Both teams made it work out on the way to this year’s Super Bowl.
The Broncos came to a mutual parting with former John Fox and brought in Gary Kubiak, who has done a terrific job. He got five wins from backup quarterback Brock Osweiler, and he has helped to transform the Broncos from a pass-oriented team to a defensive one.
Carolina, on the other hand, stuck with coach Ron Rivera, who has guided them to a 15-1 record. But it was a little over a year ago when the Panthers were 3-8-1 and stuck in the mud. They had just been blown out by Green Bay. There were rumors he could be fired.
That wasn’t rare for Rivera, who first heard such whispers when he was 7-9 in his second season. Yes, sometimes, sticking with your guy is enough.
Sometimes, it isn’t. Kubiak, the former Texans’ head coach, was a perfect fit for the Broncos. It says a lot that, in one of Peyton Manning’s worst statistical years, he has the Broncos in the final game.
So who’s your coach of the year? To most, it’s either Rivera or Kubiak.