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‘Turn it up’ for playoffs means you’ve been dogging, Panthers’ Rivera says

PANTHERS_PRACTICE_0110_06
Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera smiles as he walks across a practice field on Thursday. On Friday, he told reporters that if a player says he will turn it up during the playoffs, he would question that player’s effort during the regular season.

Much has been made about the Carolina Panthers’ lack of recent playoff experience compared to that of the San Francisco 49ers, who are trying to reach the NFC championship game for the third year in a row.

The teams meet Sunday at 1:05 p.m. at Bank of America Stadium.

Coach Ron Rivera, who won a Super Bowl as a player with Chicago and coached in one as the Bears’ defensive coordinator, said other than the finality for the losing team, he thinks the pressure of a playoff game is on par with an important regular-season game.

“One of my old (Bears) teammates, Jim Morrissey, always used to say, ‘If you’ve got to turn it up a notch when you get to the playoffs, then you weren’t giving it your all during the regular season,’” Rivera said. “And I’ve always kind of agreed with that.”

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