Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera has seen his team lose four straight games after holding a fourth quarter lead, and after Carolina's last minute 23-22 loss at Chicago last Sunday, the coach is thought to be on the hot seat. Rivera is 7-17 since taking over the Panthers before the 2011 season, and 1-10 in games decided by a touchdown or less.
"At the end of the day I'm being evaluated," Rivera said. "But right now, it's not something I can be concerned with. If you start to worrying (about your job) and playing for the wrong reasons you're not going to give yourself a chance."
Receiver Steve Smith said after Sunday's loss that the losing is "tiresome, monotonous," and that the team is just "upset." Rumors have swirled around the status of tailback DeAngelo Williams, who signed a five-year, $41.5 million deal before the 2011 season. Williams was benched two weeks before the Chicago loss. Panthers GM Marty Hurney was fired last Monday.
Rivera, who played his entire career with the Bears, was defensive coordinator in Chicago from 2004 through 2006, before leaving for San Diego. He served as the Chargers' defensive coordinator for three seasons before Carolina hired him in January 2011.