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Carolina Panthers

Tony Fiammetta Q&A


Question and answer with Syracuse fullback Tony Fiammetta, the Panthers' second of two fourth-round draft choices (128th overall).

On being drafted: I couldn't be more excited. I've been looking forward to this moment my entire life. To be a fullback and go to such a powerful running offense, it's just an honor. To block for Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, it's going to be a great time, and I'm looking forward to learning from (Brad) Hoover. It's going to be a great situation.

On how quickly he expects to play: I'm going to go into mini-camp this weekend and take it day-by-day. I'm going to go out and give it my all and learn from the veterans and do my best everyday and let the chips fall where they may.

On the influence his dad's military background has had on him: My father is my biggest role model, and I've learned a ton of things from him. The biggest gift that he has given me though has been the lesson of self discipline, and I've carried that through my career at Syracuse and I'm going to do it while I'm in the NFL as well.

On how self discipline applies to football: To be a good football player you have to be a self-disciplined kind of guy. It takes self discipline everyday to just wake up and do the right things - go watch film, stay out of trouble off the field and motivate your teammates. I was a team captain at Syracuse, so I really had to lead by example. I tried to do that everyday when I was there.

On what he likes about blocking from the fullback position: Every sport I've played has been a contact sport, and I love contact. I think my time at Syracuse I've really become a student of the position. I know I'm going to be learning under Brad Hoover, who I've admired for years. I'm going to learn some great things from him and I'm going to get better and better every day.

On if he's studied fullbacks in the NFL: Since I've had a dream of getting to this point, every time I turn an NFL game on, I watch the fullback. I really don't care about the score; I don't care who's winning or losing; I pretty much just watch the fullback and see how he's playing.

On what he likes about Panthers' fullback Brad Hoover: I've noticed his consistency and his professionalism. It seems like every play matters to him. Just watching him last year, he was on fire from the fullback position. He was making blocks everywhere and opening up holes. If I can get to that level one day I would be more than excited.

On his pass-catching ability: My offensive coordinator last year asked me to do a number of things - play a little tight end, H-back and fullback. I think my versatility is going to be something that's going to help me at the next level. I want to be as well rounded as I can so my coaches can use me in different ways.

On how playing lacrosse in high school helped him in football: I played midfield, so I was always in good condition coming out of lacrosse season. It's a tough sport, and I liked to bring the hard-hitting mentality to that sport as well. Having another sport that you're really competitive at keeps you in tip-top shape all the time.

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