Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera didn’t give much thought to karma or bad vibes when the football operations staff arranged for the team to train at San Jose State, the Panthers’ practice site before Super Bowl 50.
“It’s practice,” Rivera said Wednesday. “It’s not as dramatic as you want to make it out to be. ... We try to keep it as normal as possible.”
The Panthers decided to stay on the West Coast between games at Oakland and Seattle rather than make a pair of cross-country trips in a week. They’ve been staying in Santa Clara, and Wednesday they bused to San Jose State’s natural-grass practice fields for their first practice of the week.
Rivera, who grew up in northern California and played at Cal, was asked why they didn’t practice at his alma mater in Berkeley.
“It’s probably too expensive,” he said. “I didn’t set it up. I just kind of go along with what I’m told.”
Rivera’s brother, a retired San Jose police officer, and his nephew attended Wednesday’s workout.
A framed poster of former Spartan cornerback Bené Benwikere hangs in the San Jose State football building, above a Panthers plaque. Benwikere, waived by Carolina in October, is a free agent following a brief stint with Miami.