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Panthers fans did not give Ron Rivera a pass for 2016

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We polled the CSR membership three times during the season to access their approval of head coach Ron Rivera's job performance. Through 8 games they gave him a pass...but it didn't last.

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After a 1-3 start fans were reeling but they still had hope things could turn around.

Carolina Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera Approval Poll - Cat Scratch Reader

As it turns out this season has started much like the 2013 season in which the Panthers finished 12-4 and won the 1st NFCS title of the current streak. In 2013 the Panthers fell to 1-3 after losing to the Cardinals on road 22-6. The Panthers played like crap and looked lost. Sound familiar. They then rallied to win eight in a row and 11 of the last 12.

As such the CSR membership still expressed a lot of faith Rivera.

1st Poll Results: Yes 70% No 16% Unsure 13%

Seventy percent is a pretty high number for such a crappy start. Yet even when things didn't get much better it remained high.

Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera mid-season fan approval poll - Cat Scratch Reader

The penalty situation has gotten much better as that was one aspect that chaffed my ass early in the season. The Panthers only have 5 flags in each of the past three games. At the same time our opponents have been flagged 10 times in those same games. I get that we don't necessarily control that but we can influence it. The lack of a pass rush was another huge issue early on. Again, they have really turned it on the past two games garnering 12 sacks that significantly influenced the two wins.

At the time the Panthers sat at 3-5 but had won two games in a row to renew hope in a turn around similar to what happened in 2013.

2nd Poll Results: Yes 71% No 17% Unsure 12%

These numbers are practically unchanged from the 1st poll in spite of the losing record. Yet it was at this point the Panthers needed to turn things around win some hard games. The Panthers preceded to lose three of the next four games to fall to 4-8 and out of contention for the most part. Likewise Rivera's job approval plummeted just as Dave Gettleman's did as we discussed in a post we did last week.

3rd Poll Results: Yes 51% No 38% Unsure 11%

Notice the 'Unsure' portion is relatively unchanged across all three polls. So a full 20% changed their minds though it might also be impressive that he still maintained a 51% approval in spite of sitting at 4-8.

Yet now we know the Panthers finished the season at 6-10 and find themselves picking #8 overall in the draft. In his defense it's not his fault he had no depth at OT though I wonder if he stressed the position in the offseason. I know he didn't create the Josh Norman fiasco but I think he had salvaged the secondary though too late for save the season.

So how do you feel about Rivera now?