It is never a good thing for a coach when reports start circulating about your team laying the groundwork to replace you. However, it is a really bad sign when those rumors occur prior to Week 5 of the regular season.
Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera’s hot seat began to sizzle this past Sunday when NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport stated the team was conducting background searches on possible candidates. Another factor that did not help Rivera’s case to stay employed was Carolina’s 22-6 loss against the Arizona Cardinals, which dropped the Panthers to 1-3.
Rivera has a 14-22 record through three seasons, and quarterback Cam Newton has regressed under him in 2013. Newton has thrown for 885 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions, plus been sacked 15 times. At this rate, Rivera may not make it to the end of this season.
THIS WEEK'S THREE HOTTEST SEATS
Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers
Carolina has only given up 58 points, tied for the NFL’s least amount, but Rivera has been unable to get anything out of his offense. He should be able to land another defensive coordinator position after this season.
Greg Schiano, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Schiano no longer has quarterback Josh Freeman to blame for his lack of coaching ability. Freeman signed with the Minnesota Vikings, and Schiano must live with rookie Mike Glennon as his quarterback. By the way, Schiano only has one win in Tampa Bay’s past 10 games. Who will he point the finger at now?
Tom Coughlin, New York Giants
It is way too early for 0-16 predictions, but the Giants are playing awful. Eli Manning has thrown eight interceptions, while the Giants have allowed a league-high 182 points (36.4 points per game). Coughlin’s chances of retaining his job after decreasing after each loss.
Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons
Smith remains in this position, but he committed a costly coaching error against the Jets. Atlanta had possession on the New York Jets’ 1-yard line near before halftime, but instead of kicking a field goal, Smith decided to go for it. Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers was stopped on the 1-yard line, and Atlanta missed an opportunity to score three points. Atlanta was eventually defeated, 30-28, and Smith’s coaching error contributed to that loss.
Rex Ryan, New York Jets
Ryan was all smiles after his team’s recent victory. Jets quarterback Geno Smith is progressing every week, while Ryan’s defense has played well this season. Ryan is on course to save his job, which means there might be a few more years of incredible sound bites coming from this entertaining coach.