I can't single out Steve Smith like that. It's a team sport and I was talking about just players on the team in general not just one in particular. Bill Belichick is a coach who always keeps players on there toes. If they are not playing up to high standards they get traded or cut. Rivera isn't that type of guy so that's another reason why I believe players relax.
Here are the other players (that I know of) who have publicly said they want Rivera back:
- Thomas Davis
- Charles Johnson
- Greg Hardy
- Greg Olsen
There are probably others, but those are the ones I remember off the top of my head.
Do any of those guys fit the description of players that just want a coach who'll take it easy on them?
And let's remember that Rivera cut Terrell McClain (3rd round pick) Olindo Mare' (guy he brought in with a big contract) and Justin Medlock (guy he replaced Mare' with). He also benched DeAngelo Williams, Sione Fua and Joe Adams and is set to move Jon Beason outside against his wishes.
I'm not seeing a guy who goes easy on underperformers.