CHARLOTTE – Marty Hurney hired Ron Rivera as head coach of the Panthers in 2011, but they didn't even have two full seasons together before Hurney was gone.
They're back together again, and given the circumstances, it's an ideal outcome for Rivera.
"I think right now, this is the right guy for the right time and situation," Rivera said. "He understands our culture, he understands most of these players – a lot of these players he has been around. I'm excited about it."
The week before training camp is typically one of the quietest times of the NFL year. It's been anything but quiet for the Panthers following Dave Gettleman's dismissal.
But Rivera isn't concerned about his team's focus entering camp.
"I don't think it's one of those things that is going to be a big distraction. It's kind of the nature of the business," Rivera said. "We'll hit the ground running when we get to Wofford."
Rivera liked what he saw during spring practices, and the upheaval in the front office hasn't changed his optimistic outlook on the season.
"I thought we had some really good OTAs and minicamp practices," Rivera said. "Obviously, the big question is Cam (Newton) coming back, and I do know he is up in Baltimore throwing with a group of the guys. His shoulder must be fine. I look forward to seeing him on Tuesday as I look forward to seeing the rest of the guys."