CHARLOTTE – The Panthers decision to part ways with head coach Ron Rivera Tuesday fell on the players' day off, meaning many Panthers weren't at Bank of America Stadium to react to the news.
That didn't keep them from sharing their thoughts on social media, though.
As news broke that Rivera would no longer be heading the team, players looked back on fond memories of their former coach and expressed their gratitude for his nine years at the helm.
Tight end Greg Olsen began his career in Chicago, where Rivera played in the '80s and served as defensive coordinator from 2004-06. On Tuesday, Olsen took to Twitter to reflect on all the encouraging things he remembered hearing from Rivera's former colleagues in Chicago the day he was traded to Carolina.
Quarterback Cam Newton and Rivera came to the Panthers together in 2011, and drafting Newton first overall was seen as Rivera's first big move as head coach. Newton shared an emotional reaction to the news via his Instagram story on Tuesday, saying, "This one hurt deep."
Running back Christian McCaffrey thanked Rivera for believing in him -- McCaffrey was drafted eighth overall in 2017 -- and praised the coach's leadership.
Edge rusher Mario Addison also posted on Instagram, sharing how impactful Rivera was on his life, both on and off the field.
More reactions from current and former Panthers players: