CHARLOTTE – The Panthers have completed their final practice of the season in Charlotte.
Head coach Ron Rivera put his players through a padded practice on Friday, and the team will depart for their Super Bowl site in San Jose on Sunday.
"We had great tempo and energy. I really did appreciate that," Rivera said. "You always worry when you put the pads on and all that good stuff, and I thought their tempo was what you're looking for. I thought they fitted things up very nicely. That set a nice tone and tempo for when we get out there. I was very pleased. When you are fully padded this time of year you have to get something out of it, and we go something out of it. I feel good about that."
As always, the Panthers brought their trademark "flair" to the practice field.
"I like their attitude. I like their personality," Rivera said. "You saw the personality during warmups – it's who they are. The best thing is after they've shown their personality and their flair, they focus right back in."
Center Ryan Kalil (knee) was a limited participant during Friday's practice after not participating previously during the week. Defensive end Charles Johnson (knee) and defensive tackle Kawann Short (knee) were also limited.
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"It's good to get the feeling of hitting," Kalil said. "If you go two weeks without hitting, that's a long time. We've done a good job with that schedule. We did the same thing before the first playoff game. It obviously worked for us, so we stuck with it."
Rivera's plan for the Super Bowl bye week in Charlotte was to implement the game plan. He and the players are confident in the work they've done to prepare for the challenges the Denver Broncos present.
"We've laid the groundwork," safety Kurt Coleman said. "Once we get out there we'll do some touchup work and continue to get detail oriented. It's been a great week of preparation.
"It's very exciting. We're ready for this moment. We've been preparing for it all year."
View photos from the Panthers' week of practice leading up to their departure for Super Bowl 50.