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Rookie Scirrotto no longer hamstrung

Posted Jul 18, 2009


Rookie safety Anthony Scirrotto during OTAs. (PHOTO: ANDREW MASON / PANTHERS.COM)

CHARLOTTE -- As the draft neared this past April, Anthony Scirrotto was realistic about his chances.

He hadn't been invited to the National Scouting Combine. A chance to play in the Texas vs. the Nation all-star game was scuttled because of a hamstring injury that would later limit him at his pro day.

There were the usual whispers of speculation and potential destinations, as is the case with all draft-eligible players who have a chance at ending up in some team's training camp, but Scirrotto was prepared for his opportunity to wait until after the seven rounds had passed.

"You hear things. You never really know," Scirrotto said. "I thought there was a chance, but going through the offseason workouts after not being invited to the combine and not being able to participate in my pro day because of a hamstring injury, getting drafted was the last thing I was worried about. I was just worried about getting a chance, getting an opportunity to try and join a team."

There were multiple opportunities, in fact.

"My agent said I had a choice to go to one of three teams," Scirrotto said. "With Carolina, it was just the best opportunity, and it just fit me right.

"The biggest thing is where you think you'll have the best opportunity to make the 53-man roster. I knew that they had veteran safeties. The backup opportunity is there, but I'm going to play everywhere they want me -- special teams, I can run down the field and tackle, catch punts, do whatever they ask."

During minicamp and organized team activities, Scirrotto was able to do whatever the coaches asked without being visibly hindered by his hamstring.

"It (was) still lingering a little (during OTAs)," Scirrotto said. "Just a chronic injury; nothing serious. I just have to rehab and treat it right. Since I got here, they put me on a program where every day it's getting better.

"The biggest part is getting it strengthened, because after I pulled it, it really weakened up. Getting out there and pushing it -- not pushing it too far, because I don't want to re-injure it -- but pushing it helps it strengthen and it helps get me going."

Scirrotto pushed it to the point where he was moving at full speed, giving the Panthers' coaches a chance to see him as no one could in the months leading up to the draft. As a result, that non-vitation to the Combine is largely irrelevant.

"It just goes to show that you never really know what anyone is thinking," Scrirrotto said. "I felt like I should have been there, but you take it for what it's worth; I still have an opportunity to make the Panthers.

"This is a perfect situation for me to come in, compete (and) try to make the team."