• Panthers’ Ron Rivera hopeful Steve Smith will be ready after bye week

    Summary of 4 articles · Updated Dec 30, 2013
    “I believe he’s going to be back out there, knowing Steve,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. The bye means an extra week to heal for the team’s three injured starters – receiver Steve Smith , running back Jonathan Stewart and defensive tackle Colin Cole . There was a time this season when Ron Rivera was on the proverbial hot seat. Carolina Panthers Steve Smith made it clear Sunday he needed the first-round NFC playoff bye to get healthy, and his coach was optimistic Smith would be back for the Jan. 12 divisional-round game. One easily could argue he should be the favorite after taking the Panthers from 1-3 to 12-4, the NFC South title and a first-round bye in the playoffs. Then the Panthers started winning, and – aside from a hiccup in New Orleans – never stopped. "I always felt I would be right where I am.'' Having said that, Riviera admitted he's "very fortunate'' to be where he was on Monday, talking about potential playoff matchups against Philadelphia, Green Bay or San Francisco instead of cleaning out his desk as five other head coaches were.
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    • Rivera goes from hot seat to hot commodity

      CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- There was a time this season when Ron Rivera was on the proverbial hot seat. There was a time when the third-year Carolina Panthers coach was a prime candidate to be one of the day-after-the-season casualties like friends Rob Chudzins…
      Source: ESPN.com

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