Ron Rivera uncertain about his future beyond this season

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Ron Rivera does not believe he will lose his job prior to the end of the 2012 season.

But after that, he doesn’t have any assurances he will return to the Carolina Panthers for a third season, not after general manager Marty Hurney was sent packing last month. According to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, Rivera has had conversations with owner Jerry Richardson that lead him to believe he is secure through the end of the year. The Panthers have hired former New York Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi to assist in the hiring of a new general manager.

I don’t know what’s going to happen, and I won’t know until after the season,” Rivera said. “I know that much. And I know that nothing’s going to happen until after the season. So what our guys have to understand is that they’re playing for now. They’re playing for each other.”

Rivera suggested the Panthers, who are struggling in a big way, have to be “trending upward” in order for him to keep his gig. The Panthers (2-8) blew an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter to lose to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

“I’m not concerned about me, I’m really not. I’m concerned about them,” Rivera said. “We have a group of coaches that I believe in 100 percent. I’ll be all right. No matter what happens I’ll be OK. Whether I’m here next year or not, I will be A-OK.

“I will go forward, I will make things happen whether it’s here or somewhere else. I will. I believe in who I am and I firmly do believe in my abilities as a coach.”

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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