Cam Newton says Rivera firing ‘hurt deep’, says he’s thankful for impact on his life

Carolina Panthers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCN) — The fallout from the firing of Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera continues.

Quarterback Cam Newton took to Instagram to share his thoughts on the firing of the coach that drafted him first overall in 2011, Rivera’s first draft pick with the organization.

“Will be forever grateful because of the impact you had on my life,” Newton said in a recent post.

The Panthers fired their all-time winningest head coach with the team on a four-game losing streak and headed to its third non-playoff season in four years.

“I believe this is the best decision for the long-term success of our team,” Panthers owner David Tepper said in a statement Tuesday. “I have a great deal of respect for Ron and the contributions he has made to this franchise and to this community.”

Rivera was hired in 2011 and was 76-63-1 in the regular season and a 3-4 postseason mark. In nine seasons Rivera guided the team to a Super Bowl appearance, an NFC championship and three NFC South titles.

But the Panthers have fallen on hard times lately following injuries to quarterback Cam Newton the past two seasons.

The Panthers are 5-7 this season and are all but eliminated from playoff contention after a 29-21 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday at home.

When asked if he was worried about his future with the team on Sunday after his team surrendered a 14-0 lead to the Redskins, Rivera replied, “I’m not worried about my future. I’m worried about this football team. We have a game coming up on Sunday” at Atlanta.

They started this season 5-3. Last year the team was 6-2 but lost seven straight games and finished 7-9.

Since losing to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 four seasons ago, the Panthers are 29-31 and have not won a playoff game.

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