It’s hard to remember a player who has sounded so relieved at getting fired.
But Jason Avant, cut by the 3-7-1 Panthers after he made some comments critical of the offense, is now back in an offense he knows and loves and trusts. He said he wanted to sign with coach Andy Reid and the Chiefs this offseason, yet he ended up in Carolina, where he was little more than a stable pony.
“He’s had big receivers like [Dwayne] Bowe, smaller receivers like DeSean [Jackson], . . . and he’s able to use guys in the right way,” Avant said, via Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star. “He looks at everybody as having an ability. Everyone has a strength and he tries to find that strength and use it to their ability and also to the team’s best interest.
“I’m pretty sure coach Reid is going to move me around as he sees fit. I believe in what he’s preaching. I believe in everything he’s about, so I trust him in whatever that decision is.”
Gosh, when he says it like that, it sounds like he wasn’t a fan of the offensive stylings of Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula.
But Avant was in the mood to take shots during his reunion, he was more interested in explaining how he can play a role for a team that hasn’t gotten the most out of their wide receivers (they’re still waiting for their first touchdown from a wideout this year).
“You see Tim Duncan still play at a high level because he was a fundamental person,” Avant said of the NBA’s best post player for the last two decades. “So when his talent or speed kind of diminished, he was still able to play at a high level because he learned the game the right way. That’s what I want to be as a pro — learn the game the right way and as I get older, I’m still able to perform at a high level.”
The Panthers thought he was far less than Tim Duncan, that’s for sure. So it will be interesting to see if he returns to the productive player he was for Reid in Philadelphia.