Sunday’s matchup won’t be the first time Ron Rivera will take on the Panthers, as the Football Team lost to Carolina in the penultimate game of the regular season last year.
But the upcoming Week 11 contest between the two teams will mark Rivera’s return to Bank of America Stadium after he compiled a 76-63-1 record as the Panthers’ head coach.
Rivera was fired in 2019 after Carolina got off to a 5-7 start. But based on Rivera’s comments in his Wednesday press conference, it doesn’t seem like he’s treating Sunday’s contest as a sort of revenge game.
“No, there’s no reason to be bitter,” Rivers said. “I did the best I could and when it was time to move on, [Panthers owner] David Tepper treated me with tremendous dignity and respect — he really did. He gave me an opportunity to say goodbye, and I really appreciated that. And what’s really kind of cool, kind of speaks to who he is, when we played them here, he [wore] a ‘Rivera Strong’ [shirt] as well. So I’ve got a tremendous amount of respect for what he’s doing there right now, what they’re trying to do in terms of their rebuild as well. But there is no bitterness. If there’s anything, you miss the folks and the friends we had in Charlotte.”
Rivera said that as a coach, he appreciated being in one spot for so long. And while he realizes there will be some sort of emotion in being back in Charlotte, he’s doing his best to approach the situation as a business trip.
Washington is currently 3-6 after last week’s victory over the Buccaneers.