Gettleman and Rivera worked closely together during their time in Carolina to turn the Panthers into a legitimate National Football League contender - even making the 2015 Super Bowl - but it would be foolish to attempt to recreate that. "I don't want to go and start doing searches beforehand, but I can't be put at a competitive disadvantage".
Rivera leaves Carolina because the group's all-time winningest coach. The 57-year-old is still hoping to win a Super Bowl as head coach after winning it all as a linebacker for the Bears in 1985. "He did a lot of good things, I thought, in Carolina, some of which I was there for and had a front-row seat to experience". Being a head coach is about being a leader of men, in good times and in bad.
"Look, a very hard move", Tepper said.
The next coach would do well to try and build upon that, and Rivera has provided a blueprint about how to do that by genuinely caring about the people you coach, not just about how they perform on Sunday. I get exhausted of hearing, 'They couldn't win [two] years in a row.' No, we won three years in a row, so let's get that straight.
"Absolutely", said Rivera, who was speaking at his farewell news conference Wednesday, when asked whether he wanted to coach again. Plenty of fans are fed up with the current configuration of the coaching staff, and want changes. The first defined the greatest lament for his time in Carolina: "Missed opportunities".
Rivera made waves in November when he went for two, down eight points, on the road in Green Bay in the fourth quarter. "But now, you walk into a grocery store and you can see people wearing Luke Kuechly, Christian McCaffrey, or Cam Newton jerseys and I know I was part of that culture change". The first step in this new direction was the firing of popular head coach Ron Rivera, doing so earlier rather than later for a more professional, "friendly" exit for the long-tenured head coach.
That site is giving the best odds (5-2) to Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman as Rivera's replacement (BetOnline gave Roman 9-1 odds to get the gig). The defense, who has been a staple for Carolina teams in the past, has struggled and become one of the teams' many flaws, especially when it comes against the run.