You worked with Woodrow Hamilton before practice. How available do you make yourself to young guys like that?
Since this is my first year here, I haven't made the rule. But usually I make the rule that rookies and young guys have to go with me before or after practice. I make it mandatory. But since this is my first year here, I can't really make demands. But I offered it to the young guys. And he came over for some work. That's just who I am. They always say you're as strong as your weakest link. But how strong are you if you have no weak links? That's just the mindset I've always had.
Is this perspective part of why the Panthers wanted to sign you?
I think it was a part of it. It's just who I am. Everything we do. Everything we've been blessed with. It's not for us. It's to impact other people around us. I just try to keep that in the back of my mind and live that way.
What aspects of the Panthers culture made you choose to sign here?
What I've seen these past couple days of training camp is just family atmosphere. I was talking to KK (Kawann Short), and I told him that I've seen a lot of communication on the defensive side of the ball. Everybody is on the same page, and it carries over to the field. On gamedays, when I've competed against these guys I've seen them communicate on the field. I'm excited about what we have moving forward.
How does the Panthers locker room leadership look after so many long-time leaders have moved on?
KK is a leader, obviously, and Luke (Kuechly). But one guy that's stood out to me as being a leader is Shaq (Thompson). With how he competes, how he prepares and his communication on the field. Leading by example. Hopefully I can get my name in the mix as being one of those leaders. But it will take a second. You don't just come in and gain respect. You have to earn it.
How long does it take to gain that respect?
Consistency. It just happens when it happens. Guys will see it. If you're consistent with doing things the right way, leading the right way and doing what you're supposed to do on the field, guys will see it. It just becomes that.
What did you mean when you said you're a defensive Cam Newton?
Just the energy bug. Love to play around. Dance. Do all those crazy things. Just the clothes I wear. As far as Cam, he was throwing really well yesterday. Today he got to move around a little bit more. Baby steps. He'll be ready for sure.
What are your first impressions of Brian Burns?
He's a mix of Noah Spence and Aldon Smith. Long arms like Aldon, tall. He's got that long arm power. But when I say he plays like Spence, he can bend. He can turn the corner with his knee dragging on the grass. For him to be that size and dip and turn the corner like that. That's scary.
How much will this Panthers defense make quarterbacks miserable?
It's going to happen. It's going to happen. God-willing, all the work that we are putting in and the work we plan to put in, it's going to happen.
Do you think that if you draw the same amount of attention that you drew in Tampa Bay, that guys like Short and Poe will be singled up?
That's the best part about it. I've never, ever, ever had a problem in my career with getting doubled or being the main focus. When you have a group of men that's working together, when one player is getting doubled or taking up a lot of attention, everyone else around them can flourish. The great thing about this group is that everyone on this group can demand attention. When someone is demanding that double team, we've got so many guys that can get to the quarterback. We've got guys that can win, whether or not they are getting doubled. It's like a dream come true.