Simply a Matter of Time for Rivera

Although defensive coordinator Ron Rivera may garner some interest from teams in search of a head coach during the bye week, for the time being he's got his mind on making history with the Bears. In between preparing his unit for a shot at the franchise record book and pondering his future, Rivera took the time for a one-on-one interview to discuss all of the above.

In just his second season as defensive coordinator of the Bears, Rivera has his unit atop the league rankings in total yardage and points allowed. Being at the helm of the league's best defense is opening doors for Rivera, who will likely get a chance to interview for a head coaching job sometime during the bye week.

The following is a question and answer session between Rivera and Bear Report's Jason Klabacha.

BR: Is it strange to think your unit could set the mark for the fewest points allowed in franchise history, a record you help set as a player back in 1986?
RR: "That would be the ultimate, it really would be I think. Just to have our guys do that and me be part of it. It's really been kind of neat and this season has been very gratifying because of the congratulations I've gotten from people.

"The praise I've gotten from Buddy Ryan. He said he really likes the way our guys play hard and that type of stuff really means a lot. Some of my old teammates complimenting our guys on how hard they play, that type of stuff does mean something to me. It really would be special, this is a great group of young guys that really aspire to be the best and to be able to eclipse the record that was set by the '86 team, which followed the '85 team would be tremendous."

BR: Many people often mistake the 1985 club for owning the record of 186 points, but it was actually set the following season.
RR: "The record could have been even better if we would have been able to keep Jim McMahon healthy. That was the year he got slammed to the turf and tore his rotator cuff. He was such a vital part of the team and to lose him like we did and still play good on defense was awesome. All it did was put a huge burden on Walter, we really understood the situation and were able to put it together."

BR: What type of opportunities do you think you'll have to become a head coach this off-season?
RR: "It would great because if you coach in the NFL you should aspire to reach the top and that's what I do. If it happens it would be awesome, it really would be and I will take that in stride. But if it doesn't, it doesn't. I would love to get the opportunity someday, I don't know when that right time is going to be. My main focus, my main goal is to get to the playoffs, win in the playoffs and get to the Super Bowl. But if it did happen it would be great, it really would be. I'm not sure how the process works or what's going to happen."

BR: How much of an advantage is it to have someone that has gone through the same process of becoming a defensive coordinator and then a head coach, such as Lovie Smith?
RR: "I most certainly would rely on Coach Smith. He's been tremendous with me in being a mentor in terms of helping me develop as a coordinator. I know if there's one thing I've always been able to do is come to him with questions about things that happen. I most certainly would rely on him."

BR: Would you be disappointed if you weren't offered a head coaching position this year?
RR: "No absolutely not, just because this is my ninth year coaching and second as a coordinator. I know some guys have done it sooner, but I think the thing that I do understand is I've got a career in this league and one that's going to be of a coach, coordinator or head coach. It's all going to come I've just got to keep plugging away."


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