knows he can change a culture, he did it here. Now he gets to do it again and avoid all the mistakes of last time. In the nation's capital who are dying for a winner. This was the job he wanted.
Forty-Eight said:
Panthers fan really can't get over Rivera. The man has been a first class here in Carolina. He left professionally and Panthers' fans still act like crybabies. Get over it. He's a good HC and the Redskins will be better with him. We need to worry about the Panthers' future, not a former coach. Pretty soon, Panthers fans will be talking shot a Rivera's golden retriever Tahoe too.
Real1zOnly said:
Why do I feel like we made a mistake firing Ron?
I wanted him fired for years, now that he is gone I don't really see a better coaching option out there for us. Well what's done is done. Wish him luck and may the best team win when we face off.
But some Carolina fans had soured on Rivera, having lost a Super Bowl many felt they should've won, and having underperformed in their estimation ever since …

LegioX said:
Seems the redskins are happy about getting him. I guess they never seen him come out in 2nd half with game adjustments or clock management. Both of which are horrible.
hepcat said:
It is truly time to stop calling Ron Rivera “Riverboat Ron”. He is by nature not a risk taker, as we all knew from day 1. He constantly played it safe and bet against himself on game day time and time again. Until his job was on the line, then he started taking risks. What a surprise.

Then he lost his job. And what does he turn around and do? He takes the only other open job at the time, on a team in the worst division in the NFL, in one of the closest cities to where he coached the last decade. Classic Ron. Plays it safe yet again. Could have waited and seen if there was a better team, in a more challenging division, but this was too comfortable and easy to pass up.

Washington can have him. Ron is a good man, but a thoroughly average coach. He couldn't win a Super Bowl with Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly quarterbacking his team. He is not going to win one in Washington either. Happy Trails Ron.
rhyslloyd said:
This guy said he wanted to coach for a winner yet ended up with a perennial loser. You have to almost appreciate how clueless he is for ever thinking a winning franchise would want him. Bravo, Ron.
Easy E said:
He just wanted another chance to put Josh Norman in his doghouse
Rayzor said:
They'll see who he really is soon enough. Many will buy his schtick, but results will always be the same. 7-8 wins a season.
NAZ said:
I kind of hate Rivera now - with this tough guy act. He was anything but tough - and is the main reason this team underachieved during his tenure.
And somewhere in between those mourning Rivera's exit and those gleefully celebrating were some rare ‘mixed feelings' …
1of10Charnatives said:
Ron is a fine human being as far as I know, and having worked at a restaurant he and Stephanie frequented regularly, I can say that I had the opportunity to interact with him on a personal level removed from football, on other occasions having served him both on his 50th birthday and the day the Greg Hardy scandal broke. He did a lot for the community and in that sense he will be missed.

To me that is a separate matter from his coaching acumen, where he ultimately proved overly conservative, unimaginative and incapable of change or flexibility. His record of 3 winning seasons in 9 speaks for itself and especially when you consider that he had a generational talent at both QB and MLB, it's not hard to be of the opinion that he should have achieved more.
I wish him all the success in the world in DC when he isn't playing the Panthers, but I do not honestly believe that he will find it unless he is able to overcome the weaknesses in his coaching style that I mentioned. It is not necessary to conflate being a good person with being a good coach. One can admire the one and be critical of the other.
Davidson Deac said:
While I do believe it was time for him to go, Ron had both success and failure in his time here. And he gets to much blame for the failure and not enough credit for the success.
And with many Redskins fans characterizing the recent coaching acquisitions as an attempt to create ‘Carolina North', thought it would be interesting to see how Panther's fans might view it all …

