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Luke Kuechly has strong thoughts on what Ron Rivera meant to the Panthers

Panthers, Luke Keuchly, Ron Rivera

On Tuesday, the Carolina Panthers fired long-time head coach Ron Rivera. Luke Kuechly, who spent eight years with Rivera after being drafted in the first round in 2012, did not mince words on losing Rivera.

Kuechly spent four minutes, on Wednesday, discussing what the loss of Rivera meant to him. He was emotional.

“I’m sure there were times where he wasn’t in the best mood, he was tired or bummed about a loss, but he was always the same guy. I think he just loves the game of football and being around the guys,” said Kuechly, via Max Henson of the team’s official website.

We’ve had a lot of guys from different organizations come here and everyone says the same thing about (how) fun it is and awesome Coach is. I’ve been here eight years now, and every day I come in I’ve been excited. He just created a place where people wanted to be here. He’s a special person, a special coach and he meant a lot to this city. We’re definitely going to miss having him around.”

You can read the entire quote here:

The Panthers’ firing of Rivera did not bring out reactions of what it would be like on the gridiron for those within the organization. Instead, it’s all about how he treated the team like a family. For Rivera, football is family, those around him will reflect that notion.

However, Rivera is no-more. After going 76-63-1 and reaching the Super Bowl, Rivera is now looking for his next job in football. That shouldn’t take too long.