What a difference a year makes for the Carolina Panthers and coach Ron Rivera. Last season we were just starting our magical run just realizing our potential and proving to the NFL that we were a team that needed to be taken seriously. Fast forward a year we are chasing perfection and have a legitimate shot at the Lombardi trophy! The players are the ultimate deciders of what happened with game by game, but I feel when coach Ron Rivera adopted his alter ego riverboat Ron taking chances going for it on fourth downs, putting trust in his guys to make the plays and ready to take the criticism if they didn’t work out.
It showed the players that he trusted their abilities they are in the NFL for a reason and will do anything to win. I think the players were able to relax and began this magical run that’s seen a professional sports team have more fun than ever. The 2015 Panthers are a brotherhood, not just a football team and Rivera has instilled that into every player fan and coach as we continue to the ultimate goal.
One of my favorite things about coach Rivera is he allows the players to keep their personality and the fact is, our roster has many with quarterback Cam Newton and Cornerback Josh Norman to name a few not only does he embrace it he defends it and reprimands it when needed. He understands doing your job you can have fun when doing your job, but he also is big on maintaining your focus and handling success! After Sunday’s near debacle against the New York Giants that saw us almost blow a 28 point lead and get into a few scuffles that were out of character for our entire team he laid into his team for not focusing and keeping their composure.
We may be 14-0, but he understands this is the National Football League and anyone can come back and he relayed that message very clear in the locker room after the game safety Roman Harper said “it was the most disappointed 14-0 locker room he’s ever seen”. Coach Rivera has the pulse of this team and knows how to handle every situation. I have the ultimate respect for him and the winning culture, he has built in the Queen City.
He is one of the classiest men in the NFL today after the scuffles the team was involved in Sunday against the Giants he apologized to coach Coughlin for his team’s behavior I don’t know many coaches that would do that right after a very competitive game. This team’s motto is Keep Pounding and our coach has embraced that on and off the field dealing with a house fire death in the family and despite all that; he has gotten this team prepared each and every day and put them in the best position to win every single game.
That is the leader I want for our football team not taking mediocre play and not afraid to call guys out for that. He’s an awesome coach and a great man I’m glad we gave him the opportunity to grow with this organization to see what it can become it’s been awesome to watch and I can’t wait for more!!