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Ron Rivera takes over defensive play-calling for Panthers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers coach Ron Rivera will take over defensive play calls from coordinator Eric Washington following the team’s four-game losing streak.

The Panthers also fired defensive line coach Brady Hoke and assistant secondary/cornerbacks coach Jeff Imamura. The moves were announced after Rivera met with new owner David Tepper and general manager Marty Hurney on Monday morning.

Washington will remain defensive coordinator but will now oversee the front seven. He was the team’s defensive line coach before being promoted to coordinator this past offseason.

Sam Mills III will lead the defensive line and Rivera will work with Richard Rodgers in the secondary.

Rivera, a former defensive coordinator in Chicago and San Diego, “helped out” with defensive play calls on Sunday against Tampa Bay.

Rivera says, “I am doing what I feel is best for the team.”

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