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Panthers' Ron Rivera on hot seat, Sterling Sharpe says

The NFL Network's "NFL GameDay First" crew kicked off Week 1 of the NFL season by taking a long look at a few coaches who already are sitting on toasty chairs.

The names mentioned were mostly familiar: Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions, Rex Ryan of the New York Jets and Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys.

The strongest position, however, was taken by former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Sterling Sharpe, who suggested that the Carolina Panthers could fire coach Ron Rivera by Week 3.

"Ron Rivera, the last two seasons, has started 2-8," Sharpe said. "He's not going to get a chance to go (2-8) because if he loses his first two (games) they are going to consider firing him in Week 3."

The Panthers have gotten off to painfully poor starts in Cam Newton's first two seasons before turning it up on the back nine of the schedule.

"Not only does (Rivera) have to win, get his team to the playoffs, the number on them is 11 (wins) and in that division with the (New Orleans) Saints, (Atlanta) Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, that is going to be very, very difficult to do," Sharpe said.

Rivera unquestionably is on the hot seat and is likely to remain there throughout the season, but we have a difficult time believing the Panthers would ditch him prior to the Week 4 bye.

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