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Ron Rivera to be fired by Panthers, according to report

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After just two seasons at the helm, Ron Rivera will be fired by the Panthers on Monday, according to reports.

Despite winning five of their last six games, the Carolina Panthers will fire head coach Ron Rivera on the NFL's "Black Monday," according to Michael Lombardi of NFL Network (via Chris Wesseling):

As of Monday morning, there were still conflicting reports about Rivera's status with the team. The Panthers have not made an official announcement.

The decision to fire Rivera would come after he spent just two seasons as the Panthers head coach. Carolina started slow in each of his two seasons, including a 2-8 start this season. The Panthers began last season 2-8 as well before finishing 6-10. Carolina was 13-19 in Rivera's two seasons. While the Panthers struggled to win games, they lost a number of close contests this season. Of the Panthers nine losses this season, seven were by six points or less.

After serving as the defensive coordinator for both Chicago and San Diego, Rivera replaced John Fox following the 2010 season. The Panthers improved under Rivera in his first season and entered this season as a sleeper contender according to some NFL analysts. Instead, the slow start doomed their season and ultimately cost Rivera his job.

With his reputation as one of the better defensive coaches in the NFL, it wouldn't be surprising to see Rivera land on a coaching staff next season as a defensive assistant or even a defensive coordinator.