Rivera's departure would hurt San Diego

January, 12, 2009
1/12/09
1:28
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Eric Weddle knows he is being selfish but he doesn't want Ron Rivera to become a head coach in the NFL.

The San Diego Chargers need him too much.

But it could happen. Rivera could be out the door in San Diego. If so it would be a crushing blow to the Chargers. Rivera will interview for the Detroit Lions' head coaching job Tuesday. There could be other opportunities.

Rivera became a hot coaching candidate when he turned around San Diego's defense after taking over for the fired Ted Cottrell at midseason. The San Diego defense responded to Rivera's aggressive scheme and his hands on approach.

Many in San Diego credit the defensive turnaround for the team's five-game winning streak that extended into the playoffs. San Diego lost at Pittsburgh, 35-24, in the AFC divisional playoffs.

If Rivera leaves a head coach, San Diego will have a difficult time replacing him. He just fit with the players. Rivera was known for being very supportive. Win or lose, he was in the locker room after games speaking to his players.

If Rivera is in San Diego next season, the Chargers could be superior. If not, the Chargers have to find a suitable replacement or their struggles on defense could resurface.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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