Oct 20, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith (89) with head coach Ron Rivera before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Rumors: Did Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera take shot at Steve Smith?

The Carolina Panthers opted to blowup their wide receiver core this offseason, ridding themselves of longtime wideout Steve Smith.

Smith was none too happy about being left out to pasture, suggesting that when he and his Baltimore Ravens play the Panthers, there will be ‘blood’. The Panthers have been mostly quiet about Smith since he’s left, though have dropped a few inconspicuous jabs much like the one from head coach Ron Rivera on Friday afternoon.

Rivera likened the Panthers situation to one from Nascar, suggesting that while one player might not be as gifted or as talented as another, his ability to play nice with others is vital to success.

Talking about how people fit onto a roster also was helpful in a way Rivera never imagined.

“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, “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?’”

Back in 2010, Chad Knaus, the famed pit crew chief of Jimmy Johnson opted to replace some of his more talented (and speedier) pit crew members which at the time was questioned by just about everybody. But the move ended up bringing Johnson back from 33 points down in the standings to eventually winning his fifth straight Sprint Cup Championship. Rivera suggested that the restructuring of the Panthers roster was similar to that of Knaus’ of the Lowe’s 48 team.

Tags: Carolina Panthers Ron Rivera Steve Smith

  • http://twitter.com/Spin_47 Les Bailey

    Those guys came from Jeff Gordon’s pit.