After being fired by the Carolina Panthers this season, would Ron Rivera be a logical choice as the next head coach of the Detroit Lions?
It appears that the Detroit Lions may not win another game in 2019. Currently riding a five-game losing streak, the Lions haven’t notched a victory since the month of October. And a loss to the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday will cement Detroit in the basement of the NFC North division for the second straight season.
This fact should have both second-year head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn feeling the heat. After all, the franchise handed Patricia the reins of a team that posted a winning record of 9-7 in 2017. And the former New England Patriots defensive coordinator has only made things worse since his arrival early last year.
Ending his rookie season as the Lions head coach with a 6-10 record, most seemed to attribute Patricia’s early struggles to growing pains. After all, changing the losing culture in Motown is a process and would likely take more than a single season to accomplish. Year Two was supposed to be better, especially after Quinn and company decided to double-down on Patricia, signing and drafted several players to fit his scheme in the offseason.
Yet, the Lions current enter this Sunday’s Week 14 matchup with their divisional rivals, the Vikings, already out of playoff contention. With a record of 3-8-1 and only four games to go, Detroit will likely finish the season in worse shape than last year. And that’s simply inexcusable.
Although Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford may opt to keep the disappointing duo of Quinn and Patricia together in Detroit for an additional redemption season, there is a monumental argument to be made they don’t deserve it. And for Ford, it may come down to options.
Undoubtedly, Patricia’s pedigree as a past winner and defensive guru in New England has garnered him respect around the league. Although those past victories have certainly lost their luster as he’s fallen flat on his face in Detroit. Still, is there a better candidate to lead the Lions than Patricia currently on the market?
The newest name to hit the coaching carousel is Ron Rivera. After spending nearly nine seasons with the Carolina Panthers, and leading the team to a Super Bowl appearance in 2016, Rivera was fired earlier this week. The Panthers currently have a 5-7 record.
A linebacker for Chicago Bears for nine seasons, including that 1985 Super Bowl team, Rivera knows the NFC North division well. He was handed the reins of the Panthers in 2011 after coaching stints with the Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, and San Diego Chargers. Rivera posted a record of 76-63-1 during his head coaching tenure in Carolina, taking them to the postseason four times in nine years.
Unlike Matt Patricia, the 57-year old Ron Rivera has nearly a decade of head coach experience in the NFL. Rivera is also well respected across the league and is known for being a man of integrity. Although there will be more flashy names talked about this offseason, this is one head coaching candidate the Lions should consider if they ultimately decide to end the New England Patriots Midwest experiment.