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Charlotte Area News

Panthers Fire 2 Coaches Amid Losing Streak


A four-game losing streak was enough for the Panthers coach Ron Rivera to make changes to his coaching staff. He fired defensive line coach Brady Hoke and cornerbacks coach Jeff Imamura.

Hoke, a former head coach at the University of Michigan, was in his first season coaching in the NFL. Imamura was in his second season with the Panthers.

Rivera said this was the best decision for the team moving forward.

“These are always difficult decisions, and I thank Brady and Jeff for their hard work,” Rivera said. “Ultimately, I’m charged with putting the team in the best position to succeed, and I felt these moves were necessary in order to do that.”

Rivera was asked about his own job security after a CBS report Sunday that said sources close to first-year owner David Tepper say he’s frustrated with the team’s performance and could make changes to the coaching staff.

"As far as I'm concerned, unless Mr. Tepper puts his name on it, I think that everybody needs to just calm down and let... what's really being said or let the truth come out," Rivera said at a post-game news conference. "If anybody has a question, I think that they should ask Mr. Tepper. But I don't think it's fair to sit there and say 'sources say.’”

Rivera signed a two-year extension last January under former owner Jerry Richardson. His contract is set to go through 2020. Under the previous deal, Rivera’s contract would have expired this year.

Panthers are 6-6 this season. They play their next game Sunday at Cleveland.

Defensive coordinator Eric Washington will fill in for Hoke and Rivera and Richard Rogers will help out in Imamura’s role until the position is filled.