"One of the things coach Ditka emphasized to us was to enjoy the moment,'' Rivera said Monday, via ESPN. "The moment doesn't come very often. It's hard. It's hard to get to where we are right now.''
The Panthers have enjoyed this season more than any other team, plowing over opponents to a 17-1 record.
"They're going to embrace it,'' Rivera said. "It's really a matter of managing it more than anything else. They've earned it. They deserve it. But the thing we've got to remember is what we're playing for, and that's to win it.
"It's not about getting there. It's not about being a part of it. It's about winning it. And that will be our main focus.''
"Do what you've done,'' Rivera said. "Some of my experiences in coaching, you get to certain experiences like the playoffs, and sometimes you get a little bit of panic. Am I doing enough? Should I do more? Should I change this?
"I told our coordinators this morning, we're going to stick to what got us to where we are. We'll emphasize that to the players and make sure we keep our personality.''