Rags said:
I think that staff will be much, much better for that locker room than it has been here recently.
PanthersBigD said:
From the looks of those comments, the Redskins fans aren't fooled. Lots of #nepotism tags on that tweet. Ron Rivera is a helluva guy, and I wish them well, I just don't think more of the same is going to do it. Isn't it rather rare for a freshly fired HC to move basically his entire staff to a new team in the same offseason? I guess in a few seasons we'll have definitive proof as to who was right in Rivera vs. Tepper.
rhyslloyd said:
So, Ron just stacked his staff with his buddies just like he did here? Good call, dipshit.
countryboi said:
If Rivera had hired Del Rio has his DC in Carolina he would still be in Carolina.
mc52beast said:
So basically Ron took the same guys to DC who helped us under-achieve here... typical Ron
DFive said:
I really hope he doesn't poach Norv or Scott Turner. Our offense looked so good when Cam was healthy and with the Oline somewhat stable.
CPF4LIFE said:
The gangs all back together again to continue underachieving.
rayzor said:
Rivera isn't after a winning culture. He's after a comfortable culture.
bobsfoodbasics said:
Snyder giving the dinosaur so much power is such a joke. That place is going to be a dumpster fire in no time.
Moo Daeng said:
I bet they do well.
Sports world is like the corporate world. When an executive is brought in they take their people with them. Calling this nepotism doesnt fit with the definition of nepotism. Hes not bringing family and friends. Hes hiring former coworkers.
Nepotism is our president making his daughter senior advisor and giving his son in law top level security clearance.
hepcat said:
Ron hiring literally the same staff he had in Carolina. Zero desire to reach outside his circle to build a coaching staff. Hard-headed as they come. I'm so glad he is gone.
Typically after a lengthy run with a team (Rivera was the Panther's head coach for 9 seasons), particularly one with mixed results, fans loudly and optimistically celebrate the head coach's dismissal. This was certainly the case when the Redskins moved on from Jay Gruden. Surprisingly, many Panther's fans not only praised Ron Rivera as he exited the organization, but credited him with their successes. While there were some angry fans who clearly were glad to see him go, a greater number of fans seemed to have significant respect for Rivera and predicted the Panther's might regret the day they sent him packing. There was a definite ‘sour grapes' vibe in many of those responses, as if the anger was more rooted in disappointment than an actual belief that the Panthers would be better off going forward without Rivera at the helm.
 

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MisterPinstripe

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I think, and hope, that you have a better chance hitting on a coach after their first team then after their second and third. Coming from the first team there is probably a chunk of stuff they learned and can improve about how they did things. Hopefully second times the charm for Rivera, and that's with him doing decently at Carolina.

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Fear The Spear

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I think, and hope, that you have a better chance hitting on a coach after their first team then after their second and third. Coming from the first team there is probably a chunk of stuff they learned and can improve about how they did things. Hopefully second times the charm for Rivera, and that's with him doing decently at Carolina.
Belichick, Kubiak, Gruden, Carroll, and Dungy are 5 examples of coaches who won a SB in their 2nd HC gig.
 
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fansince62

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Only one post in the lengthy list caught my attention: not good at adjustments and time management. Has a familiar ring.
 

Elephant

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Only one post in the lengthy list caught my attention: not good at adjustments and time management. Has a familiar ring.
Unfortunately, it appears that 75% of coaches in the NFL struggle with it. Hell...Andy Reid still does when he's not riding a lead late into the game.
 

Boone

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Actually Al, the biggest negative I read over and over on Panther's forums wasn't about inability to make adjustments, it was that Rivera was too conservative for their liking. Lots of comments related to his 'Riverboat Ron' moniker being a misnomer.
 

MikefromOH

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if we are truly moving towards the "Air Coryell" style offense there won't be enough room for an overly conservative game plan.

Personally, I hope Ron gives play calling power to Scott. Norval was a HORRIBLE head coach, but he was a pretty good OC if I recall correctly.
 

fansince62

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Boone/El: just relating what caught my attention. Didn't draw much from the rest.

Having Rivera onboard is better than what walked out the door starting with Gruden. My initial take:

Positives:
- has gotten to a SB
- can do something with defensive talent onboard
- hired a DC who has been successful
- player oriented but not like Gruden was
- more accountability from the players
- better organized than his predecessor in the sense of how practices will be structured and run
- no idea how special teams have faired under Rivera; will give him benefit of the doubt here
- will reduce DS personnel and player meddling
- motivator (by press accounts); we will see more consistent, emotional play on the field though we witnessed that he could not over-come a losing streak in Carolina (QB or no QB, the team took a nose-dive - i.e., excuses are like rear quarters, everyone has one)
- positive contributor to the local community
- solid family man

