The Carolina Panthers are practicing at their home today at practice fields adjacent to Bank of America Stadium and then they’re getting out of town.
The Democratic National Convention will be held in the stadium Thursday and the Panthers don’t want to deal with the security hassles that would be involved as they prepare for their season opener Sunday at Tampa Bay.
So, after practice they will pack their bags and head for Brandenton, Fla., where they will complete preparations for a season that begins with big expectations. The Panthers could have remained in place but with President Barack Obama coming to deliver his acceptance speech, the decision was made to avoid the distractions. They will complete training at IMG Academies, and Bradenton is about an hour from Tampa.
“I told them after everything we talked about as far as traveling and leaving and the DNC – no excuses. That’s not acceptable. We can’t accept that, we’re not going to accept that,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said, according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. “This can be a rallying cry. It can be an opportunity to get away and focusing on an opponent, on football. It’ll be fun to see how we handle things and how it all develops for us.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune