Ron Rivera gaining momentum with Panthers

When the Carolina Panthers hired John Fox to be their head coach in 2002, he was the only candidate in the process to be granted a second interview.

That’s an interesting nugget provided by Darin Gantt of the Charlotte Observer with the Panthers pursuing San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera for a second interview.

Rivera is one of four candidates to have been interviewed for the job along with Perry Fewell, Greg Manusky and Rob Ryan. General manager Marty Hurney and team president Danny Morrison conducted the initial interviews on the road, and owner Jerry Richardson said finalists will be brought into Carolina for him to meet them. Whether or not there is another candidate who has a second interview is not yet known.

The 48-year-old Rivera has led one of the best defenses in the league with the Chargers. He’s got a wealth of experience, too, running a 3-4 defense in San Diego while also having a full grasp on the principles taught by Jim Johnson in Philadelphia and the Tampa Two defense used by the Chicago Bears.

The Panthers are the ninth team to consider Rivera for a head-coaching position.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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