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Carolina Panthers

Transcript: Torrey Smith Conference Call


On if he's in Charlotte yet and his reaction when he heard he was being traded: "I was down there for a little bit to take my physical. ... Obviously, everything went well. I was healthy last year. In terms of the trade, I knew it was a possibility earlier in the week. The Eagles are very open about that. I wasn't blindsided at all. I was happy when they told me who the team was because if I had to go anywhere, I wanted to go to a winner, a place that has a chance. This is that place for me. I was talking to my agent that if my option wasn't picked up, this was one of the places I wanted to be. So I'm excited it played out that way and I didn't have to go through all the drama. I knew exactly where I was going and I'm thankful that they wanted me." 

On what you sees in the Panthers' offense, particularly quarterback Cam Newton: "They can create big plays, they can also work downfield, and Cam adds a different dynamic, which is an ability to run and throw. I've known Cam - we came in together the same year in the league. We actually used to work out in the offseason up in Baltimore, so I've been familiar with seeing the Panthers camp come through, all the guys getting together to work up there. So it's pretty cool to now be a part of that officially instead of just joining in because I don't have a quarterback to throw to me (laughs). So I'm excited about that. I know Cam's ability. He's a former MVP. He's still that guy, and to have the opportunity to try to help him take it to the next level and to be a small piece of the puzzle in the offense, I'm excited about it. ... In football years, I may not be too young, but age-wise, I'm only 29. So I feel very good. I haven't slowed down. I have the opportunity here to come in and compete, which I will do, and play to the best of my ability and be back to being a bigger piece of the puzzle. I'm excited about that challenge. They traded for me, but nothing's going to be given to me. I don't want it that way. I want to go out there and earn it. I want to earn the respect of my teammates, of the folks in the organization, the fans, and everyone. I'm not perfect by any means, but I'm going to work my tail off to make sure I bring everything I have to get our team to where we need to be."

On if the Panthers have talked to him about his role: "If they talk to me about it, it'll be after this phone call because when I got traded, we couldn't talk about anything. I can only assume what they brought me in there for, but there's nothing that I've been able to technically talk to them about because it wasn't official. Even when I was there, it was a quick, 'Hi, bye, nice to meet you, see you soon,' type thing because I guess there's rules and different things that they can't talk to me about certain things."

On his relationship with former Panther Steve Smith: "He's like a big brother to me. It's not just because we played together, but obviously that's where our relationship started. It's honestly bigger than the game. I've seen the great side of Steve – how he is to his family, how committed he is to his kids and his wife. We spent Thanksgiving together one year in Baltimore. We still communicate all the time to this day. He's a legit big brother. I can talk to him about anything on and off the field. I'm thankful to have him in my life as a positive role model."

On his favorite Steve Smith moment: "I think there are so many of them. People can harp on the Steve Smith that may give you some attitude problems, buy my favorite Steve Smith moment has happened a bunch of times. Just being out and about and it may not be the right time for a picture or an autograph if we're eating or whatnot. I've seen this guy take down people's address. 'I'm not going to take the picture right now, but if you write down your address I'll get one to you.' He'll go home, sign the picture and ship it out to the folks. That's something I've never heard of. I've never seen anyone (else) do it. He personalizes it, which in my opinion is more valuable than the picture or autograph on a napkin that you might be able to get. It's a big deal. I've seen the way he can impact people in a positive way."

On how he complements the other receivers: "I think I fit well. Some of those guys are burners. For me, obviously I'm known for my speed. I can run every route, regardless if people don't believe that. I've been in roles the past few years where I'm asked to do a job. Watching (the Panthers) from afar last year, they've been able to make plays all over the field. One of the big additions is obviously going to be my speed. And I guess I'm going to be the old guy again, the vet in the room. I'll be able to help them to be the best that they can be, and teach them some of the things I've learned along the way. That's as much of my responsibility as it is for me to be the best player that I can be. That comes with the territory. You want to help the next person, because the better they play, the better your unit is. We're all only a sum of the weakest link and we all need to bring competition to the room. Competition brings out the best in everyone. I'm just looking forward to getting to know them all. I've been around a few of them over the years when they've come up to Baltimore. I'm looking forward to getting down there and building those relationships."

On what Carolina can expect from CB Bashaud Breelend, who has reportedly agreed to a deal with the team: "Expect a confident corner. He can get his hands on the ball, too. He can make some plays. He's rangy. He trusts his skills a lot. I played against him twice this past season and I have a lot of respect for him. I think he's a great addition to the team. He has the potential to be one of the best in this league. We're coming in together and I'm looking forward to battling it out in practice."

On not getting as many targets with the Eagles last season: "Individually, I think I played my best ball on the back end of the year. I wasn't involved as much all the time, but I can only control one thing – that's when the ball comes my way... For me, it's always about the team. We were winning and I was doing my part to help that. Sometimes it may not be what you imagined it being, not that that's ever important. Just doing your job and performing is enough. I had so much fun with the guys in the room, competing in practice, having fun on game days – (my stats) didn't matter because our ultimate goal was to win. Even if the ball only comes once or twice a game, if I don't do my job, I'm letting everyone else down. As frustrated as I was in the early part of the year, the season finished the way it was supposed to and I made some key plays for us in the playoffs."

On wide receivers getting big deals in free agency: "I love it. I'm pro player all day. Those guys work their tails off and that's the way this business is supposed to work. Whether someone believes they deserve it or not, that's no one's opinion but the GM that gives it to them. That's the way this business goes. You are rewarded for your hard work. I'm excited for those guys. They are honestly changing the landscape."

On his first impressions of Cam after working out with him: "He's a competitor. He's going to bring the energy. He's going to be Cam, so he is going to be loud and having fun at all times. But he's going to work. He's going to bring that competitive nature to it and he's going to bring out the best in you. He hates losing, which is how it should be."

View photos of wide receiver Torrey Smith throughout his career with the Eagles, 49ers and Ravens.

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