It's no secret the Cleveland Browns defense has struggled under Steve Wilks, which is why they should bring in his former boss, Ron Rivera
In a rather shocking turn of events, Ron Rivera was relieved of his duties as head coach of the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday. He was 12 games into his ninth season in Carolina and has a respectable 76-63-1 record — and had just been on a four-game winning streak with a former undrafted quarterback starting.
As impressive as that is, Rivera didn't rise through the ranks as an offensive mind. Instead, he's known for his ability to coach up a defense ‚— which is exactly why the Cleveland Browns should be giving him a call right now.
A former linebacker, Rivera was the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears from 2004 through 2006. He was so good at his job that he turned one of the worst defenses in the NFL into one of the best in no time.
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In his second season, the Bears were second overall in yards surrendered and first in points. He followed that up by going fifth in yards and third in points in 2006. That defense he ran was so good, they even took Rex Grossman to the Super Bowl.
He had similar success with the San Diego Chargers, who he was the defensive coordinator for in 2008 and stayed there until 2010. His defense was 25th in yardage in his first season but jumped to 16th in year two and first in his final season.
Rivera was named head coach of the Panthers after that and ended up taking them to the Super Bowl following their 15-1 campaign in 2015. On that staff was a face familiar to Cleveland fans, Steve Wilks.
The current Cleveland defensive coordinator joined Rivera's coaching staff in 2012 as a defensive backs coach and moved to coordinator in 2017 following Sean McDermott's departure. He was then the head coach with the Arizona Cardinals for one tumultuous season before joining Cleveland.
He's struggled this season but has shown flashes of knowing what he's doing. So why call Rivera If Wilks isn't a lost cause? Simple — he can help him.
Rivera is a head coach in the NFL and he will get another job in that role soon. For now, he could potentially be willing to join the staff as a defensive assistant, helping Wilks gameplan.
It's never a bad idea to bring in a good coach and Rivera is that. Plus he and Wilks already have a good working relationship which is why the Browns need to make this call.