Posted by Will Brinson
The Carolina Panthers are expected to hire a current defensive coordinator as their next head coach. It's what they did in 2002 and it worked out pretty well for them, so seeing something different out of Charlotte in 2011 would be a bit of a surprise.
This is only solidified by the fact that the candidates under consideration for the 'Cats gig -- Rob Ryan, Perry Fewell, Ron Rivera, and Greg Manusky -- are all defensive coordinators int he league.
But who's got a leg up on the job in Carolina right now? Well, Peter King of Sports Illustrated tweeted Saturday evening that he's hearing Rivera is the "early leader" for the Panthers job as Marty Hurney and Danny Morrison wrap up their "Tour de Hire 2011."
We've covered Rivera's credentials as a defensive guru already -- they're quite good. Earlier in the year, Andy also mentioned a story about Rivera as a family man and how he played the role of "Mr. Mom" with his wife on the road for work.
Part of that -- especially paired next to Rob Ryan's family reputation -- may be why Rivera is such an attractive candidate for the Panthers. He's quietly done a great job for several years in both Chicago and San Diego.
Which is exactly what the Panthers would want him to do in Carolina.
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