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Panthers coach Ron Rivera: ‘Unfortunate’ travel woes won’t harm Saints

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David T. Foster, III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera was sympathetic, to a point, about the New Orleans Saints’ travel woes after Monday night’s game against the Seahawks in Seattle. He said he doesn’t expect the delay to be an issue come Sunday night.

Carolina head coach Ron Rivera called the travel woes encountered by the New Orleans Saints this week “unfortunate,” but added he expected the Saints will still be prepared for Sunday’s night’s game against the Panthers in New Orleans.

The New Orleans Saints arrived home more than 12 hours later than they expected after Monday night’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks, after plane trouble kept them in Seattle for an extra night.

New Orleans was already dealing with a short week before facing the Panthers, and the travel issues made it even shorter.

“I will say probably every one of their coaches probably had their laptops with them. They had their video directors with them and they were probably able to work,” Rivera said. “I know that one, as a position coach and coordinator I always traveled with that. Whenever there was an opportunity I’d get on to the next thing. I imagine that their coaches are creative enough that they got their work done. Believe me, in situations like this, you figure it out.”

The Saints’ schedule was thrown off slightly on Wednesday. A teleconference with coach Sean Payton and the Charlotte media was pushed to Thursday.

Rivera said he had been in a similar situation when he was a player for the Chicago Bears. After losing to the 49ers, the team had to stay in San Francisco because of snow in Chicago.

“Coach (Mike) Ditka was not in a very good mood,” Rivera recalled. “We stayed, got up early, watched the entire tape as a team and then got on the airplane and flew back. That made for a very long morning.”

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