Negatives
- too much power (or frame it as has too many responsibilities; however you like); IMO this will detract from his overall efficiency as HC
- obviously prizes loyalty over quality given the Carolina buddy network. Suggests to me he has a narrow comfort zone. How well will he do in crisis/losing situations? Not well by all appearances.
- by all accounts (based on previous practice) will allow OC and O-coaches near complete autonomy in playcalling and developing each gameplan; the same staff that was under-whelming in Carolina; this counteracts the "too much power" theme somewhat. So, who will take the blame when we see failure to adjust at half-time and bad playcalls at critical moments?
- rather obvious what we are going to see: continued reliance on run-centric game to set up play-action. Norval did like TEs so maybe we will see the Skins finally modernize in this area with bigger athletes who have talent and cobweb-free noggins
- old school kinda coach; emphatically not a Joe Gibbs innovator/adjuster
- subject to change (i.e., initial impression): not very forthcoming with the fans; we'll see on this one
- with exception of Gints, Rivera does not strike me as a definite plus over the HCs at Dallas & Philly (i.e., no real advantage/net plus here). The Gints are an unknown. So, not sure we have gained much ground in the division relative to the competition which has more talent (at this point)

Obviously, the final arbiter will be the results. I expect at least 8-8 next season given talent on-hand and the second pick in the draft.

We'll see how he addresses areas that need improvement (IMO): CBs, FS, LBs, LOT/ROT, TE, RB (long-term replacement for AP), down-field wideout with burner speed to complement McLaurin, QB, red zone play-calling, communications among the defensive players prior to snap, bone-head penalties/discipline, tackling, etc.. May be done internally or through roster change...either way, needs to be done.

A priority for me will be a coaching staff than can make adjustments. It was very interesting watching the Chiefs/Titans game and the references by the commentators of the "game within the game" between the Titans DC who formulates 2-3 gameplans for a game/shifts among them during a game and the opposing QB's/OC's ability to recognize what the current strategy is and where the gaps open. One of the biggest frustrations with the Skins over the last many years has been their brain-dead inflexibility to rise to the unexpected/adjust from what clearly isn't working (on defense and offense). This theme plays into how adept he/his coaching staff will be at recognizing opposing teams' weak spots and exploiting them with creative gameplans; similarly, creating creative strategies that mask our own weaknesses.
 
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fansince62

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But what if...
Ron Rivera learned from his mistakes, especially after being fired, in which case his previous flaws, mistakes, shortcomings all become no longer relevant ?
Yes...what if! Same goes for the transplanted Carolina staff.

Wishing them all the best!
 

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Well we could have hired Mike McCarthy who spun his wheels the past 8 years with a HOF quarterback in Green Bay and whom the players could not wait to see leave.

Or we could have reached for a New England assistant like McDaniels, acknowledging that former Belichick assistants for the most part crash and burn when taking over as a HC, as Josh did on Denver after drafting Tebow at #23 .

I might have looked at Bienemy from KC but hiring him would have meant waiting until February to start building a staff and evaluating the front office.

Also with Snyder as the owner you really needed a strong willed, confident coach to come in here and win the political battles. I don't know younger assistants without experience could overcome the culture.
 

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Coach Gibbs had a twenty minute interview with Carol Maloney this morning. Coach gave some insights to Ron Rivera and the meeting they had last fall. Very informative. Also talked a bit about going into the NASCAR Hall of Fame this month.

 

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To piggyback your point Bulldog, an experienced coach is also important (especially now in a full gut rebuild) in order to instill enough confidence in Snyder that he realistically CAN feel comfortable stepping away. When you have a clown like Gruden coaching your team even the most hands off owner would eventually step in. Compound it with a reputably clueless Allen and it's a recipe that's going to get an owner known for meddling to jump right back in even if he has been stepping away. If Rivera does nothing else but accomplish that he's done wonders for our Team.
 

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Figures Gruden would try to get a gig down in FL near golf and the beach.

He was all but retired the last 2-3 years here 😆
 

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I will take a coach who hires his buddy Jack Del Rio any day over a guy who hires his friend Joe Barry.
 

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Joe Barry and Greg Manusky could get any coach fired.

They were evidence of Jay Gruden's poor judgment.
 
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