Carolina Panthers Fire Coach As Owner Decides It’s Time To Put His Stamp On The Team

These have not been easy times for the Carolina Panthers They lost quarterback Cam Newton earlier this season to a foot injury that will require surgery. Founding owner Jerry...

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These have not been easy times for the Carolina Panthers

They lost quarterback Cam Newton earlier this season to a foot injury that will require surgery. Founding owner Jerry Richardson agreed to sell the club in 2018 after a scandal concerning his personal behavior. And the club hasn’t won its division since 2015, nor will it this year.

And now that new owner, David Tepper, has decided to fire longtime coach Ron Rivera and put his stamp on the football operations.

Tepper, of course, is qualified to make football decisions because he made billions running a hedge fund. Would you hire a successful football coach to run a hedge fund? Of course not. But team owners love to get involved in an area completely foreign to their training, generally to no good end.

Rivera’s dismissal won’t damage his fine reputation. He was in his ninth season with the Panthers and he leaves with a winning record and a trip to the Super Bowl during a 15-1 campaign in 2015. Several other NFL teams will also be canning coaches in the weeks ahead and Rivera will be considered for some openings (including on the college level).

Firings are inevitable in the NFL. Either the coach’s message grows stale overtime or the talent level declines and a hedge fund owner decides to put his thumbprint in a place it probably ought not be. Old saying – players play, coaches coach, owners own.

You haven’t seen the last of Rivera, twice the NFL’s coach of the year. You may have seen the last of the Panthers, currently 5-7, as a contender for a while.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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