Panthers safety Mike Mitchell knows a thing or two about bulletin board material, even if most people under 40 have no idea what a bulletin board is.
Mitchell helped riled up the Saints by calling quarterback Drew Brees soft (and then later trying to say Mitchell didn’t call Brees soft). Mitchell is now trying to help rile up his teammates in the wake of some shots fired by Jets receiver Santonio Holmes.
“Not to call these guys out, but their secondary is probably weakest link on their defense,” Holmes said this week.
Mitchell sent a link to Holmes’ comments (hopefully the PFT version) to the team’s full complement of defensive backs.
“The whole team should take it personal,” Mitchell said, via Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer. “I like that coach tries to do things like that. Always making it team, team, team. I think that’s very good how he does that for us.”
Coach Ron Rivera seized the opportunity to spread Santonio’s slight across the full defensive roster.
“Coach Rivera said something to the defense about it and like Coach Rivera says, it’s a team game,” cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said. “If he feels that way, everybody on the field on Sunday, we’re out there together and we’re going to play for each other.”
Officially, Rivera was less inflammatory.
“People are going to say what they want to say. That’s fine,” Rivera said. “But that’s why you play them on Sunday to find out. Something I learned in all my years of playing, it’s all about showing up on Sunday and we’ll see how it goes. That’s why you play.”
The Panthers don’t really need extra motivation as they try to nail down an unlikely playoff spot and chase an even more unlikely division title and first-round bye. But any motivation helps.