Report: Panthers 'laying groundwork' to replace coach Ron Rivera

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Is Ron Rivera in trouble already? (USATSI)
Is Ron Rivera in trouble already? (USATSI)

Though it was thought last season that Panthers coach Ron Rivera was on the hot seat, the organization decided almost immediately after the season that Rivera would return for 2013. A four-game winning streak at the end of the season probably helped him keep his job.

But now that the Panthers are 1-2 and struggling (again), the whispers have begun (again) about Rivera's job security.

Last year, Rivera outlasted general manager Marty Hurney, who was fired in the middle of the season. But according to NFL.com, the Panthers already might be looking for the coach who could replace Rivera after this year.

Obviously, there is still time for the Panthers to turn around their season. They played the Seahawks tough in Week 1 before falling 12-7, and in Week 3, Carolina dominated the Giants 38-0.

It's only Rivera's third season in charge, but entering Week 5, his career record was 14-21. The man he replaced, John Fox, was 73-71 in Carolina and now oversees the Broncos as they've become one of the best teams in the AFC.

I'm not saying Fox should have stayed in Carolina -- it was clear by the end that relationship should have been terminated -- but it sounds like the Panthers think it might be time to move on from Rivera as well.

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