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Rivera named Panthers head coach

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Posted Jan. 11, 2011 @ 2:56 p.m. ET
By PFW staff

Updated Jan. 11, 2011 @ 5:35 p.m. ET

The Panthers introduced former Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera as their new head coach on Tuesday.

"I really like the situation and set of circumstances I'm coming to," Rivera said at his press conference.

The defensive-minded Rivera said the Panthers would play a 4-3 defense. "Defensively, we want to be an attacking, aggressive-style defense. ... We are a 4-3 defense — that's what this team is; that's what the personnel are set up for. We could be a solid unit."

Rivera would not reference the offensive scheme much, saying he has not had an opportunity to reach out to potential coordinators yet, but he says he wants someone who will bring a balanced offense to Carolina.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that Rivera's contract is for four years and is worth $11.2 million. He replaces John Fox, whose contract was not extended after it expired at season's end.

Rivera is the fourth head coach in Panthers history, following Dom Capers, George Seifert and Fox. All four have defensive backgrounds.

The way we see it

While he now has had success as a defensive coordinator at two separate stops, one of Rivera's top priorities will be repairing an offense that ranked dead last in the league and scored only 12.2 points per game. Owner Jerry Richardson made it very clear during a press conference last week that he was unhappy with the conservative style of offense under Fox and wants to see a different approach on that side of the ball.

Rivera will need a strong offensive coordinator to come in and assist him, and they, along with GM Marty Hurney, need to decide whether or not rookie QB Jimmy Clausen, who threw three touchdown passes and nine interceptions in 10 starts (producing a 1-9 record in those starts), is the man to lead the offense in 2011.

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