Fan may be excited the first NFL Thursday night game puts the Carolina Panthers in Denver for a Super Bowl rematch, but Ron Rivera isn't. The Panthers head coach said he'd have much rather opened at home on Sunday.
The Charlotte Observer reports that Rivera thinks the team should have been given the opportunity to celebrate their NFC title with home fans to start the season. He also isn't happy the Panthers' first game is only a week after the final preseason game, while most other teams have 11 days to prepare and recuperate before their season openers.
"Being defending NFC champs, it'd have been nice to open up the regular season at home. But it didn't work that way," Rivera said. "I don't set the schedule. We just go out and play the game. So we're going to play the game to the best of our ability and hopefully do things the right way."
Rivera also says the Thursday opener has resulted in limited preparation time. Teams had to have their 53-man rosters finalized on Saturday, and practice squads weren't set until Sunday afternoon.
The game will be only the second time in NFL history the two Super Bowl teams from the previous season open the season in a rematch.
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