Panthers coach Ron Rivera has been able to survive twin 2-8 starts because his teams have finished seasons strong.
But Rivera wasn’t pleased with the way his team closed camp Tuesday morning in Spartanburg, saying his players had an eye on the road back to Charlotte.
“We slowed down at the end, and unfortunately I think the guys were thinking about I-85,” Rivera said, via Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer. “But the beginning of practice was really good, real smooth, a lot of good things happened. Then you could kind of tell they were a little bit wandering.
“I think they were thinking about going home. I wish they could have finished practice and focused all the way through.
That’s why Rivera was telling his team they “can’t have distractions” as they return home, in preparation for Thursday’s game at Philadelphia.
The Panthers’ inability to close out games (2-12 in games decided by a touchdown or less under Rivera) has been a killer, and a sloppy finish to camp isn’t a good sign.