Decision time nears for Panthers owner Richardson

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 24, 2012
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
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Chris Long will not re-sign with Patriots, hints he wants bigger role

Nerlens Noel late for Mavs team plane, loses chance to start

Ex-NFLer Will Allen sentenced to six years in prison for Ponzi scheme

Five Richmond baseball players suspended for playing fantasy football

Kristaps Porzingis: Knicks should have used triangle all season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

‘Game of Thrones’ theme nights are coming to MLB

Report: Saban turned down interest from six NFL teams

Browns will listen to offers for first pick in 2017 NFL Draft

Rams officially place franchise tag on Trumaine Johnson

11-year-old writes letters to NBA teams to tout Monmouth player

Doug Marrone affirms that Blake Bortles is Jaguars’ quarterback

With Joel Embiid out, who should win Rookie of the Year?

Box Score 3/1: It's all about Durant and his knee

The 'Simone Biles vs. Mr. T dance-off you didn't know you wanted until now' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Daryl Morey burns up the phone lines

The top 10 MLB left fielders headed into spring training 2017

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in Major League Baseball

The best sports movies available to stream right now

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/28: Fat Tuesday means athletes on floats.

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

With Joel Embiid out, who should win Rookie of the Year?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Daryl Morey burns up the phone lines

The 'Simone Biles vs. Mr. T dance-off you didn't know you wanted until now' quiz

The top 10 MLB left fielders headed into spring training 2017

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in the 1980s

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in MLB

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in a season since 2000

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker