When it’s the offseason, NFL coaches are limited in the work they can do with players, so they have to learn from each other.
But instead of turning to other football coaches, Panthers coach Ron Rivera spent time with NASCAR crew chief Chad Knaus, who has led Jimmie Johnson to six titles.
The geographic proximity makes it easy, but Knaus also had some experience in a similar situation to the one Rivera’s in now.
In 2010, with three races to go in the season, Knaus once replaced his entire seven-man pit crew, which — without knowing much about car racing — seems vaguely analogous to Rivera blowing up his wide receiver corps this offseason.
“This guy may jack the car up a 10th of a second faster, but he doesn’t work as well together with others,” Rivera said via David Newton of ESPN.com, “while this guy may be a 10th of a second slower, yet he works well with everybody. We’re the same way. It’s about, ‘How does this guy fit in the locker room?’”
That sound you hear is a bus being driven over Steve Smith, an obvious shot at the best player in franchise history, who was cut earlier this offseason for reasons that had nothing to do with football.