Posted December 24, 2012 on
AP on Fox
The time for Panthers owner Jerry Richardson to make several critical decisions is drawing near.
With one week left in the season, Richardson will need to make a pair of decisions in the coming weeks that'll dramatically shape the future of the organization. Richardson must determine who'll be the team's next general manager and whether to keep coach Ron Rivera around for another season.
Richardson could not be reached for comment on Monday.
Rivera, who is 12-19 in two seasons as Panthers coach, said Monday he hasn't had any recent discussions with Richardson about his future.
He said he expects to meet with Richardson after the season, which ends Sunday against New Orleans.
''There have been no assurances'' from Richardson, Rivera said regarding his future with the team. ''Mr. Richardson has been steady just like he's always been.''
Right now Rivera said his focus is on preparing for the Saints on Sunday and finishing 7-9, which would be a one-game improvement over his first season with the Panthers.
''We'll see once it's all said and done,'' Rivera said.
To his credit, Rivera has been able to keep his team together after a 2-8 start and the Panthers have won four of their last five games, including three straight.
One of those wins came against the Atlanta Falcons, the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs.
''I think we're doing some really good things and I like the way the guys have stayed focused and some of the things the guys said after the game about playing for each other,'' Rivera said. ''That is very gratifying for a coach knowing that they're hearing the messages the coaches are sending. I appreciate their focus to the details of preparing. We have done a lot of good things.''
When asked if he deserves to be back next season, Rivera said ''I look forward to the opportunity and it's something that will be dealt with when the season is over.''
Rivera, a former linebacker with the Chicago Bears, is well liked by players and many have said it would be a mistake to fire him.
Rivera has two years left on his contract.
''It is great to fight for a guy that believes in us,'' receiver Steve Smith said following Carolina's 17-6 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. ''We believe in him. It's just a great way to show our appreciation for someone. The tolerance he has for our mistakes he takes the blame for, and gives us an opportunity to say, `Hey look at our coach. Look at what he is doing for us.'''
As for the GM search, Richardson hired former Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi as a consultant to find a replacement for Marty Hurney, who was fired after a 1-5 start.
However, Richardson has been mum regarding the direction of that process from the start and Accorsi hasn't returned phone calls seeking comment about which candidates he plans to recommend.
Because of his ties to New York, Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross is one potential candidate that could get attention, but Richardson can't speak to any potential candidates until after their teams are finished playing.
Brandon Beane is serving as Carolina's interim general manager and is also viewed as a candidate.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank believes Richardson made a good call in hiring Accorsi as a consultant.
Blank hired Accorsi to help with his GM search in 2008. Blank said at the time Thomas Dimitroff, whom he eventually hired, wasn't even on his short list of candidates before Accorsi recommended him for the job.
Dimitroff has been a huge success in Atlanta.
''Ernie was very helpful in the process and he wasn't afraid to think outside of the box,'' Blank said. ''He's very knowledgeable and he knows talent as a general manager. Thomas was a really good hire for us. Jerry is a very bright owner and I think he made a wise decision enlisting Ernie's help for input.''
The Panthers (6-9) have not made the playoffs since 2008.
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
In a game riddled with confrontations, shoving matches and six unnecessary roughness penalties, the Carolina Panthers came out on top, beating the Raiders at home 17-6.
Cam Newton finished the day going 18/29, 170 YDS, 1 TD and 1 interception, and also accounted of the Carolina penalties by bumped an official after complaining of several late hits. He was lucky to not get ejected...
With Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer leaving today’s game against the Panthers with an injury, defensive tackle Tommy Kelly felt like they needed to try to injure Panthers quarterback Cam Newton as payback. This is probably why Newton was seen kicking Kelly during the game. “You take our guy out, we’re going to go and try to take your guy out,” Kelly said after the game...
Cam Newton somehow avoided ejection against the Raiders after kicking Tommy Kelly and bumping an official. See video here.
Sometimes you have to watch what you ask for. The Carolina Panther twitter account asked for pictures of Panthers gifts to be tweeted to them. The account retweeted several of the photos and may not have realized that they just retweeted a bag of weed. Or maybe they realized this was the best gift to help [...]
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross is the leading candidate to take over as the Carolina Panthers new general manager.
Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross has emerged as a leading candidate to become the Panthers next general manager, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 23, 2012
Ross has been a GM candidate...
Cam Newton is looking ahead.
Forget that this is another lost season. The dynamic quarterback believes the Panthers can build on the success of having won four of their last five games.
''It's just something for the team's psyche,'' Newton said after a 17-6 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. ''People ask, what are we playing for this year? It...
Cam Newton apologized Sunday for bumping official Jerome Boger during the Carolina Panthers’ 17-6 win over the Oakland Raiders, though he was less apologetic for kicking Tommy Kelly in the game.
Newton was steamed after what he likely felt was a late hit from Raiders safety Mike Mitchell in the fourth quarter. Newton got up immediately after being driven into the turf and aggressively...
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Giants’ director of college scouting Marc Ross is the “leading candidate” for the Carolina Panthers GM vacancy.
Brandon Beane took over for former GM Marty Hurney who was fired back in October, but the Panthers are looking for a different option to takeover in the coming weeks.
Ross has done a great job of bringing in plenty of quality...
Usually when I’m unfairly stereotyping Carolina Panthers fans, I accuse them of loving college basketball above all else. Then I remember that South Carolina exists. And so there’s the explanation behind a Panthers fan who used the Gamecocks’ logo as the letter C in his customized “CAROLINA” jersey. It’s probably the most tacky thing you’ll see in Bank of America Stadium...
Oh, Carolina Panthers. We’d say your shade of green is more neon than the color your fans are apparently thinking of.
The Panthers do a lot of retweeting of fans on their official Twitter account. For instance, the account has spent a large part of Christmas Day retweeting the holiday messages of fans. However, they may have gone a bit too far in one instance.
Here’s where we’re...
The Carolina Panthers have officially declared running back Jonathan Stewart as inactive, meaning that DeAngelo Williams will once again serve as the starting running back in Week 16 against the Oakland Raiders. Stewart was expected to miss this game, although the team was holding out some hope that he would be able to play in a limited capacity.
In the end, Carolina felt as if the...
By Nick Parker
CHARLOTTE, N.C. Three years. Thats how long its been since the Carolina Panthers won three games in a row, which they accomplished Sunday with a 17-6 win over the Oakland Raiders.
But after the game, the bulk of the chatter wasnt focused on the Panthers newfound winning vibes or stingy defense.
It was focused on a bump and a kick.
The Carolina Panthers were not hospitable in defeating the Oakland Raiders 17-6 at home in Charlotte Sunday afternoon. This was a physical game from beginning to end. The Panthers extended their winning streak to 3 games and showed some growth after a slow start this season. This recent streak by the Panthers may have taken Head Coach Ron Rivera off the hot seat. Meanwhile, the...
Cam Newton threw for 170 yards with a touchdown and also ran for a score to lead the Carolina Panthers to a 17-6 win over the Oakland Raiders.
Steve Smith had four catches for 45 yards and a score and Greg Olsen hauled in six passes for 53 yards for the Panthers (6-9), who have won three straight and four of their last five. Rookie linebacker Luke Kuechly had nine tackles an one...