By Danny Cox
As the 2012 NFL regular season starts inching toward its end, many begin wonder about the coaching carousel. That is where head coaches start getting off one ride and others step into their place. In other words, it is where NFL head coaches end up being fired and replaced by new names.
It happens every single year with some being more shocking than others.
Two that are probably on their way out–and that won’t be overly surprising–are Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid and Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers. Still, even with seasons completely gone already, they have no intentions of just quitting, but have no idea where things will go from here.
Reid did say on Monday that he won’t just quit as the coach of the Eagles because that would be a “cop-out” since he is the one that has asked his players to keep fighting. Players that are sitting in the middle of a six-game losing streak and are currently 3-7 on the season.
“I’m standing in front of the team and telling them, ‘These are the things we need to do,’ one of which is continue to battle,” Reid told reporters. “And so I think that would be a cop-out. That’s not how I see things. That’s not the way I’m wired. We’re going to keep battling and do it as a team. I’m not going to tell the guys one thing and then do the other.”
In his 14th season, Reid is highly disappointed with his performance this year, and owner Jeffrey Lurie already said that another 8-8 season would be unacceptable. Reid is 11-15 over the past two seasons, and the owner of the Eagles isn’t ready for the team to plummet further.
“Nobody wants to win more than Jeffrey. He’s disappointed and rightly so. He feels the same way we do, that we’re letting people down in this city and so on. That’s what I can tell you,” Reid said, according to Philadelphia Magazine.
A high-ranking Eagles source is cited as saying that Reid won’t be fired this week and will be coaching against the Carolina Panthers on Monday night. The Panthers are another team that currently has no idea who will coach them next season.
Ron Rivera said that based on recent conversations with owner Jerry Richardson, he doesn’t even know if he will be the head coach of the Panthers after 2012. No guarantees were offered to Rivera, but he did say, “I know that nothing is going to happen until after the season.”
In less than two seasons as Panthers coach, Rivera is 8-18. That includes a complete and total collapse this past Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that ended with a loss in overtime.
Panthers general manager Matt Hurney was already fired four weeks ago. That move has been hardly positive as the team is 1-3 since Hurney was ousted, and that causes Rivera even more reason for concern. Most new general managers like to assemble their own staff, and once a new one is brought into Carolina, Rivera may not be in the plans.
The NFL is one that allows people to keep their jobs based on production, and Rivera knows that.
“With him it’s ‘Ron, we’ve got to get things going. I know it’s frustrating on you and your coaches’ because it’s frustrating on him,” Rivera said of Richardson.
Well, this Monday night will end up being a truly big game even if it is one that has no playoff implications whatsoever. The coach that wins is one that is making a last-ditch effort to save his job. The coach that loses is just one step closer to stepping off of the carousel so that someone else can take a ride.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.