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Panthers fire special teams coach

The SportsXchange

Head coach Ron Rivera and the struggling Carolina Panthers made another change in off-field personnel Monday, firing special teams coordinator Brian Murphy and replacing him with assistant Richard Rogers.

"The reason being philosophical differences and productivity," Rivera said. "And we'll leave it at that."

The Broncos flipped momentum in Sunday's win at Carolina with a 76-yard punt return by Trindon Holliday for a touchdown. The ensuing controversy over when Holliday flipped the ball into the air -- replays showed it was before he crossed the goal line -- isn't finished. Rivera said he's been in contact with the league for "some kind of explanation."

The Panthers were poor covering kicks last season and are also plagued by their own return teams, which rank 31st on punts and 21st on kickoffs.

"This is a production-based business," Rivera said. "In the end, winning and losing is what it comes down to. So we'll see what it comes down to from here on.

"I'd like to see us improve in some production numbers more than anything else."

Rivera is under fire in Carolina with the team sinking to 2-7 with Sunday's loss to former Panthers coach John Fox and the Broncos. They've been outscored by 53 points and have the second-fewest touchdowns in the NFC with 20.
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