Ron Rivera last spoke to the media on Monday as he was conducting his player exit interviews from the 2012 season. At that time he said he would be sitting down with owner Jerry Richardson 'in a couple of days' to discuss his future. That time frame has been twice stretched out, and now it appears it wont be until this weekend before Rivera and Richardson talk, putting public knowledge likely for next Monday.
The delay is exacerbating for fans who want to know what direction the organization is headed, but as ESPN's Adrew Brandt said (via Joseph Person), the near week-long delay shouldn't have a huge effect on the Panthers' ability to find a new head coach, should they decide to move in a new direction:
"In terms of taking their time, it's hard for me to believe that waiting a few days is going to put anyone at a disadvantage. You don't need a coach until sometime in the spring when you actually have players to coach. But I know everyone wants to jump in and go after the candidates they think are the best."
If there's one charge you could level at the Panthers' front office in recent years it's passivity. There's a fair amount of criticism to be levied at the organization for not treating moves like their head coaching position with the urgency needed. It wasn't until January 13th of 2011 that Ron Rivera was named head coach, despite having an entire year knowing that John Fox would not be returning. At times it's looked as if these processes drag out, while other organizations finalize their hires within a week. The hasty approach isn't always the right one, but it does a lot to satiate a fan base who already mistrust the organization's direction.
The logical conclusion is that the Panthers are waiting to hire their general manager, but without any new reports regarding that hiring process, it's unclear where Carolina are at hiring Marty Hurney's replacement. The prospect of a coaching turnover prior to a GM hiring is somewhat rare, but wholly possible. The Kansas City Chiefs today fired GM Scott Pioli, while finalizing a deal with Andy Reid to become their head coach. So too the Seattle Seahawks hired Pete Carroll prior to their general manager.
For now it looks like another weekend in waiting for Panthers' fans -- and frustration is growing at how the hirings (and potential firings) are dragging on.