- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 9, 2020

Ron Rivera’s decision to remove the ping pong table in the Redskins’ locker room last week generated a lot of discussion.

But not everyone is a fan.

Former wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., who played under Rivera for three seasons in Carolina, ripped the new Redskins coach for doing so during a radio interview with WFZN Sports. 

Coach Rivera goes up to Washington, what does he do? Takes away the ping pong table,” Smith said. “C’mon now, really. That’s the biggest impact we’re going to make? Really? The ping pong table and the shuffleboard?”

Occasionally over the past few years, the Redskins’ choice to have ping pong in the locker room came under fire from fans and local radio hosts as critics argued it was an example of the team not focusing enough on football. 

Smith also ripped the Redskins’ decision to hire Scott Turner, the son of Norv Turner, as their offensive coordinator. Scott Turner and Steve Smith overlapped one year in Carolina, when Turner began his coaching career as an offensive quality control coach in 2011. 

“You’re going to hire the same weak a— offensive coordinator that you had in Carolina?” Smith said.

Turner became the Panthers’ coordinator only after Rivera was fired last month. 

In total, Smith spent 13 seasons with the Panthers before the team released him in 2014. After playing three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, Smith retired in 2017 and now is an analyst for NFL Network. 

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