Former Panthers HC Ron Rivera: We had a good run until Cam Newton’s shoulder gave out

In a debate that’s beginning to rival the arrival of the chicken and the egg, the discussions of the dynamic between head coaches and quarterbacks have really heightened of late. So, who’s more responsible for an NFL team’s success?

With the Carolina Panthers needing both, and currently on the hunt for their new head coach, Joseph Person of The Athletic dove into the recent history and trends behind the hiring process. Included in his piece is a talk with Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera, who brought up a painful piece of Panthers history while making his point.

The article reads:

“It’s really about the quarterback, let’s be honest about that. That’s the one thing everybody seems to be missing. If you have the quarterback and he’s very young – and you have that guy – then you can do a lot,” Rivera said this week in a phone interview.

“Look at what’s happening with the Chargers (and Justin Herbert). Look at what happened to us (in Carolina). We had that guy. He was our guy and he had a good, seven-year run till that shoulder gave out.”

That shoulder gave out somewhere in 2018, after Rivera and Newton led the franchise to the most sustained success it ever saw. Between 2011 and 2017, the Panthers captured four playoff berths, a three-year reign over the NFC South and a magical 15-1 regular season that gave way to an appearance in Super Bowl 50.

Unfortunately, none of our characters in this story—including the Panthers—have been the same since. Rivera has not achieved similar prosperity in Washington, Newton remains a free agent and Carolina is still picking up the pieces from a shattered ending to a once promising regime.

But hopefully, lessons have been learned as the franchise moves on in finding its next duo.

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Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire