The Philadelphia Eagles gave Ron Rivera his first break in the NFL 25 years ago. Rivera is getting an opportunity to revive his career with the franchise, as the Eagles are interviewing him for their open defensive coordinator spot, per ESPN.
Rivera was recently fired as head coach of the Washington Commanders, compiling a 26-40-1 record in his four seasons there. The Commanders didn’t have a winning record under Rivera in his tenure, but won the NFC East in his first season at the helm in 2020. Rivera has a 102-103-2 record in his 13 seasons as a head coach with the Commanders and Carolina Panthers, winning the NFC Championship with Carolina in 2015 and three consecutive division titles from 2013 -2015. He has a 3-5 playoff record with five playoff appearances.
Rivera is still hoping to coach if the opportunity is right. Philadelphia may be the “right” spot for Rivera, given his history with the organization. Hired as Andy Reid’s first linebackers’ coach in 1999, Rivera spent five seasons with the Eagles and is responsible for the development of Jeremiah Trotter into a Pro Bowler. The Eagles had a fierce combination of Trotter and Carlos Emmons at linebacker, as Jim Johnson’s defense was regarded as a top-three unit in the NFL during that time.
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The Chicago Bears hired Rivera as defensive coordinator in 2004, as he had a top-five defense in yards allowed and points allowed in two of his three seasons. Rivera went to the Chargers in 2007 as linebackers coach and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2008 — finishing with the No. 1 defense in yards allowed in 2010 (the year before he was hired as head coach).
Rivera fits the veteran defensive coordinator profile the Eagles seek, someone who can be the head coach of a defense that likely isn’t running to get another head coaching job. The familiarity with the organization is also highly beneficial.