CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Ron Rivera will make his return to Bank of America Stadium on Sunday, almost two years after being fired.
But the winningest coach (76-63-1) in Carolina Panthers history, who now guides the Washington Football team, said he's doesn't have any bitterness towards the organization or team owner David Tepper.
"There's no reason to be bitter. I did the best I could and when it was time to move on, David Tepper treated me with tremendous dignity and respect," Rivera said. "He gave me an opportunity to say goodbye and I really appreciated that. There's no bitterness. If there's anything, we just miss the folks and friends there in Charlotte."
Rivera's team is 3-6 as they square off with Carolina, which is 5-5.
Of course not even Rivera could have guessed the Panthers quarterback would be Cam Newton again, after the star QB was brought back to Carolina last Thursday and scored two touchdowns in a victory on Sunday.
Rivera and Newton will be forever attached after their run from 2011-19 produced multiple division championships, an NFC title and a Super Bowl appearance.
"For him to get the opportunity to finish up there, good for him," Rivera said. "And I really do mean that."
Perhaps nobody knows how to defend Newton better than his former coach, who made sure to watch Newton's two scores against Arizona.
"Some of the stuff we'd done with him. That was kind of cool. Those are some of the things Cam does really well," Rivera said. "We're trying to guess to figure out what else they're going to do with him."