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Bears' Lovie Smith has empathy for Ron Rivera

Chicago Bears head coach feels for his ex-defensive coordinator and current Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera

Brian A. Westerholt

Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith empathizes with his former defensive coordinator and current coach of the Carolina Panthers, Ron Rivera (Bears defensive coordinator from 2004-2006). The Panthers are 1-5 and Rivera is coming under fire, as the Panthers fired general manager Marty Hurney on Monday.

Rivera said the firing of Hurney sent a message to everyone on the Carolina staff that no one's job is safe, but Smith thinks Rivera will turn things around. Smith said that sometimes teams go through times like this, but if Rivera keeps working he'll get it right eventually. Smith added that with only six games completed, "I think it's a little early to start trying to cast exactly what someone is and what a team is."

Four of the Panthers five losses this season have come by just six points or fewer. Carolina takes on 5-1 Chicago at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday at Soldier Field.