Rivera already feeling heat following Panthers’ 0-2 start

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera waited for years to get his first head coaching job in the NFL. Off to a tough 0-2 start in his third season at Carolina, his dream job may be quickly turning into a nightmare.

“Not in my wildest dreams did I expect to be where we are right now,” Rivera said. “We had opportunities to win both games, I expected to win both of them, and it didn’t work that way.”

After starting the season with two losses in games they led in the fourth quarter, the difference between the young quarterback and embattled coach was striking. The former is still the future of the franchise. The latter may not be with the team as soon as next week.

Rivera earned a third season with the Panthers after a strong finish in 2012, but he still needed a postseason meeting with Jerry Richardson to convince the owner he deserved another year. A loss Sunday would drop the Panthers to 0-3 heading into the bye week, and Richardson may decide that could be a good time to make a change.

As if another slow start wasn’t enough to put Rivera in a precarious situation, he now has to somehow get a badly banged-up secondary ready to face a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Eli Manning has struggled, leading the league with seven interceptions in his first two games, but Carolina’s defensive backfield could give him a very good chance to get back on track.

Five defensive backs were on Wednesday’s injury report, which didn’t include Charles Godfrey, the Panthers’ starting free safety who was put on the IR Tuesday with a torn Achilles tendon.

Cornerback D.J. Moore ruled himself out of Sunday’s game with an MCL strain, cornerback Josh Thomas vowed to play despite suffering a concussion in Week 2, cornerback Josh Norman sat out with thigh and knee injuries, cornerback James Dockery was limited coming off thumb surgery, and safety Quintin Mikell missed practice with a sprained ankle.

The only healthy defensive backs on the roster this week are safety Mike Mitchell, cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, undrafted rookie Melvin White, and De’Andre Presley and Greg Gatson, who were each signed to the practice squad on Wednesday.

So the Panthers’ starting secondary could look like this Sunday: Munnerlyn in his regular starting cornerback spot, Thomas at the other corner, Mitchell – who lost his starting strong safety job to Mikell – at free safety, and undrafted rookie Lester – who again, was just signed off the practice squad – at strong safety.

Despite the obvious mess, Mitchell claimed Wednesday, “If you’re sleeping on our secondary, you’ll get a rude awakening.”

While confidence is nice, and it’s unlikely Mitchell would admit the Panthers’ secondary is in awful shape, it’s hard not to imagine Manning and the Giants – who rank second in the league in pass offense – not targeting Carolina’s most-depleted unit.

Despite it all, Rivera has to figure out a way to win or risk losing his job much sooner than anyone would have anticipated this year. And while the effects of Carolina’s first two losses were evident on his face and in his tone Wednesday, the former Bears’ linebacker isn’t going down without one final push.

Comments

comments

Moglia steps down as CCU coach, pitches to Chadwell

Moglia steps down as CCU coach, pitches to ChadwellFive-time National Coach of the Year finalist Joe Moglia, who [more]

Hoops: Sharks claim first region win over Panthers

Hoops: Sharks claim first region win over PanthersA big win for the St. James boys basketball team [more]

CA's Green, Jones reach major hoops milestones

CA's Green, Jones reach major hoops milestonesThe Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach basketball programs celebrated a [more]

CCU makes another poll, hosts free clinic for kids

CCU makes another poll, hosts free clinic for kidsThe Coastal Carolina baseball team received another top 25 preseason [more]

Conway's Moody makes mark as freshman for Tide

Conway's Moody makes mark as freshman for Tide The national championship game didn’t turn out the way Jaylen [more]

Hoops: Chiefs tip Falcons; MB, Knox rock Red Foxes

Hoops: Chiefs tip Falcons; MB, Knox rock Red FoxesMyrtle Beach's Emorie Knox erupted for 32 points Tuesday night [more]

Chants fall short on final shot in skirmish with Mavs

Chants fall short on final shot in skirmish with MavsJunior guard Rashad Davis hit a 3-pointer with less than [more]

