Sean McDermott Shares Memories, Lessons Learned From Ron Rivera

Shannon Shepherd

The first wave of head coaching shake ups came Tuesday evening when the Panthers announced the firing of Ron Rivera.

Rivera had led the Panthers from 2011-2019 and leaves with a 79-67-1 record as a head coach.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott spent many years on coaching staffs with Rivera. The two were together as assistants in Philadelphia from 1999-2003. They reconnected in Carolina when Rivera hired McDermott as his defensive coordinator in 2011 until he was hired by Buffalo in 2017. 

"It is just unfortunate to see," McDermott said about his colleague. "I learned a lot from Coach Rivera. Leadership wise, football wise and off the field wise. He did a lot of good things I thought in Carolina. Some of which I was there for and had a front row seat to experience. Went to a Super Bowl, multiple division titles."

"I thought Ron did a fine job and I mean that with the highest praise possible and I mean that. I am sorry to see that happen but I know God has a plan for him and he will be just fine."

McDermott was asked what he learned from Rivera as a head coach that has helped him in his role with the Bills now.

"I thought one of the best things Coach Rivera did was he was always out among the people. He did not lead from behind the desk as he did from out in front. He is a people person and when we talk about leadership it comes down to relationships and people and I thought Ron did a fantastic job with that."

McDermott said he sent Rivera a text message after hearing the news and wanted to respect his privacy.

Rivera leaves the Panthers with a 5-7 record this season.