A day after winning a head-to-head meeting with a former NFL teammate, Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera began preparing to face one of his coaching mentors in the Chiefs’ Andy Reid.
Rivera, who worked for Reid for five seasons in Philadelphia as the Eagles’ linebackers coach, had a zinger Monday when asked about the biggest thing he’d learned from Reid.
“Wear black,” Rivera said.
The Panthers are coming off a 13-10 victory at Los Angeles. Rams coach Jeff Fisher was Rivera’s teammate with the Bears for one season in 1984.
Rivera has coached against Reid once before. The Panthers beat Philadelphia 30-22 in a Monday night game in 2012, when the Eagles went 12-4 in Reid’s final season.
Rivera has pointed to Reid’s 2015 Kansas City team as inspiration for the Panthers, who are trying to join the Chiefs as the only teams to overcome a 1-5 start to make the playoffs under the current 12-team format.
Rivera said he told his players: “Hey, it’s been done before. So don’t let anybody tell you you can’t do it. So let’s go out there and do it.”
Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott spent 12 years in a variety of positions under Reid in Philly, the last two as coordinator.
McDermott said he’s looking forward to the chess match against his former boss this weekend in Charlotte.
“Andy, I’m sure, feels like he’s got a pretty good handle on what we do. We were a couple offices away from each other for 12 years there,” McDermott said. “A lot of respect for Andy Reid as a football coach and a man. It’ll be a good game.
“At the end of the day the players will decide the outcome of the game, not Andy and I lining up against each other.”