The Buffalo Bills and Carolina Panthers begin joint practices on Tuesday in Spartansburg, South Carolina. While the Bills were travelling on Monday, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera met with the media and set the tone for the practices in Carolina.
“I don’t want any fighting. If anybody fights, I’ll pull them out, throw them out of practice and they’ll be disciplined,” Rivera told the media. “We’re not here to fight. That’s bullshit. We’re not here to fight. We’re here to learn from each other and help each other win. That’s probably the most important thing that comes out of this. To me, a guy fights out of frustration because he’s getting beat and he’s getting stopped. I don’t want it. I want our guys to come out and play hard football and do things the right way and learn.”
It’s easy to see Rivera’s protege, Bills head coach and former Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, agreeing in this instance. Rivera said he spoke with McDermott on Sunday and that was discussed.
“It’ll be a great opportunity to see some old friends. It’s a place that helped me in so many ways with great people and a great organization,” McDermott said on Monday. “Wofford is a neat campus. Very similar to St. John Fisher because of the pride that they take in what they do down there. That said, we’ve got work to do and that’s why we’re going down there. I’m excited to watch our team grow through this experience.”
That’s not to say there won’t be some friendly rivalries. Rivera also revealed he’s been sending Bills coaches and personnel daily updates of what the heat index is going to be in Carolina this week. With temperatures in the low 90s and humidity on top of it, the Western New Yorkers are going to be in for an awakening.
The Bills and Panthers will practice together on Tuesday and Wednesday before playing a preseason game on Friday night.