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A former Carolina Panthers head coach was fired on Black Monday

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
The Truth Network Radio
January 8, 2024 3:33 pm

A former Carolina Panthers head coach was fired on Black Monday

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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January 8, 2024 3:33 pm

Grant Paulsen, on Ron Rivera’s firing, Sam Howell as QB, and the future of the franchise.

What was it like having Ron Rivera in Washington and what were his biggest obstacles there? How did the fans and personnel feel about him? How do the fans feel about Sam Howell? How has the culture been since the new ownership came into town?


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See website for details. The Panthers were not the only organization to make a change today. We anticipated that Ron Rivera would be one of the, I guess, Black Monday casualties. Uh, joining us from the fan in Washington, DC, Grant Paulson. Uh, look, this is, this is not unexpected. Um, before we get into some other things, sum up what Rivera meant to Washington during his time, because my sense is, it's not all bad.

No, it's not all bad. I mean, he was a respected, well-liked guy. I think, you know, the national perception of him, frankly, is way more positive than the local perception. And that's just because people want to win football games, and he didn't do a lot of that here, obviously. Uh, he went 26, 40 and one, they had four straight losing seasons. They made the playoffs in his first year, but that was kind of a misleading thing because they want a division at seven and nine during the pandemic. So it was four straight years of losing football, eight game losing streak to end the tenure here at four and 13, pretty disastrous campaign. But what you'll see, I'm sure a lot of people talking about, especially nationally is Rivera is just beloved in the media because he's a good human being. But he went through a lot here.

He obviously dealt with his own battles cancer. The team changed their name, not not to mention an ownership change as well. So it wasn't the easiest, most fortuitous gig. But look, he had full control as a head coach and essentially as the general manager running the entire front office. That's something that coaches have craved for a long, long time, and they picked players very poorly. They drafted badly. They signed free agents worse than badly, and they didn't win a lot of football games.

So you got four years of a five year contract and a new ownership is moving on. Grant Paulson from the fan of Washington, D.C. is joining us here on the Adam Gold show. Thing about Rivera is that we all we experienced all that here, you know, in, you know, following the Panthers as closely as we do. World class human being. I would call him, you know, a good football coach, good head coach.

Certainly not a great one. And good football coaches cannot overcome bad personnel. And that's what ultimately we had down here with the Panthers was just the personnel wasn't very good. And my guess is obviously that was one of the cases in D.C. Let me ask you, because there were a whole litany of quarterbacks that played for Rivera, including the Carson Wentz, who didn't look too terrible, I guess, yesterday for the Rams. What is the what is the future of Sam Howell as the starting quarterback?

Good question. Yeah. The last thing I'd say on Rivera to your point, because I agree with you, I think he is an OK coach, probably like an average head coach and a really good leader of men. I think that's his strength, right? The guys in the locker room love him. He's personable. Again, he's a quality human being.

He's checking in on you when you lose someone in your family or when something's going on with your kids or your wife. I think guys really respect him and they play hard for him generally. I just you know, frankly, if we're talking football here, this is not personal. He was a terrible executive. And that's not something in Charlotte that anybody had to worry about, right? I mean, he didn't run the operation. He did here to lure him to Washington. They gave him full control of the front office. He had been kind of a 500 ish type coach more often than not in Carolina for his career. And they said, hey, why don't you come over here and not just be a coach, but run everything?

And it just went so badly specific to how really quickly. Look, he started all 17 games. They hadn't had a quarterback do that since Kirk Cousins went to Minnesota after the 2018 season.

He set a record in the organization for stack. He got sacked 65 times. A lot of those were his fault, not the line fault.

And he threw 21 interceptions him and Rex Grossman are the only quarterback in Washington and throw 20 picks in a season since the mid 80s. So it was not probably the first year that he envisioned, but lucky he's young. He's inexperienced.

They didn't have a great line in front of them. He has probably, you know, a high-end backup, really low-end back to the league starter kind of profile little undersized, but he's got a big arm. He's athletic. He's mobile. I think he'll be in the league for a long time.

