Ron Rivera: 'Carolina Panthers have had a long journey'

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera says that making the playoffs was a long journey for the team.

Ron Rivera has said that the Carolina Panthers have been on a long journey since he was named head coach in 2011.

The 52-year-old was named coach of the year after guiding the Panthers to the NFC South title.

He told ESPN: "I do feel a lot of pride because it has been a long journey, but it also was a part of the process. Just like us getting to where we are winning 12 games was part of the process.

"We started, the team was 2-14 before I got there and we went to 6-10 and then 7-9, and this year we broke through at 12-4. It was part of the process of growing and developing."

The Panthers played in the divisional round of the playoffs, but were knocked out by the San Francisco 49ers.

Head coach Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers watches on against the Seattle Seahawks during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 8, 2013
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