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Carolina Panthers

Matt Kalil believes he's getting his career back on track


SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Matt and Ryan Kalil joining forces in Carolina is a unique story that understandably gets a lot of attention, and for Matt, that means answering a lot of questions related to his big brother.

But Matt insists that neither Ryan, nor the many questions about him, are getting on his nerves at training camp.

"No, not at all. It's been fun," Kalil said with a smile. "It's been great. Nothing negative at all."

Ryan is a big reason why Matt joined the Panthers as a free agent, but all along, Matt talked about his interest in playing for renowned offensive line guru John Matsko, a technician who demands strict attention to detail.

And through the first half of training camp practices, Kalil believes he's already seeing a difference in his play.

"As far as John Matsko goes, he is the first guy I have played for that demands excellence from his offensive line," Kalil said. "The way those guys work and push each other harder each practice and throughout practice to outwork the other. We are a pretty physical group in my opinion. As far as Matsko goes, in terms of him being hands-on in our technique, attention to detail, and preparation for the games, it is second-to-none.

"He has taught me a lot just in my small time being here, and I still have a great deal to learn from him. He's making me a better player."

Matsko is trying to tap into Kalil's Pro Bowl potential. The fourth overall pick by the Vikings in 2012 went to the Pro Bowl as a rookie, but has seen his level of play dip in the years since.

Injuries have played a considerable part, but with hip surgery in the rearview mirror, Kalil feels as good as he has in years.

Now, entering his first season with a new team, is the perfect time to prove he can be a top-tier offensive tackle in this league.

"It's not just people. It's to myself," Kalil said. "I know when I am healthy and everything is working out in that aspect that I can be a great player. There were a lot of things I had to play through that I finally realized I needed to get fixed.

"It's been awesome. Everything is going great, and I feel like I'm getting my quickness back. It's actually fun to go out there and play with no pain."

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