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Q&A: Carolina Panthers linebacker Dan Connor

Ten questions about life away from football with Carolina Panthers linebacker Dan Connor, who has returned to the team that drafted him in 2008:

Q. Had you kept your place in Charlotte?

A. I did. I kept it and just rented it out.

Q. Was that a function of the housing market at the time you left (in 2011)?

A. We wanted to keep it because we were thinking about living here, moving back. We like it and we have (a condo) right downtown. The city’s booming, even since I left. That wasn’t that long ago. There’s a new baseball stadium, buildings.

Q. You’re married with a child. Is that a new development since you were here before?

A. Yeah, a 2-month-old (son named Murphy). That’s a new development. Had him the day after I got hurt (in September).

Q. Were you in the delivery room in a neck brace?

A. I was hurting. I was in a lot of pain.

Q. Not as much as your wife. Were you eyeing her epidural?

A. I know I could’ve used it. I was looking around to see what I could grab off the counters. She went into labor the day after (his injury) at about 3:30 in the morning. I had to text the trainer. I said, I can’t make it to the doctor tomorrow. I’m going to be in the hospital (in Hackensack, N.J.).

Q. You have a neck injury and a newborn. Have you gotten any sleep the past two months?

A. No sleep. Since I got here is the most sleep I’ve gotten, and even my schedule’s messed up right now. It’s hard to get to sleep at night because I’m up with him, and then I’m kind of tired during the day. So in meetings I’m passing out. It’s been amazing. Such a blessing for me and my wife. Hopefully, she can get down here. It’s been an exciting year.

Q. What did you tell the people who were renting your condo?

A. I left them in there. I didn’t want to disrupt them. I’m staying in the hotel. I’m not going to kick anyone out. And we have our stuff up in Jersey.

Q. What do you think of the job Bill O’Brien’s done at Penn State (Connor’s alma mater)?

A. I think he’s doing unbelievable. They’re exciting to watch. I’ve been watching a ton of them since I’ve been hurt. You have Saturdays off, so I’ve been watching them a lot. It’s a different atmosphere. To get over what they went through a couple years ago and change the image. They’re working it as good as you could do.

Q. Have you had a chance to meet O’Brien?

A. I haven’t been back. I’ve been in touch with my linebacker coach; he’s still there. So that’s been good. And he seems positive about it. They’re rebuilding, like any team that goes through something. They’ve got to rebuild and rebuild the brand. And he’s doing a great job.

Q. Where’s the first place you wanted to go eat when you got back to Charlotte?

A. Probably some barbecue, maybe Mac’s. In Dallas it was Mexican food. North Jersey it was Italian food. So down here it’s got to be the barbecue.

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