Panthers’ Ron Rivera bristles at talk of his team’s inexperience

jperson@charlotteobserver.comJanuary 8, 2014 

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Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera bristled Wednesday at talk that his team’s inexperience will play a role on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

JEFF SINER — jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

The Carolina Panthers’ lack of recent playoff experience has become one of the dominant storylines this week, although the head coaches for both teams downplayed the significance of it Wednesday.

The Carolina Panthers host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in a second-round NFC playoff game at 1:05 p.m. in Bank of America Stadium.

The 49ers advanced to the NFC Championship Game in Jim Harbaugh’s first season, then made it to the Super Bowl last season. This is the Panthers’ first postseason appearance since 2008.

“Two years ago they (the 49ers) didn’t have any playoff experience, and they did pretty well,” Rivera said. “I feel pretty comfortable about that.”

Harbaugh, the first coach since the 1970 merger to win at least 13 games in each of his first three seasons, said he’s not planning to talk to his team about their previous playoff success.

“I’ve always really felt where you’re going is a heck of a lot more important than where you come from,” Harbaugh said on a conference call. “I think that will be the greatest share.”

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