CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - It was a tough weekend for the Carolina Panthers coaches and front office as they had to cut the roster from 80 to 53. With that business done, there are 6 days until the official start of the Matt Rhule era with the Carolina Panthers as they will host the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday at 1 pm.
After a preseason without games, the Panthers are a little tired of practicing each other which makes this week one to look forward to.
“To finally get to go up against another team is going to be super exciting,” said Panthers wide receiver and special teams player Brandon Zylstra. “We are going to be able to come out fast, come out flying, and we’re definitely going to be the more physical team out there. I think we got a good shot to go make some noise this year.”
To do that, coach Rhule says it’s going to take that little bit of extra effort from everybody on this team.:
“If we want to be a great team, a lot of that greatness happens on our own time,” said coach. “We just got done with practice and we won’t see them again until 8:30 on Wednesday and what are you going to do in that time to get yourself more mentally or physically ready? I want to see guys really grind this week. That’s who we want to be. We want to be a tough, hardworking team that prepares at a high level because confidence comes from preparation.”
That message has to resonate with the young players on this 2020 roster which will be a lot. A number of rookies will play major roles for this team especially on defense. There are quite a few young players who are still looking to make their mark in the NFL on this team, so that extra work will be critical to get them.
“For us, playing a lot of new guys and a lot of young guys, they can’t really act like rookies,” said coach. “They have to go play like veterans and that only comes from preparation and from practice. I like what I saw in practice (on Monday), but greatness is going to happen outside of this building.”