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Ron Rivera told he will return to Panthers in 2019

As anticipated, Ron Rivera will remain head coach of the Carolina Panthers in 2019.

Rivera has been told by the Panthers he will remain with the team, a source familiar with the team's plan told NFL Network's Michael Silver. Rivera indicated Friday he was still in the Panthers' good graces when he said he had good conversations recently with David Tepper, the team's owner.

"I feel pretty good. My intention, everything I've been doing is working towards the future and we'll go from there," Rivera said Friday. "My conversations with the owner have been all positive. That's why I am just going forward."

The Panthers finished the season at 7-9 with a 33-14 victory over the NFC South champion New Orleans Saints, who were resting several starters, including Drew Brees and Alvin Kamara. The win snapped a seven-game losing streak that torpedoed the Panthers' playoff aspirations following their 6-2 start.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported last week Rivera was expected to be retained for 2019 despite the team's dismal finish. Rivera has posted a 71-56-1 record in his eight seasons with the team and has missed the postseason twice in the last three years after reaching the Super Bowl at the end of the 2015 season.

Rivera told reporters Friday he understood the Panthers need to be better next year.

"I truly am disappointed. The hard part about it too, losing is truly disappointing, but sometimes you feel like you let some people down. That's probably one of the things I've struggled with.

"I think we're better than our record says, but at the end of the day you are what your record says you are. That's been the hard pill for me to swallow."

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