On Cam Newton's progress after shoulder surgery: "He's looked great. He's in great shape. He's been doing everything you can do other than throw, which obviously, you know, is a big part of playing quarterback in the NFL. But he's been running, working out, lifting, conditioning. He's been there every day in the meeting room, every day out at practice. He's really done everything you could ask for, and I think everybody is eager to see him take that next step and start that progression of re-introducing the throwing motion and getting that shoulder where it needs to be for camp."
On if he feels like NFL players ever get a rest anymore: "It's funny, I feel like as I've gotten older, it feels like one season just kind of blends into the next. You can't afford to take much time off. Your body doesn't bounce back like it used to, and when you're over 30 and you take a long time off it's even that much harder to get back in. So you almost end up going year-round in some capacity. It's just the nature of the game. This is a full-time job for all of us. This is what we do, this is what we love. The NFL has become the biggest sport, arguably, in the world. There is a lot of coverage and a lot of expectations. A lot of eyeballs are curious to see what guys like Cam are doing and what moves teams are making in the offseason. It's definitely a special time right now for the NFL."
On spoofing Cam Newton's birthday video: "It was all (Ryan) Kalil's idea. Kalil is the resident creative director of the Panthers. He's pretty talented. He's got a real good eye for what's funny and what's creative, and he can execute it. It was kind of a last minute idea. Every year we go on an O-line, tight end and Luke Kuechly – he's the one addition to the group – and we go camping for two nights up in the mountains of North Carolina. Just bring some of the new guys and enjoy each other. No phones, no nothing. Just camp, fish and do all that. We got the idea for how fun it would be to make a video, and Ryan took that and ran with it. Of course everybody saw the final product was pretty good. Everybody had a pretty good time with that."
On if Cam was cool with the video: "Oh yeah, he was great with it. We showed it in a team meeting and he laughed as hard as anybody. He's great like that. He understood that it was all in fun, and it was probably a compliment because we were all jealous that we weren't at the birthday party. His video looked like a ton of fun. I don't know if our trip was quite as exciting, but we did the best we could to make it look like it."
On having to wait to practice with Christian McCaffrey: "Yeah, I think that's just backwards. At some point I think the NFL and the NCAA struck up that agreement as kind of a 'we'll take care of you, you take care of us,' but I just think it's so outdated. That rationale is just not up to date with how things operate. In today's world, a kid makes a decision, he moves on to another step of his career and leaves school early. He's not even enrolled; he never even started the last quarter or whatever they're on, because obviously he was training for the combine and the draft and whatnot. It just seems like a very antiquated rule that definitely needs to be revisited. At the end of the day, these kids are being hurt. Here's a young kid looking to come in and become acclimated with a new team and join the NFL and make a huge step in his life. Because of something completely out of his control, he's forbidden from being with us."
On taking part in 'Riding with Kyle Busch': "We teamed up for a series that he hosts and I got to drive around and hold some of his trophies and hang out and talk to help kind of announce the launch of the new caramel M&M. We had a great time. You can check out the video on the M&M YouTube page. Right after we got done shooting that he goes out and wins the All-Star race. I guess between my presence and the ride and the M&M caramel, it was good luck for him. It's been fun working with him and getting to know him."
View photos from the third week of Carolina's organized team activities.