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Ron Rivera out in Chicago - in at San Diego

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Ron Rivera out in Chicago - in at San Diego

Postby knapplc » Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:32 pm

He wasn't out of a job for long, even if it was a bit of a demotion:

By Peter King, SI.com

Exiled Chicago defensive coordinator Ron Rivera didn't go long without a job Monday. A few hours after the Bears announced they would not bring Rivera back for the 2007 season, he hammered out a deal with the Chargers to become a defensive assistant on new head coach Norv Turner's staff.

Rivera likely will take over as San Diego's linebackers coach, replacing Greg Manusky, who left two weeks ago to become San Francisco's defensive coordinator. It's not certain if Rivera will be given added responsibilities, however, under new San Diego defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell. Those discussions were still taking place late Monday.

The flurry of coaching activity will likely culminate Tuesday when the Bears are expected to name assistant head coach/linebackers coach Bob Babich their defensive coordinator.

Word circulated Monday night that Rivera was out in part because he wanted more money than his $450,000 salary in 2006, and the Bears were unwilling to pay it. But SI.com learned money was never discussed between Rivera and the Bears. This was a philosophical decision by Chicago coach Lovie Smith, who reportedly felt more comfortable with Babich designing and calling the defensive gameplan than with Rivera.

Rivera, who has talked with eight different NFL teams about their head coaching positions over the last two seasons, had a three-year contract with the Bears that was set to expire next week.

Rivera was a linebacker on Chicago's Super Bowl champion team in 1986 and then led a defense that helped the Bears make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. Chicago had trouble containing Indianapolis in the Super Bowl, losing 29-17 to the Peyton Manning-led Indianapolis Colts.

Rivera has been an assistant coach for 10 years in the NFL beginning as a quality control coach with the Bears in 1997. He spent five years with the Philadelphia Eagles as their linebackers coach and then the last three in charge of Chicago's defense.

The Bears led the NFL with 44 takeaways in the regular season, but the defense was slowed in the latter stages of the season after injuries to defensive tackle Tommie Harris and safety Mike Brown.

Rivera was a candidate last season for head coaching jobs in Green Bay and St. Louis. This year he talked with Pittsburgh, Miami, Atlanta and Arizona before the Bears started postseason play. After Chicago lost the Super Bowl, he interviewed for coaching vacancies at Dallas and just a few days ago at San Diego
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Postby maddog60 » Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:36 pm

I wouldnt be surprised if part of his signing was an informal agreement that if Norv bombs, its Rivera's team.
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Postby Sixxgunn » Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:23 am

I wouldn't be surprised if this isn't just more of Lovie's BS. Talking him up about being a head coach and why he hasn't gotten a job yet, but then basically s**t cans him? That says alot about the coach of the Bears. I wish Ron stayed and Lovie went. :-t
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Postby sammyj1404 » Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:47 am

something weird must be going on in that organization. i don't see how moving from defensive coordinator to linebackers coach is a progressive move to becoming a head coach
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Postby mystykoekaki » Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:14 am

sammyj1404 wrote:something weird must be going on in that organization. i don't see how moving from defensive coordinator to linebackers coach is a progressive move to becoming a head coach


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Postby knapplc » Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:32 am

Sixxgunn wrote:I wouldn't be surprised if this isn't just more of Lovie's BS. Talking him up about being a head coach and why he hasn't gotten a job yet, but then basically s**t cans him? That says alot about the coach of the Bears. I wish Ron stayed and Lovie went. :-t


IT'S GOING TO BE OK!!!! LOVIE IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD, SIXX!!!!! :-b :-D


I get a kick out of your Lovie Angst, though. ;-) ;-D
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Postby Flux » Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:22 am

Rivera got hosed. Had the Bears not made the SB, he would be a HC IMO. Stinks for him...
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Postby RWLongy4 » Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:13 am

I think Lovie might be trying to show that he's the real defensive mind on the Bears and he doesn't need Rivera. We'll see but I don't see this really effecting the Bears too much next year.

Rivera on the other hand got screwed... Linebacker coach? more money or not he got screwed.
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Postby RocketsDWM » Wed Feb 21, 2007 1:13 pm

Why Rivera would go to SD at take LB position:

1) Get out of Lovies spotlight and show he was the defensive guru.

2) Prove he can run a 3-4 defense. A lot of teams (from what I have read) wanted a coach that ran the 3-4 and Rivera didnt have that experience.

3) Money.

4) SD is a great team and should be in the SB soon.

5) Might be the coach soon seeing as though Turner is not HC material.
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Postby knapplc » Wed Feb 21, 2007 1:32 pm

RocketsDWM wrote:Why Rivera would go to SD at take LB position:

1) Get out of Lovies spotlight and show he was the defensive guru.

2) Prove he can run a 3-4 defense. A lot of teams (from what I have read) wanted a coach that ran the 3-4 and Rivera didnt have that experience.

3) Money.

4) SD is a great team and should be in the SB soon.

5) Might be the coach soon seeing as though Turner is not HC material.


1) Maybe. I don't know how much of a shadow Lovie casts over his assistant coaches but we'll see. If Rivera thrives there then he was "the Man" behind the Chicago defense. If not, Lovie probably is.

2) yep

3) yep

4) yep

5) yep



The fact of the matter, however, is that that both Lovie and Rivera are in pretty good situations. Both have outstanding defenses and scads of great personnel to work with. If either is unsuccesful that'll be the most amazing thing to me.

So... Bears/Chargers Super Bowl, anyone?
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