Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis sat down with Mike Craft, Bryan Strickland and Dan LaTorraca from Panthers.com as a guest on the weekly segment Panthers Pulse.
Davis, who is rehabbing from his third ACL tear on his right knee, answered some questions and talked about the upcoming season. The former first-round pick out of Georgia is attempting to make history as the first player to ever come back from three ACL tears. Instead being discouraged, Davis is using this adversity as fuel to come back even in stronger in 2012.
“Having the opportunity to come back from it (third ACL injury) and being the first time somebody has ever tried to do it – that’s extra motivation for me and I’m looking to accomplish that goal,” Davis said.
Davis, injured in just the second game of the season, was one of a franchise-high 18 Panthers to be placed on IR this season. He acknowledged that injuries, coupled with a young roster, certainly took its toll during the 2011 season.
“We had a lot of growing pains this last season – we had a lot of injuries, we had the (most number of) guys end up on IR then we’ve ever had in Panther history,” Davis said. It’s always going to be tough when you have to replace guys.”
Nonetheless, Davis was impressed with the resilience of his teammates, particularly backup linebacker Jordan Senn, who filled in admirably after the Carolina defense was decimated by injuries.
“One that really stood out to me was Jordan Senn,” Davis told Mike Craft. “You have a guy who has been sitting back waiting on an opportunity and he got it and made the most of it.”
Oh, and of course Davis sang his praises about rookie sensation Cam Newton, who quickly became a superstar and the face of the Carolina Panthers franchise.
“Not really knowing what to expect from a rookie quarterback, I think he far exceeded everyone’s expectations and we’re looking from great things from Cam this season, Davis said.”
“Great things” was not overstated either. Davis, who will turn 29 at the end of the month, wasn’t shy about raising the bar for his team in 2012.
“The 2012 season will be a different season for the Carolina Panthers. I promise you that,” Davis said. “I don’t see a reason why we shouldn’t be in the Super Bowl in New Orleans this year.”
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