Hoops: Green lifts Saints; Seahawks rally past 'Dogs

Hoops: Green lifts Saints; Seahawks rally past 'DogsOn a night chosen to recognize a milestone for Christian [more]

All-County Volleyball: NMB duo adds to state-title run

All-County Volleyball: NMB duo adds to state-title runHow do you choose between two state championship teammates and [more]

Vincent breaks new ground as NMB boys hoops coach

Vincent breaks new ground as NMB boys hoops coachA referee approached the North Myrtle Beach High boys basketball [more]

CCU baseball joins another Top 25 list for 2019 season

CCU baseball joins another Top 25 list for 2019 seasonWith just over five weeks until the season opener on [more]

Pelicans, Cubs make over field staff for 2019 season

Pelicans, Cubs make over field staff for 2019 seasonThe Myrtle Beach  Pelicans and parent club Chicago Cubs announced their on‐field staff for the 2019 season on Wednesday. New to Myrtle Beach this season, Jimmy Gonzalez will take the helm for the Pelicans following four seasons managing the Single-A South Bend Cubs. The 2016 Midwest League Manager of the Year with South Bend, Gonzalez was  [more]

Hoops: Falcons fly by MB; Tigers rally to top Sharks

Hoops: Falcons fly by MB; Tigers rally to top SharksCraig Martin walked off the court at the end of [more]

Tigers crush Crimson Tide for national championship

Tigers crush Crimson Tide for national championshipClemson captured its third national football championship - and its [more]

CCU alums Ross, Johnson pioneers in upstart league

CCU alums Ross, Johnson pioneers in upstart leagueFormer Coastal Carolina football players Alex Ross and Kerron Johnson [more]

Jags drop Chants in 2OT; Lady Chants lose to USA

Jags drop Chants in 2OT; Lady Chants lose to USAFour players reached double digits for Coastal Carolina, but it [more]

Hoops: Braves sweep CF; Seahawks split with Chiefs

Hoops: Braves sweep CF; Seahawks split with ChiefsSocastee scored a big road victory in its Region 6-5A [more]

CCU Hoops: Road teams win SBC debuts with Troy

CCU Hoops: Road teams win SBC debuts with TroyTyrell Gumbs-Frater scored a game-high 20 points as Coastal Carolina [more]

Beach Ball Classic, Day 6: Comets top Cards for title

Beach Ball Classic, Day 6: Comets top Cards for titleMonday's Beach Ball Classic championship game didn't feature the offensive [more]

Beach Ball Classic, Day 4/5: CA's Green leaves his mark

Beach Ball Classic, Day 4/5: CA's Green leaves his mark This week's Beach Ball Classic has been a memorable one [more]

Beach Ball Classic, Day 3: MB takes one on the chin

Beach Ball Classic, Day 3: MB takes one on the chinMyrtle Beach went toe-to-toe with St. Edward (OH) before falling [more]

Beach Ball Classic, Day 2: Socastee, MB, CA stumble

Beach Ball Classic, Day 2: Socastee, MB, CA stumbleSocastee turned in a solid team effort but suffered an [more]

CCU mourns loss of former Olympian, assistant Henley

CCU mourns loss of former Olympian, assistant HenleyTwo-time Olympian (1992 and 1996) and Coastal Carolina assistant track [more]

Beach Ball Classic, Day 1: Braves, Saints lose debuts

Beach Ball Classic, Day 1: Braves, Saints lose debutsTwo local high school basketball teams found out just how [more]

Wrestling: Young Panthers stay hungry for region title

Wrestling: Young Panthers stay hungry for region titleMatthew Ashworth knows the Carolina Forest wrestling squad isn’t the [more]

Moglia steps down as CCU coach, pitches to Chadwell

Moglia steps down as CCU coach, pitches to ChadwellFive-time National Coach of the Year finalist Joe Moglia, who [more]

Hoops: Sharks claim first region win over Panthers

Hoops: Sharks claim first region win over PanthersA big win for the St. James boys basketball team [more]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach