Panthers fire Brady Hoke, Jeff Imamura from coaching staff

A Carolina Panthers helmet is seen during a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 3, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) 

The Carolina Panthers have relieved defensive line coach Brady Hoke and assistant secondary/cornerbacks coach Jeff Imamura of their duties, the team announced Monday. 

Head coach Ron Rivera will continue to work with the defense and will handle play-calling duties while Eric Washington will oversee the defensive front seven, the team said. Sam Mills III is expected lead the defensive line and Rivera will work with Richard Rodgers in the secondary. 

“In my judgment, I felt this was best for the team moving forward,” Rivera said. “These are always difficult decisions, and I thank Brady and Jeff for their hard work. Ultimately, I’m charged with putting the team in the best position to succeed, and I felt these moves were necessary in order to do that.”

The Panthers (6-6) have lost four straight games in a row, recently falling 24-17 to Tampa Bay. Playoff hopes seem to be dwindling. The Panthers four games to try and turn things around with Cleveland, followed by New Orleans, a rematch with Atlanta, and then a second game with the Saints.