It's hard to get a great read on Ron Rivera, although he's well liked by players and fellow coaches. He took over midway through last season, but he wasn't able to implement all his schemes on the fly.
This year was supposed to be his big payoff season after having a full offseason to install his defense. But a season-ending injury to NT Jamal Williams in Week 1 -- combined with Shawne Merriman's inability to bounce back from injury -- has forced him to throw a lot of things together with string and duct tape.
The Chargers run a 3-4 defense, but Rivera is more comfortable in a 4-3 and it shows. He still puts a premium on pressuring the quarterback, but it doesn't always come from the linebacker position. The Chargers blitz their safeties a lot and will send corners from time to time, as well. Part of that is Rivera being creative; part of it is out of necessity since San Diego's outside pass rushers have struggled.
As a leader, Rivera is fantastic. He's fiery and inspirational and players always play their best for him.
He is an "old buddy system" type of guy, though. If he gets the head job in Buffalo, he'd fill the staff with coaches he'd worked with in the past and he'd go out and get a bunch of players who'd played under him before.
I don't see him getting the job. While he's done a good job with what he's had to work with, he needs to build a top-tier defense in San Diego before he can be considered one of the hottest assistant coaches in the league. The Chargers finished this season 16th overall defensively.
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---See what experts had to say about Leslie Frazier and Brian Schottenheimer here.
---And don't miss an in-depth look at Russ Grimm here. -------------------------------------------------
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