Ron Rivera doesn’t hold a grudge before Carolina returns – NBC4 Washington
Rivera: “No Reason To Be Bitter” Before Return To Carolina Originally Appeared On NBC Sports Washington
Ron Rivera has enjoyed tremendous success in his nine seasons as the Panthers’ head coach, leading Carolina to four NFC South titles and a 15-1 record and one Super Bowl appearance in 2015.
Yet in December 2019, just two days after Carolina lost to, ironically, a Washington team that had already won two wins, Rivera was sacked as the Panthers’ head coach. Less than a month later, he was introduced as the coach of the Washington football team.
Rivera will return to Bank of America Stadium for the first time since being sacked on Sunday when Washington faces the 4-5 Panthers. While the head coach would surely like to leave Charlotte with a victory over his former baseball club, Rivera insisted he had no bitterness towards the organization.
“There is no reason to be bitter,” Rivera said Wednesday.
Losing a job is never easy, especially as an NFL head coach. Yet when Rivera was let go by the Panthers less than two years ago, he truly appreciated the respect and class that Carolina’s organization showed him on his way.
“I went and did my best, and when it was time to move on, [Panthers owner] David Tepper treated me with tremendous dignity and respect, “said Rivera.” He really did. He gave me the opportunity to say goodbye to him, and I really enjoyed that. “
Although Rivera was ultimately unable to offer the City of Charlotte a Super Bowl title, the head coach left the organization in a much better position than when he inherited it. Rivera left Carolina as the franchise’s all-time winning leader and is just one of two coaches in Panthers history to lead the team to a Super Bowl appearance.
“For a coach to be in one place for a long time, for that many years, for nine seasons, that basically means having roots,” Rivera said. “Coaches are usually on the move three, four, five, six years later, so being in one place for a while was pretty cool. It meant a lot.”
When Rivera was sacked, Carolina was heading for its second consecutive losing season. The roster was aging and had major question marks at the sport’s most important position as the organization had a decision to make regarding the future of Cam Newton, Rivera’s first-ever choice.
One of the first steps in the franchise was Rivera and then Newton’s move, admitting that a rebuild was needed. However, Carolina’s property just wanted to change direction.
“I have enormous respect for what [Tepper is] do over there right now, which they are trying to do in terms of rebuilding, too, “Rivera said.” But there is no bitterness. “
While Rivera has no ill will towards his old organization, the head coach admitted he would feel a little different on the opposing sideline at Bank of America Stadium, a building he called his home. for almost a decade.
Rivera said he plans for his wife, Stephanie, to visit old friends. For Rivera, he tries to keep the task at hand for Sunday’s game – getting a win against a strong football team – as what is most important.
“Being back in Charlotte will probably be the most important thing for me more than anything else. The thing that I really enjoyed about my time, more there than anything else, were the people, and that. ‘is probably the most important thing, “says Rivera. “What I do is limit my exposure to that. Stephanie will do all the visits and say hello to people. Me, I’m going to pretty much try to stick to the mantra that it’s all about. a business trip. “