It appears Ron Rivera is going to survive Black Monday.
Beyond that, Rivera's future remains uncertain.
While five of his coaching peers were fired Monday morning, the Panthers' second-year coach Ron Rivera said he's waiting to meet with owner Jerry Richardson about his fate.
Rivera said he was not sure when the meeting would take place, and it could be as soon as today. But team sources said Richardson did not want to make a rash decision, adding it might be Wednesday before he visits with Rivera.
As I've said, I'd like to have the opportunity to have the job. And that's pretty much it, Rivera said in his usual Monday press conference. We'll go from there and see.
The Panthers (7-9) won five of their last six games to finish in second place in the NFC South, a game better than Rivera's first season. But they were 0-7 in games decided by a touchdown or less before Sunday's 44-38 win at New Orleans.
When Richardson fired general manager Marty Hurney in November, he told Rivera he wanted to see the trend upward over the final 10 weeks of the season. The Panthers were 6-4 after Hurney's firing, although only two of the wins came against teams with winning records.
Rivera highlighted what he called the positives: Quarterback Cam Newton's continued development, rookie linebacker Luke Kuechly's place atop the league's tackles list, Greg Olsen's receiving records among Panthers' tight ends and DeAngelo Williams' club-record 210 rushing yards against the Saints.
There are so many good things that have come from the development of this team and the direction this team is heading, Rivera said. When I look back at this year and reflect on it, I'm most certainly to reflect on how we finished and the things that we've done.
Rivera, 50, would not say whether Richardson told him if the hiring of a GM would play a role in his future. Rivera said the GM hiring process would begin today.
With former New York Giants GM Ernie Accorsi consulting on the GM search, the Panthers are expected to consider two candidates with the Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross and senior pro personnel analyst Dave Gettleman.
Interim GM Brandon Beane is expected to get an interview, and could remain with the team in some capacity.
Meanwhile, for Rivera, the waiting game continues.
With a chance to state his case publicly a final time, Rivera said, I'll just say this, I think we are better today than we were when I first got started.