Panthers center Ryan Kalil made quite an uproar this offseason when he took out an ad in the Charlotte Observer touting the Panthers as the winners of Super Bowl XLVII long before the game will be played in February 2013.
Coach Ron Rivera said at the time that he was “right behind” Kalil. Now the rest of the Panthers are sharing Rivera’s position. The coach had t-shirts made for every player on the team with the Panthers logo on the front and “I have Ryan Kalil’s back” on the back. Kalil said Thursday that he appreciates what Rivera did.
“Coach had them there. I believe it when he says that,” Kalil said, via the Charlotte Observer. “We’ve just got to make sure we’ve got his back, and get done what we’ve got to get done.”
The Panthers didn’t do much in Week One to back up Kalil’s bold prediction. Their 16-10 loss to the Buccaneers featured little of the offensive explosiveness the team will need to make that kind of run. With Jonathan Stewart looking likely to play this week against the Saints, the Panthers will have another chance to get that unit going against a defense that got shredded by the Redskins last week.
If they can’t get their first victory on Sunday, the Panthers might need to try a different t-shirt.