Poor in-game decision making, and lack of control over his coaching staff has led to a make or break 2013 season for Ron Rivera. All is well between Rivera and Dave Gettleman publicly, but the writing is on the wall that things have to get done right now. Look no further than a spate of one-year deals for players and coaches to realize that. Pete Prisco of CBS Sports put out his coaching power rankings, and Rivera is firmly couched in the league's cellar.
The jury is still out whether Rivera can make the difficult transition from coordinator to coach, which is a funny thing to say given the fact he's been at the helm for 32 games. The players love their coach, that much is certain -- but being liked and being successful don't fall in lock step. After all, Jets players love Rex Ryan.
He is 13-19 in two seasons with the Panthers, so this is a big one for his career with the team coming up. The Panthers did improve by one game to 7-9 last season, but he might need a playoff berth to keep his job.
Herein lies the crux of Rivera's future in Carolina: Can his coaching ability on the sideline match his player's ability on the field? Reconciling that problem will be the Panthers' key to success in 2013. The potential for Cam Newton to be let down by poor offensive coaching is huge, while there are few excuses left for Sean McDermott and the defense if they can't perform in 2013.
Ghosts of Panthers' past...
John Fox came in 12th in the rankings, which is fair given the success he's had in Denver. I'll never believe Fox is an elite football coach, but his conservative defensive principles pair perfectly with a quarterback who can push the envelope like Peyton Manning.
Fox has led a charmed life since landing in Colorado -- first being blessed with the best of Tim Tebow (pun very much intended), followed with landing a hall of fame quarterback in his second.
Then there's Chud... oh Chud. Tied for dead last in the coach rankings, Prisco defines Chud with a word I'd like to think we helped tie to Rob Chudzinski: 'cute'. Creativity is a beautiful thing, but there's not a lot to be creative with in Cleveland.
What do you think?
Was the 25th rating of Ron Rivera fair? Would you have placed him higher or lower? Sound off in the comments.