Rivera agrees with owner, won't accept mediocrity

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David Tepper is still very new to NFL ownership, and he's not happy with how his Carolina Panthers are performing in 2019.

At 5-5, not all is lost, but the NFC South crown isn't clearly theirs, either. It's completely fair to expect more out of your new business and luckily for Tepper, the man in charge whom Tepper inherited agrees.

"That's to be expected," Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday. "This game is about winning. I don't accept (mediocrity) either."

On Monday, Tepper had a roundtable with Charlotte-area reporters and answered a myriad of questions, among them how he feels about the current state of the franchise, and made it clear that he's not interested in long-term mediocrity, per ESPN.com. Naturally, between the lines of such a question lurks the coach's job security.

Rivera's Panthers skidded to a disappointing 7-9 finish last season. If they can't finish at 8-8 or better in 2019, it will be the third time Rivera's Panthers have finished below .500 since Carolina went 15-1 and reached the Super Bowl in 2015.

Rivera's past success bought him plenty of breathing room amid roster changes. But any time a new owner arrives, jobs are less secure, simply because those in charge might want to install their own choices in key positions.

The coach is off to a good start in that department by demonstrating similar trains of thought when it comes to performance. Then again, no one realistically wants to lose. It would behoove Rivera to avoid doing so in the team's final six games.

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