'My intention is to coach again': Ron Rivera reacts to firing

 abc11.com  12/04/2019 14:20:08 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The week after Thanksgiving, former Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera gave thanks to a litany of people from the same stadium that served as his office for nearly 9 years.

Rivera was reflective and pensive in his goodbye to the organization in a news conference held Tuesday morning. The firing came days after a 29-21 loss to the Washington Redskins at home, a low point in an up-and-down season. The defeat left the Panthers at 5-7 and a longshot to make the playoffs.

"I was surprised," Rivera said of his reaction to being fired. "If anything I thought it would happen at the end of the season."Rivera said he addressed the team Tuesday morning before he spoke to the media."It's a great group of young men," said Rivera, citing Greg Olsen and Eric Reid having great character."Anybody can coach. To help somebody in life, I think that's really cool. To hear from players you've given advice, that's worth the effort."The Panthers reached the Super Bowl during the 2015 season, falling to the Denver Broncos. It was the franchise's second Super Bowl appearance, and Rivera said losing that game was his biggest regret."We had an opportunity and these are circumstances we can control," Rivera said. "I get it, I've been in this league long enough. I know how things are supposed to be and when things aren't happening you get taken to task."The successes were marked by the team winning three consecutive NFC South championships from 2013 to 2015. Since then, disappointment has largely been the theme, with a brief playoff appearance in 2017 being the high mark. Star quarterback Cam Newton has been plagued by injury, leaving his future with the team uncertain.Rivera thanked the organization and the city of Charlotte for embracing him along with many others within the organization. Rivera was hired by former owner Jerry Richardson, the predecessor of current owner David Tepper."We came in and did the best we could," Rivera said. "When we leave, hopefully, we left it a better place."Rivera said he loved coaching and that it was his intent to coach again in the league.

"My intention is to coach again," he said. "I love coaching."

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