Saturday, August 2, 2014
Top off-field moments from Panthers camp
By David Newton
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Not all of the best moments of training camp happen on the practice field. Many of the most memorable ones happen in the dining hall or in interviews during down time.
Here's a look at some of the best non-action highlights for the Carolina Panthers after a week at Wofford College:
Safety Thomas DeCoud talking about his appearance on the Cartoon Network's ''Aqua Teen Hunger Force'' show imitating the voices of bongo-playing hippies for an episode and then doing an impromptu imitation of Carolina general manager Dave Gettleman: (Unfortunately, without Gettleman's deep Boston accent this doesn't translate as well): "Are you from Baaah-stan? Where ya from? Nice to meet ya.''It wasn't bad for an on-the-spot request for the former Atlanta Falcons safety, who claims he went with a Tommy Cheek -- half of the 1970s and '80s "Cheek and Chong'' duo -- voice for his impression of the hippies.
Afterwards, he added, "That was just off the top. I don’t know if it’s good or not.”
DeCoud saying he made the 245-mile drive from Atlanta to Charlotte in 2 1/2 hours (Hmmm): "Maybe I undershot the time,'' he said when asked how fast he drove.
Backup defensive end Mario Addison talking about the scare of his life when he fell off a jet ski in Puerto Rico on a vacation to celebrate his new two-year deal: “I’ve never been so scared in my life. I swallowed so much seawater I didn’t even want to play no more. I don’t know how to swim, so without the life vest I would’ve died, y’all.
“Thank God it brought me back.”
Center Ryan Kalil talking about retired left tackle Jordan Gross, who has trimmed down 70 pounds (305 to 235) since the end of last season: "Yeah, I don’t like it. I'm not a big fan of it. He looks kind of weird. I told him it’s not against the rules to still stay in the weight room and maybe lift a little bit. But yeah, he looks really unhealthy. The problem is that he’s walking around, checking himself out in the mirror and he thinks he looks cool. But he just looks bad. I’ve told him that many times.''
Second-year defensive tackle Star Lotulelei when asked if he's ready to take the next step as a player: "I don't know what that means.''
Linebacker Thomas Davis when a reporter mistakenly referred to him as defensive end Charles Johnson: "I just want to make one thing clear, I look nothing like Charles Johnson.''
Davis on whether LeBron James, whom a reporter referred to as his good friend because the NBA star gave him a jersey and shoes after a Bobcats-Heat game, consulted him before returning to Cleveland: "Yeah, right. No, he didn't.''
Then asked to clarify their relationship, Davis said: "I wouldn't really call it a friendship. I'm a fan. He was just showing his appreciation for a fan. I'm excited he gave me his jersey and shoes, and that's the end of that.''
Quarterback Cam Newton after a practice when he saw a fan holding a poster featuring a picture of him and her now deceased father at around the same age (25) with the question of whether they look alike: "That ain't me.''
Newton did come back and sign the poster, which was enough to please Rona Neely of Greenville, S.C., even though she disagreed.
Running back Jonathan Stewart enjoying a quiet moment playing the piano in the lounge area of the student activity center. He's pretty good.
Running back DeAngelo Williams loudly slamming down a hand of cards, strutting away from the table and then returning to give a Hulk Hogan-like pose. (Here's where I'd normally put a quote, but the team's top back hasn't spoken to reporters since arriving at camp.)