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Carolina Panthers

Super Bowl Bye Week: Panthers Quotes 1/28


On how he's feeling coming off arm surgery: "Feeling good, feeling good. I'm excited about where I am right now, and that hasn't changed. I'm still looking forward to playing on Super Bowl Sunday."

On his determination to play: "I think even bigger than me having this opportunity, I want to go out there and play for my teammates because I know that I can help this team. That's what it's all about for me. It's never been one of those situations where I looked at it selfishly like, 'Oh, this is a great opportunity for me, you know. I want to go out there and compete and play with my teammates."

On potential limitations: "I mean, there are some limitations. I just had surgery on Monday, but at the same time it's been getting better and better every day, and that's the goal. Continue to get better all the way up until next Sunday."

On the biggest hurdle: "I don't know. Really the biggest thing I've been dealing with so far is just getting the swelling out of there. Like I said, I just had surgery Monday and that's something that you have to deal with when you're coming back from surgery, but it's leaving. I'm gaining my strength back in my hand and my arm and fully expect to be playing next Sunday."

On surgery details: "Yeah, they had to plate it and probably about 11 or 12 screws that are in my arm right now, but it is what it is."

On teammates pulling his leg (rather arm): "It was really one of the those things where yesterday they were kind of picking on me, kind of grabbing my arm and you know I like to pick on folks a lot. And they kind of grabbed my arm and was like, 'You can't retaliate now. You can't do anything.' But it's feeling a lot better today than it was yesterday, so I was kind of retaliating like, 'Try me now,' one of those things, but it was all in fun, man. It just feels good to be healing up right now and knowing that I have a lot of time left to continue to heal."

On military hero/double amputee Cedric King calling him a "warrior": "I mean, when you think about what Cedric has overcome as a person. I think it really put things into perspective when you think about all he's gone through and knowing that he's the ultimate warrior. He laid his life on the line for us in the military and for him to be a huge fan of us and see the things that I've been able to overcome, it means a lot to me."


On facing childhood hero Peyton Manning: "I know he wants to go out with a big win. This is my first time ever being in the Super Bowl, this is his (fourth). I'm rooting for him, but shoot, I want that ring. I'm going to do everything I can to try to minimize what he likes to do. But I respect the heck out of the guy."

On if Panthers are still disrespected: "I guess. But what does it matter? We're going to the Super Bowl. Super Bowl 50. If people disrespected us last week, they are going to disrespect us in the Super Bowl."

On squaring off with Demaryius Thomas: "He's a tough competitor. He's a big guy. He has speed, he has size. He has abilities to get over the top of you and make plays. It's going to fun, interesting and exciting."


On reaching first Super Bowl in his 12th season: "It is definitely tough to win games in this league, that's why I always talk about that you can't assume you are going to be in this position next year or the year after that. You have to work towards everything, and once you get the opportunity you have to take advantage of that. That's just how it works so we all are appreciative of where we are at this point in time. We also understand the importance of continuing the preparation the right way so we get our chance to win a game."

On what a win would mean: "It would be special. I have ties here. My wife is from North Carolina, so I understand the culture of North Carolina and I know the loyalty of the fans and how supportive they are and how exciting it would be to bring that back here. It would be a special thing because I understand what it means to the Carolinas."

On winning as a team: "Over the course of my career, I was taught when I first laced up my cleats, it's all about the team. It's all about the team and it's been reinforced since that day. It's just been a joy for me to develop relationships over the years and been a joy for me to play on some successful team and now at this point in my career, just being able to play with a great group of guys. That's the most rewarding thing ever, to play with a great group of guys and actually win games with a great group of guys, that makes it special. That's the rewarding part for me, the relationship that we built in this locker room here. It would be sweet to be able to host the Lombardi with these guys, most definitely."

On his role within the team: "Offensively, we do so many things. We always talk about perfecting our role, and I know I am going to get a certain amount of snaps throughout the game, I am not going to have unlimited opportunities. I try to take advantage of those opportunities, and that's the same with a lot of guys on offense. Guys like Fozzy Whittaker and Mike Tolbert, he's a Pro Bowler but he still gets a certain amount of snaps because we do so many things. I just try to take advantage of my opportunities and be trustworthy in those moments."

On wide receivers coach Ricky Proehl: "He played this game a long time and he got into this coaching and he knows how to teach everything he's learned over the years. He just knows how to communicate that clearly. It's tough when you have played the game. Sometimes you have a hard time communicating exactly how to do something and he does that to a 'T.' I know he always talks about me having an impact on the other guys, but not only does he help them, he helps me out tremendously. Who can I go to ask for advice about going into year 12?"


On whether his receivers are familiar with his playing days: "No. I think it's one of those deals where Cotch (Cotchery) has seen me play because we played at the same time, but there's a lot of younger guys. They find out from something is said or they heard, but I don't go around vocalizing my playing days. If it comes up and they ask me I do, I will talk about it, but these guys, their heads are in video games and cell phones. They don't know a lot of the history of who played and who didn't. A lot of them know because Ron (Rivera) may say, 'Hey, this is Ricky's fifth Super Bowl and certain people have had the opportunity to play in it and know the magnitude of what it takes,' just that sort of thing."

On whether they're now asking him about his playing days: "No, they haven't. Some of them may see it when they show the highlights of the Super Bowls for the next two weeks. They may see it in passing and ask me, but a lot of them didn't know I was part of it. When it does comes up, yeah I talk about it. I've shown them the past and cutups of film work on how we ran routes because we run the same system. Obviously it's evolved and a different version, but it's the same concept and same plays we ran. I will show them cutups on how we did things as part of my coaching experience. But a lot of times it's other guys playing, and sometimes I may be in it."

On his memories of Sam Mills' "Keep Pounding" speech at outset of 2003 Super Bowl run: "It was just a matter of, 'Hey, you guys have inspired me not to quit, just to keep fighting for my life. Just keep pounding.' That's where it all started - keep pounding, don't quit. No matter what the situation or the odds are, just keep pounding. It was unbelievable, the hair on the back of your neck stood up, and it was just amazing couple of minutes."


On speaking to the media for the first time all season: "This is Super Bowl 50, a half a century, so it's a special time. Fifty is that magic number, so it's just one of those things I've got to be a part of."

On his last interview (he was a rookie in 2010): "It's been awhile, been a good many. Maybe my first year, maybe my second year."

On whether his next interview will be in 50 years: "I just hope to still be alive in 50 years."

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