Ron Rivera will be coaching next year if he wants to be, and here are five NFL head coaching jobs he’ll surely be in the mix for.
The Carolina Panthers reached a low point last Sunday, with a loss to the Washington Redskins that was their fourth setback in a row and dropped them to 5-7 on the season. On Tuesday, head coach Ron Rivera was fired with four games to go as owner David Tepper gets a head start on a search for a new coach.
Rivera had a 76-63-1 record over almost nine seasons in Carolina, highlighted by a 15-1 campaign in 2015 that yielded a trip to Super Bowl 50. He won three NFC South titles, but had an above .500 record in just three of those nine seasons.
All things considered, Rivera will coach in the NFL next season if he wants to. During a press conference Wednesday morning that will serve as his proverbial send-off in Carolina, he left no doubt about his plans.
There are now two NFL teams who are officially looking for a new head coach for next year, with a few more sure to come. Rivera will be a top candidate for virtually any opening that’s out there, and here are five jobs he could have next year.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars
At 4-8, the Jaguars are the one team in the AFC South who is out of the race right now. It’s hard to see head coach Doug Marrone surviving a second straight season below .500, with a record of 9-19 since the Jaguars went 10-6 and reached the AFC Championship Game in 2017. EVP of football operations Tom Coughlin could be gone too, on his own motivation or via a more complete house cleaning by owner Shad Khan.
Rivera’s defensive acumen could help the Jaguars re-establish themselves as one of the top units on that side of the ball in the league. He would also bring instant credibility that Marrone has always lacked.
The Jaguars can get back on a winning track faster by hiring a head coach with a track record, in a division that is always wide open. Rivera sits high on the list of candidates that fit that bill, but he may have better options when it’s all said and done.