The Philadelphia Eagles are looking for a new defensive coordinator after firing Sean Desai after just one season and losing Matt Patricia to an expired contract. One of the top candidates they are interviewing is Ron Rivera, a former head coach of the Washington Commanders and the Carolina Panthers.
Rivera is not a stranger to the Eagles organization. He was hired by Andy Reid in 1999 as the linebackers coach, and he spent five seasons in that role. He helped coach that defense to three straight NFC Championship appearances.
Rivera left the Eagles in 2004 to become the defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears, where he had a top-five defense in two of his three seasons. He then joined the San Diego Chargers as the linebackers coach and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2008. He led the Chargers to the No. 1 defense in yards allowed in 2010.
In 2011, Rivera became the head coach of the Carolina Panthers, where he had a successful career. Rivera coached Carolina to a 76-63-1 win-loss record in nine seasons. He won three straight NFC South titles from 2013 to 2015, and he took the Panthers to the Super Bowl in 2015. He was named the AP Coach of the Year twice, in 2013 and 2015.
Rivera was fired by the Panthers in 2019 after the team slipped out of playoff contention. He was then hired by the Washington Commanders in 2020. He led the Commanders to a surprising NFC East title in his first season, despite dealing with a cancer diagnosis and a quarterback carousel. He was fired after the 2023 season and compiled a 26-40-1 record after four seasons.
Rivera is still interested in coaching, and he has a chance to return to the Eagles as their defensive coordinator. He fits the profile of a veteran coach who can be the head of the defense and mentor the young players. He also has a familiarity with the organization and the division. Rivera could be the ideal candidate for the Eagles, who are looking for stability and experience on their coaching staff, which lacked in 2023.
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