SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Each of the last five falls, Frank Kalil has fanned out across the country to watch his sons play in the NFL, alternating between seeing Ryan Kalil play center for the Panthers and Matt Kalil play left tackle for the Vikings.
His travel schedule will be lighter this fall, but now he's got another problem.
"It's going to be difficult for me because as an old coach, I ususally get out my binoculars and just watch them, see their footwork and how they're competing," Frank Kalil said. "Now that I've got two of them on the same team, I guess I'll have to bring some bigger… well, I'm not sure what I'm going to do."
That problem notwithstanding, Sundays just got sweeter for the Kalil clan. Ryan is entering his 11th season with the Panthers, and now Matt is his teammate after signing a five-year contract in free agency.
For each of the first five years of Ryan Kalil's career, his father traveled across the county to watch his son at Panthers training camp. For each of the five years that followed, he added a stop in Minnesota to his summer schedule so he also could see Matt in action. This year, he and his wife, Cheryl, are simply spending the first week of training camp with the Panthers before returning to their California home.
"It's always fun, getting out of California and coming out to the Carolinas. I love it out here," Frank Kalil said while taking in a practice Thursday afternoon at Wofford College. "It's kind of nice to have the whole family together, to stay at Ryan's house, see the two boys and have lunch here. It's kind of cool."
And Frank Kalil certainly thinks it will be cool come the fall, watching his sons account for 40 percent of the Panthers' starting offensive line.
"I love this team," Frank Kalil said. "I think it has brought Matt's level up from where it was before. I really like his offensive line coach (John Matsko). I wouldn't want to mess with him.
"I think both of them will do well. Ryan is going to push Matt because he wanted him to come here. I'm sure if he has to, Ryan will bring him into a dark room someday if he messes up. But pressure is good. This league is about pressure. It's about how you handle it."
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