Most head coaches inherit a common problem when they take over a team: They need a quarterback in the worst way.
Teams that don’t have one are usually the ones swapping out coaches. But Ron Rivera, in his first season as head coach of the Panthers, looks to be in a pretty good position moving forward.
His team is only 1 3, but rookie quarterback Cam Newton looks like the building block the Panthers need, He has thrown for 1,386 yards, putting him on pace for 5,544.
“We’re learning,” Rivera said after Sunday’s 34 29 loss to the Bears. “As we grow and develop, we’re going to get better. The nice thing about today is our guys are going to learn this is how you win football games. Cam is special. He’s learning. wholesale nfl jerseys from china He’s getting better.”
Rivera tried to defuse any storyline about himself and Bears coach Lovie Smith. They met on the field before kickoff and chatted. It was pointed out all week that Smith ran Rivera off as his defensive coordinator following the 2006 Super Bowl season.
“Some of that is just unfair,” Rivera said. “People have misconstrued the whole situation.”
While Rivera inherited a decent offensive line and some fine weapons in wide receiver Steve Smith and running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, the bottom half of the roster is woefully thin. That has made Carolina spotty on special teams.
But Rivera has the most critical part in place the quarterback.
Still, he had to reflect on his roots.
“Everybody I’ve been around since my career started here was fabulous,” he said. “I really would have loved to win this game, but we didn’t. They played the way that Bear football is supposed to be played.”