Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson said Sunday he has no intention to move the team to Los Angeles or anywhere else.
Amid reports that California political officials have been courting Richardson in the hopes of bringing the team to Los Angeles, Richardson issued a statement Sunday saying his desire to have a team in the Carolinas has not changed.
As someone who was born in North Carolina and lived much of my life in South Carolina, I hope that there would be no doubts about my personal devotion to the Carolinas, Richardson said in a statement released by the team.
Some of the discussions between Los Angeles officials and Richardson occurred during the Democratic National Convention, including a conversation with Los Angeles Mayor and DNC Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa.
President Barack Obama was scheduled to make his acceptance speech at Bank of America Stadium before weather concerns moved the event to Time Warner Cable Arena.
The Panthers are working with sports architecture firm Populous and other consultants on a stadium renovation plan, expected to be ready at the end of the season. No public money went toward the construction of the stadium, which opened in 1996 and was funded primarily by the sale of personal seat licenses.
POLIAN NOT INTERESTED: Former Panthers general manager Bill Polian said Sunday he was not interested in returning to the organization to replace Marty Hurney, who was fired earlier this season.
Polian, who still has a home in the Lake Norman area, now works for ESPN and was in the Bank of America Stadium press box watching the Panthers-Broncos game Sunday.
He said the Panthers did the right thing in hiring former New York Giants executive Ernie Accorsi to lead the search for a new general manager.
They couldnt have chosen a better person to do it, Polian said. You have to get the process right before you can get anything else right. They got the process right. Everything else will flow from that.
Polian didnt offer any thoughts on the state of the Panthers.
This is the first time Ive had a real opportunity to look at them so I would be giving an uneducated opinion, he said.
CHASING MANNING: Peyton Manning entered the game having been sacked only twice in the past five games. He left with three in six games.
Only defensive end Charles Johnson got to the four-time MVP quarterback. That came in the third quarter, when Johnsons hit knocked the ball loose and fellow end Greg Hardy recovered.
The duo entered the game with a combined 14 sacks, which was good for first among NFC defensive line duos.
We were getting back there touching him, keeping him off his game hopefully, Hardy said. He gets it off so fast, so its hard to get after him when hes checking down and hitting short routes. But after a while I got back there. I hit him twice and got close to a sack. But like I said, hes Manning.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW: One of the games biggest touchdown plays should have been a touchback instead, according to a former NFL official turned FOX analyst.
After Trindon Holliday returned a Brad Nortman punt 76 yards for a touchdown at the start of the second quarter, Mike Pereira tweeted that Holliday had released the ball just before crossing the plane.
If reviewed it wouldve been reversed to a touchback because it was a fumble, Pereira tweeted. Replay officials fault for not stopping it to review.
Replays of the touchdown showed Holliday let go of the ball before crossing the goal line. The touchdown put Denver up 14-7.
Referee Al Riveron said the entire play was reviewed, including whether Holliday stepped out of bounds along the Panthers sideline.
The play was confirmed. We were looking at the player going down the sideline and the entire play was confirmed, Riveron said.
Riveron said after the game he had not talked to the replay officials.
• The Panthers wore all black uniforms for the first time in team history Sunday. Based on the outcome, it may be a long time before they wear them again.
• With all the attention suddenly devoted to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, better known as Johnny Football, there was John Elway, the Broncos executive vice president, at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday. He was easy to spot in his Broncos blue suit and orange necktie. If ever a guy earned the nickname Johnny Football, it was Elway. Johnny Unitas could probably have laid claim to the nickname, too.
• The Panthers made a point of celebrating the military and veterans in their Salute To Sunday theme. Even the sideline towels were themed for the day. Like pink towels during the breast cancer awareness campaign, players used towels with a camouflage print on them Sunday.
By the numbers
1 Running plays by the Panthers that gained more than 6 yards.
26 The Panthers had consecutive 26-yard pass completions in the first quarter, the first to tight end Greg Olsen and the second to running back Mike Tolbert.
100 Consecutive home sellouts for the Panthers.
186 Number of games the Panthers had gone without allowing a safety, the longest active streak in the league, before Cam Newton was tackled in the fourth quarter for safety.
420 Number of career touchdown passes thrown by Peyton Manning, who tied Dan Marino for second on the all-time list Sunday.
• It caught them off guard and I probably did something I wasnt supposed to do. Peyton did a great job finding me. Those are the nice ones where youre wide open and no one is around you. I was supposed to pull back out and I went back in. Sometimes those work out well. Denver receiver Brandon Stokley on his 14-yard touchdown reception.
• Losing is frustrating. I dont know if frustrating is the right word, but its not what we wanted. Linebacker Luke Kuechly.
• Just direct shots on certain areas, that was about it. Youre playing football. Its not ballet. Cam Newton when asked whether it was the most physically grueling game hes had in the NFL.
• Hes a really good returner. I faced him in San Francisco and he took a punt back against us in the preseason. Hes definitely a really good returner. But I had an opportunity to make a play and I didnt. Colin Jones on Trindon Hollidays 76-yard punt return.
• People ask me to speak about other quarterbacks, and I guess I probably used to study other guys a little bit more but this year has been such a whirlwind for me. Peyton Manning on Cam Newton.
Staff writer Jonathan Jones contributed to this article.