A Super idea for Panthers center
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Just about every player and coach enters training camp espousing optimism. But not every player or coach takes it to the level Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil did this past week.
Kalil, a three-time Pro Bowl center, took out a full page advertisement Wednesday in editions of the Charlotte Observer boldly declaring fans will be rewarded for their unwavering support with a "one hundred-percent, sterling silver victory -- the Lombardi Trophy. And it reads: Carolina Panthers, Super Bowl XLVII champions."
That's a bold prediction, particularly for a team coming off a 6-10 season that hasn't won a playoff game since 2005. But fans have to appreciate his style.
"There is a sense of urgency, a winning attitude that I haven't seen before," Kalil wrote. "Fans will see it in the way that we play.
Linebacker Ray Lewis enters his 17th season, but he still has the intensity of a rookie trying to make his mark. He reported to camp much lighter than his listed playing weight of 240 pounds. And don't ask him about retirement. "I would cheat every player in that locker room [if I thought about retirement]. ... I love the game too much and I have a great connection to Baltimore. As long as my body feels good, I'll keep doing it," he told the Baltimore Sun.
Cincinnati players won't be tweeting about training camp or anything else for the next few weeks. Coach Marvin Lewis banned players from using the social media outlet at camp. Lewis says the ban is "part of being selfless" as a player.
Maybe you didn't hear, but Chad Johnson is back and Chad Ochocinco is gone. The flamboyant and talented wide receiver officially not only changed his name back as of Monday, but he told the Miami Herald he's going back to his old ways, too. If that means fines from commissioner Roger Goodell for excessive celebrations and sideline antics, so be it. Said Johnson: "My game is at the point where it doesn't matter who starts at quarterback. Oprah [Winfrey] can play quarterback."
Peyton Manning reached another milestone in his comeback: His first full-pad practice in 18 months. Coach John Fox thought Manning's performance was excellent. "The guy comes to work every day whether it's in that building or on that field, he attacks it like no other," Fox said.
The blocked punt that etched Steve Gleason into Saints lore and became symbolic of New Orleans' resilience in the face of disaster is now immortalized in a 9-foot statue outside Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The blocked punt occurred in the first game at home post-Hurricane Katrina (Sept. 25, 2006).
The Jacksonville Jaguars placed running back Maurice Jones-Drew on the reserve did not report list, an indication they don't expect their star player to show up to training camp anytime soon. ... The Indianapolis Colts will induct Edgerrin James, who ran for a franchise-record 9,286 yards, into their ring of honor Sept. 23.
First Published July 29, 2012 12:00 am