Panthers shake up staff after fourth straight loss


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera announced Monday that he will take over defensive play calling in a staff shakeup that includes firing defensive line coach Brady Hoke and assistant secondary coach Jeff Imamura.

The changes came less than 24 hours after the Panthers (6-6) lost their fourth straight game, a 24-17 setback at Tampa Bay, to fall deeper in the hole for an NFC wild-card playoff spot.

Rivera took over the play calling for the defense on Sunday, but he did not fire first-year defensive coordinator Eric Washington, who now will oversee the defensive front seven.

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