Steve Smith blasts former coach and new Redskins coach Ron Rivera
Many are complimentary of new Washington Redskins head coach Ron Rivera and his coaching tactics that largely revolve around treating the team as family. However, some aren’t. A former receiver of his with the Carolina Panthers, Steve Smith, blasted Rivera on Wednesday on a Carolina-based radio show.
Smith, who played under Rivera for three seasons, doesn’t like how Rivera took out the ping pong table at his new employer, the Redskins.
“Coach Rivera goes up to Washington, what does he do? Takes away the ping pong table,” Smith said on WFNZ Sports Radio, via Ethan Cadeaux of NBC Sports Washington. “C’mon now, really. That’s the biggest impact we’re going to make? Really? The ping pong table and the shuffleboard?”
Rivera joined the Redskins as head coach at the conclusion of their 2019 season. The removal of the ping pong table was more symbolic than anything else — as he tries to rebuild a culture that got accustomed to losing in recent years.
Smith’s qualms with Rivera don’t end at a ping pong table. He also questioned the hiring of Scott Turner as offensive coordinator.
“You’re going to hire the same weak a– offensive coordinator that you had in Carolina?” Smith asked, referring to Rivera’s decision.
Turner is the son of former Redskins coach Norv Turner. He served as the offensive coordinator of the Panthers after Carolina fired Rivera.
Only time will tell if Rivera’s choices in the nation’s capital pay off. However, for now, one of the best players he ever coached is anything but happy with him.