Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Old Friend, Now Division Rival


The Buccaneers found their replacement at head coach after firing Greg Schiano last Monday.  The team announced that Lovie Smith, the Bears former head coach, will be the team’s new leader.  Panthers head coach Ron Rivera is very familiar with Lovie Smith.  Rivera was Smith’s defensive coordinator for Chicago from 2004-2006, before being let go following the Bears loss in Superbowl XLI.  Rivera claims there are no hard feelings in the relationship and that the two have kept in touch since his departure from Chicago.  “It was not a personal thing.  I lived with it and moved on.  It’s never been an issue” said Rivera in an interview today.  Now the two defensive minded coaches will battle it out twice a year.

Smith sent texts to Rivera following the Panthers’ 1-3 start this season , imploring him to “get it rolling” and sent congratulatory messages following the Panthers clinching the division crown.  It is in my personal opinion that Lovie will do a much better job with the Bucs than Schiano ever could.  This team has the talent to be a contender, all they need is a solid leader.  We saw the same thing happen in San Francisco with Jim Harbaugh and in Kansas City with Andy Reid.  The NFC South could become the new powerhouse in the NFL.  The division certainly has the talent to do so.

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Tags: Carolina Panthers Lovie Smith Ron Rivera

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