Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Ryan Kalil makes bold prediction
ESPN.com news services
Ryan Kalil is expecting the Carolina Panthers to have a magical season.
The sixth-year center bought a full-page ad in the Charlotte Observer on Wednesday, telling Panthers fans their "unwavering support" would be rewarded this year.
And Kalil has a goal in mind how fans would reap the benefits with what he said is "One hundred-percent, sterling silver victory. The Lombardi Trophy."
The 178-word open letter, called "a war cry to fans," had one emphatic statement:
CAROLINA PANTHERS -- SUPER BOWL XLVII CHAMPIONS!
A three-time Pro Bowler, Kalil told the newspaper he didn't tell anyone about the ad for fear of being talked out of it.
"Every team says it every year, whether it's publicly or not," Kalil told the newspaper. "They say they're going to win the Super Bowl.
"We've said it in the past in meeting rooms and behind closed doors. This year's different. There's a sense of urgency, a winning attitude that I haven't seen before. And it's in the way we prepare. It's in the way we approach each workday, and I think fans will see it in the way that we play."
The Panthers seem to have a ways to go to fulfill Kalil's promise after finishing 6-10 last season in coach Ron Rivera's first season. The team does boast dynamic second-year quarterback Cam Newton to build around.
Rivera told NFL.com that he likes Kalil's boldness.
"Good," Rivera said. "Because if we don't have 53 guys with that attitude in our locker room right now, then we gotta find the guys that want it. We don't know what's going to happen.
"But we gotta come out and play and play hard and do everything we can to win that Super Bowl, and they have the right attitude, that right mental frame of mind, and that's what Ryan's done. Ryan's put it out there, like, 'Hey. This is my mental outlook, this is my frame of mind. This is what I want, so let's go out and get it.'"
Of course, predictions aren't anything new. Vince Young labeled the Philadelphia Eagles a "Dream Team" last summer. The Eagles missed the playoffs with an 8-8 record.
Panthers owner Jerry Richardson also has come up short in the past, promising a Super Bowl within 10 years after he was awarded the franchise. Carolina is entering its 18th season.
"For eighteen years we've wanted, hoped and tried," Kalil writes in the letter. "But no more. A moment is upon us, where dreams become beliefs and yearning becomes conviction."