Former Panthers head coach Ron Rivera will not be unemployed for long. An earlier report noted that Washington had “strong interest” and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that sources close to Rivera expect an agreement to form quickly and could even come together in the next couple days. Aside from Washington, Rapoport notes that some teams that are considering firing their head coach (like the Giants) have Rivera circled as a top target if they do create an opening.
Rivera served as the head coach in Carolina from 2011-2019 and led the team to a 73-63-1 regular season record and a 3-4 postseason record. A linebacker in his playing days with the historic 1980s Bears defenses, Rivera has always been a defensive-minded coach. Prior to his time with the Panthers, he had served as a linebackers coach with the Eagles and Chargers and as the defensive coordinator for the Bears and Chargers.
Here’s some more notes from the NFL coaching carousel:
- As the Panthers look to replace Rivera, former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy has emerged as a one of the leading candidates to take over in Carolina. According to Rapoport, McCarthy has already interviewed with the Panthers twice and did very well. Given the strong reputation of Rivera, a candidate like McCarthy, with a long resume (that includes a Super Bowl title) may be more desirable to franchise brass. With that said, Rapoport noted that Carolina plans to interview some younger coaches as well including Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Baylor head coach Matt Rhule, and Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy among others.
- While some teams have already begun their head coaching searches, the hiring search process will heat up as soon as teams complete the regular season. For an in-depth primer on the wide variety of coaches that could be in line to become head coaches this season, take a look at Rapoport and Tom Pelissero’s detailed list of coaches to know, which includes short descriptions on the most prominent names. The list breaks candidates into categories from former NFL head coaches to first-timers and even examines some college coaches.