Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera recently spoke at the NFL’s Career Development symposium, an annual program designed to aid prospective coaches and GMs. During his speech, Rivera discussed a number of things, including the changes he made after his second season in Carolina, another losing campaign.
It was during a dinner with some players following the unsuccessful 2012 season that Rivera realized he wasn’t present enough in the Panthers’ locker room. “All of a sudden, I started hearing all the bitching and moaning,” said Rivera. “Oh, this happened, that happened. I’m thinking to myself, ‘I didn’t see any of that.’ I didn’t see it because I wasn’t down there. That was my fault. I didn’t see it because I wasn’t down there. That was my fault. Not theirs, my fault.”
“Riverboat Ron” started to hang out in the locker room more and he believes it had a big impact on the Panthers’ turnaround last season.
After the conference, Rivera pointed to the Miami Dolphins recent bully scandal as a situation he hopes his more active presence in the locker room can help avoid. “There was some sort of miscommunication, something didn’t work right,” Rivera said. “As coaches it comes back to us, because we’ve got to know, we’ve got to make sure those things are corrected if there is something wrong. Coaches should be re-evaluating. If we’re not, we should be.”