The Panthers will head west Sunday -- and coach Ron Rivera will have a lot of ticket requests waiting on him when he arrives.
Rivera grew up about 35 miles from Santa Clara, site of Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7 at Levi’s Stadium, and was an All-American at nearby Cal.
Asked if the Panthers were practicing at Stanford, Cal’s rival, Rivera said: “No, thank goodness.”
The Panthers (17-1) are staying at the San Jose Marriott and will practice at San Jose State.
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Denver (14-4) is practicing at Stanford, the alma mater of Broncos general manager and two-time Super Bowl winner John Elway.
Rivera said the Panthers will install their gameplan this week in Charlotte, and then refine it next week in California.
The Panthers will practice Wednesday through Friday this week, and will be in full pads Friday for the final practice in Charlotte. It’s the same routine the Panthers followed during their bye week before the divisional-round win against Seattle.
Rivera and Broncos coach Gary Kubiak have been in Super Bowls as players and assistant coaches previously. Rivera was a linebacker on the 1985 Chicago Bears team that beat New England in the Super Bowl.
Rivera plans to follow the approach taken by former Chicago coach Mike Ditka when the Bears were in New Orleans for the Super Bowl.
“It’s hard to get to where we are right now. So he wanted us to enjoy the moment,” Rivera said. “I think the biggest thing too is do what you’ve done. Don’t change.”