Panthers Fire Special Teams Coach Brian Murphy

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Panthers coach Ron Rivera says he has fired special teams coordinator Brian Murphy after the team gave up a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown to Trindon Holliday in Sunday's 36-14 loss to the Denver Broncos.

Rivera has promoted assistant special teams coach Richard Rodgers to coordinator. Rodgers, in his first season in Carolina, was a college teammate of Rivera's at Cal.

Rivera says the decision was made because of "philosophical differences and productivity."

The Panthers (2-7) gave up three punt returns for touchdowns last season but Murphy kept his job. The latest snafu, which gave the Broncos a 14-7 in the second quarter and turned the momentum of the game, proved to be his undoing.

Rivera says he's also disappointed in the team's performance on kickoff returns.

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