CHARLOTTE - Carolina's captains have a new member for the first time in four seasons.
Safety Kurt Coleman, who's grown into a leadership role since joining the Panthers in 2015, was voted in by his teammates. He rounds out a group that again includes quarterback Cam Newton, tight end Greg Olsen, center Ryan Kalil and linebackers Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis.
"All you've got to do is watch when something happens – Kurt's one of the first ones to go over there to put his arm around somebody to try to explain something and help them out," head coach Ron Rivera said Friday. "But then when something positive happens, he's also one of the first ones over there. It's not like he's always looking for something negative. He's always looking for something positive to help build on."
The results aren't a knock on defensive end Charles Johnson, who was a captain the previous three years and in 2012. The 31-year-old spent most of the spring and summer rehabbing from offseason back surgery. Plus, with other candidates like defensive end Julius Peppers and defensive tackle Kawann Short, the Panthers could easily have at least nine captains.
|POS ||PLAYER||YEARS AS A CAPTAIN|
|LB||Thomas Davis||7 - 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017|
|QB||Cam Newton||5 - 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017|
|C||Ryan Kalil ||5 - 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017|
|LB||Luke Kuechly ||5 - 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017|
|TE||Greg Olsen ||4 - 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017|
|S||Kurt Coleman||1 - 2017|