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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rivera Rumors And More

      There's a groundswell of support behind Ron Rivera, with a winning streak under his belt finally this year (two is close enough, right?) and some momentum.   Players have defended him to the hilt, and the media isn't writing him off as they had - Scott Fowler believes he should get another year; Pat Yasinskas writes: " I think there’s a decent chance Rivera keeps his job. I also think there’s a growing chance interim general manager Brandon Beane moves into that role on a permanent basis. "

       I don't take the Beane situation with much seriousness; it might warrant owner Jerry Richardson to interview him, but he doesn't have the credability of other candidates.  

       Meanwhile, there are plenty of reasons to consider keeping Rivera - he's appearing to learn on the job; having DBs coach Steve Wilks on board has lessened some burdens on the defensive side of the ball, as does a burgeoning pass rush; Rob Chudzinski's never gotten an elusive third year to expand on his teaching.  Sean McDermott's only in his 4th year as a coordinator, and so far, this looks to be his best -- without the Eagles' talent base. 

       There also come a few potentially unreliable 'inside' rumors, passed along recently.  These include the idea that Rivera has to screw up badly to not be kept for next year; 
The team isn't that happy with the duo of Mike Shula and Rob Chudzinski and aren't unwilling to allow either guy to walk.  These rumors come from inside the stadium, but again I don't know how reliable I'd consider them.  Rumors also suggest Norv Turner coming in, and it's highly unlikely the team would hire Turner if Chudzinski were let go, as the link between the two is pretty large (stronger tie than between Turner and Rivera).  Turner would be a good choice here, but it's complicated.  

      There's also a growing sentiment that Rivera will sacrifice a coordinator for his own safety.  This is 100% fan opinion, not rumor; I'd caution against that one.  Rivera is a very loyal guy, and while most position coaches he doesn't have any tie to, Rivera has a significant tie to Chudzinski on offense and McDermott on defense.   McDermott would've found himself on his can with another bad year on defense, where DBs coach Steve Wilks would be a heavy favorite to supplant him; but, currently the defense is top ten, and improving from there. 

      My own opinion: if Rivera does stay, he needs to add a veteran coach who has administrative experience to help with game decisions and guidance; a chief-of-staff so to speak.  He'd also be smart to hire a new special teams coach, and really should've moved on Dave Toub last year if that was at all possible. 
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