He's super tough, super gritty, super competitive. There's a lot to like about Sam how, but they gave him a crack at being a franchise quarterback as a fifth-round pick. And so most of the time when you get drafted in the fifth round, you're not a long-term starter. And that's probably going to be house fate now that they have the number two pick and they very likely will use it on the quarterback.

All right, final question. Rumors are that first of all, I guess it's not the final question Bob Myers former Golden State Warriors general manager. I guess team president is going to help, you know, kind of helping Josh Harris the new owner find the new leadership structure. What are your thoughts on that?

I think it's brilliant. Bob Myers is a really sharp person who has run basketball organizations at the highest of levels. He was the architect of the Warriors and helped build them in to the championship, you know, dynasty that they became now people will say, well, it's basketball. This is football. He's not calling plays, right? I mean, he's not out there, you know, telling you what play to go with on third and sixth. They're bringing him in to try to establish their culture, so to speak, to try to build their organizational infrastructure. They're going to have him sit on all meetings, you know, he can determine. He's got a skill as he's proven in every aspect of his life, not only to bond with and be a relationships guy and to really be sharp with human beings. He's good with people, but I think, you know, find successful people to put into positions of power.

He's done it at a high level in another sport. So he's going to run their search with Rick Spielman is going to provide the football chops. Longtime football executive times with double-digit win seasons in Minnesota and the pack therapy podcast is in session. Tim Donnelly here, host of the drive in your guide for pack therapy. Every episode is your chance to score inside information on the pack. We set you up for Wolfpack games all season long and we break down the ACC competition. What to watch for as we roll towards the tournament Madness, plus special guests to keep your wolf pack.

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See website for details. High rolls and their front office, including general manager. So they'll lean on him. I'm sure for some of the football acumen, you know, those guys will be in the room with ownership, including Magic Johnson, Josh Harris as they're sitting down with candidates. I think it's smart. I mean, to me, I think diversification is good in all ways, including just how you think about things. And you see this sometimes with like analytics folks, right? Where you look at baseball, where World Series and LCS and DS teams are constantly run by guys who apply these models that are really not baseball specific, right?

They're number crunching kind of analytics folks to baseball. Well, why can't you be a super successful person in multiple sports? And I just think he's going to apply what he used to build the Warriors in their mind to help try to build the bones here of a strong front office and help them pick a GM and perhaps even a president football operation, something like that. And I wouldn't be surprised if he stayed on in some role. He's not going to run the football department, but you know, maybe on the business side or something like that.

Leadership is leadership and this is the final question and maybe because he is brought in to identify leaders and all of that. Does it take Washington out of Bill Belichick sweepstakes? Because I think we all assume that it's going to end in Boston. I don't think they were ever in Bill Belichick sweepstakes to be completely honest with you. I mean that narrative is certainly being pushed. I've seen Mike Florio's all over that. There's some other folks being told that, you know, Josh Harris likes Bill Belichick. I've never really believed that. I mean, based on everyone I've talked to in this organization in DC, not to mention around football.

We're talking to different people, I guess, because I've never gotten the idea that he was a viable candidate, which is not to say that the chances are zero. I guess I would hedge enough to say that I'm not privy to all their plans, but everything I've heard is they want someone who's in embrace analytics. It feels to me like they prefer someone on the offensive side of the ball. I think they want to skew a little younger and find someone that they can kind of build this thing around for the long term.

Not to mention. I think the last thing they'd like to do is to go hand a head coach front office responsibilities after what just happened with this coach-centric fiasco that they just tried to run with Rivera. So for all those reasons, Belichick has made almost no sense for me all along. Graham Paulson, you make great sense. I appreciate your time, my man. Check him out on the fan in DC. We'll talk again soon. Good chatting with you.

Thank you. I said said this earlier with Will Brinson. I'd be looking at Jim Harbaugh if I were Washington. We'll find out. We'll keep tabs on what's going on up there. With Luckyland Sluts, you can get lucky just about anywhere. This is your captain speaking. We've got clear runway and the weather's fine, but we're just going to circle up here a while and get lucky.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-08 19:48:35 / 2024-01-08 19:53:42 / 5

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