For the first time since 1996, it seems likely that longtime head coach and defensive coordinator Ron Rivera will not be coaching in the NFL in the upcoming season.

That doesn’t mean he’ll be away from the game entirely, though.

Rivera stopped by ESPN’s “SportsCenter” on Wednesday for what seemed to be an audition of sorts for an analyst position in the network’s NFL coverage.

ESPN’s Washington Commanders (for whom Rivera served as head coach from 2020-23) beat reporter John Keim confirmed that it was an audition and that there were a lot of media outlets interested in securing Rivera’s services.

In January, Rivera told Keim that he would like to continue coaching, even as a defensive coordinator, but with all 32 defensive coordinator positions now filled, it appears he may be much more open to the TV route.

Rivera went 102-103-2 in his 13 seasons as an NFL head coach, nine of which were spent with the Carolina Panthers before he joined the Commanders. Rivera took the Panthers to Super Bowl 50 where they lost to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. He won the AP Coach of the Year in both 2013 and 2015.

Since Rivera has been coaching so long and so consistently, we don’t have a ton of footage of him on TV to go off of, but he had no shortage of personality as a coach. If the clips above are any indication, he would fit right into ESPN’s NFL coverage.

[John Keim]