Ron Rivera On Andy Reid

Panthers coach Ron Rivera spent five years as an assistant under Andy Reid. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

In most professions, when you get fired, your boss immediately confiscates your company ID and has a security guard escort you out of the building.

Andy Reid didn’t do that when he fired Sean McDermott 19 months ago. He made the decision to let his 36-year-old defensive coordinator go the Wednesday after the Eagles’ 21-16 playoff loss to the Packers, but waited four days to announce it while he helped McDermott find another job.

Less than a week later, McDermott landed in Charlotte as the Carolina Panthers’ new defensive coordinator, working for former Reid assistant Ron Rivera

"Andy cares about the people who work for him and play for him," said Rivera, who spent five years on Reid’s staff before leaving to become the Chicago Bears’ defensive coordinator in 2004.

"Whether he fires you or you move on on your own accord like I did, he keeps tabs on you. It’s great. You get the cards, you get the texts, you get the emails, you get the phone calls. He’s always very happy to see you at the (scouting) combine.

"Last year at the combine, he had a dinner with all of his former assistants who had become head coaches. It was a really neat deal."

Rivera said Reid called him and gave McDermott a glowing recommendation after he let him go. Urged him to hire him. Rivera didn’t need much urging. He had worked with McDermott and knew what he brought to the table.

"Sean’s a hard worker with a great outlook on things," Rivera, who knows what it’s like to get fired. Bears coach Lovie Smith let him go after the ’06 season. "He sees the big picture. He’s very, very thorough. Truthfully, he’s still learning and growing. His aggressive approach is really what we need and what we’re looking to get accomplished here.’’

Rivera on Reid lobbying for McDermott: "He was so positive about Sean when I talked to him after it went down. This past combine, we talked about Sean, and he just told me how happy he was that Sean was in a situation with somebody that knows him."

Rivera on Reid’s decision to return to the Eagles today, less than a day after burying his oldest son Garrett: "You know what, that’s who he is. He’ll go through (the grieving) and he’ll know that everybody who worked for him is behind him and supporting him if he ever needs anything.

"I saw the quote from Mr. Lurie about life throwing Andy a curve ball. Well, if there’s anybody out there who can hit that curve and knock it out of the park, it’s Andy Reid."