In the aftermath of the shakeup of the Carolina Panthers’ defensive coaching staff, coach Ron Rivera has had to make some adjustments.

One is spending more time working with his defensive coordinator, Eric Washington, who remains in that role despite the dismissals of defensive line coach Brady Hoke and cornerbacks coach Jeff Imamura.

‘I think my involvement, obviously, will be a little bit more than I’ve done in the past’

Another is that Rivera will focus greater attention on the Panthers’ secondary.

“It’s one of those things that last week we had some circumstances, so I stepped in and helped out,” Rivera told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan on Movin’ The Chains. “And I’m going to continue in that role. I’m working with Eric Washington very closely. I think my involvement, obviously, will be a little bit more than I’ve done in the past.

‘I’ve done it a lot and what I can do for the most part is help (Eric Washington)’

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera. (SiriusXM NFL Radio Photo)

“And I think the biggest thing is Eric’s a young coordinator. I mean, it’s a first opportunity and I’m experienced. I’ve done it a lot and what I can do for the most part is help him and, again, as we go forward, I just feel strongly about who we can become as a football team.”

Whatever the Panthers become through the balance of this season, however, they will do so without tight end Greg Olsen, who suffered a season-ending plantar fasciitis tear.

‘It gives us an opportunity to see Ian Thomas a little bit more’

“Which is a huge disappointment, because the dude was just starting to feel good again from having had the foot situation earlier in the year,” Rivera said. “So it’s a big loss, but I think our guys will answer it. It gives us an opportunity to see Ian Thomas a little bit more who started in Greg’s place in the beginning of the year and played well for us, so his opportunities will increase most certainly.”

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