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Q&A: Carolina Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson

Ten questions about life away from football with Carolina Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson:

Q. Is there anyone on the team that can hang with you on the golf course?

A. Piggie (guard Geoff Hangartner) is getting there. He’s down near a five (handicap), he said.

Q. You a scratch handicap?

A. Yeah, I finished like 0-point whatever at the end of the summer. So working on it. Getting better.

Q. You’ve played in the Lake Tahoe celebrity tournament three times. What was your coolest pairing?

A. I played practice rounds with Ray Allen, his good buddy, me and my good buddy. My buddy, Ray Allen’s like his favorite basketball player ever. It was cool for me because I know Ray a little bit, but more cool for him.

Q. Are you old enough to know who Jesus Shuttlesworth (Allen’s character in the movie “He Got Game”) is?

A. Yeah. Basketball was my thing, so I was all into that movie. I didn’t even really play quarterback until high school. I wanted to play basketball. I put everything in that.

Q. Did you quit growing?

A. No. When I got to my sophomore year, I had a good year. I started getting letters and scholarship offers. And I had way more football offers. I was like, “Uh, maybe I should take this a little more serious.” I only had like three or four basketball (offers).

Q. Were they big schools for basketball?

A. No, mostly like Colorado State. Smaller schools – Air Force. I went to Oregon State and was going to play both basketball and football. And then I almost failed out of school. I wanted to play both. Coach (Dennis) Erickson was like, “You’re going to have to pick one because you’re not going to make it (academically).” It all worked out.

Q. Did you do anything exciting for Christmas?

A. My family was here. My brother and his wife came down from D.C. My mom and my stepdad came from Washington. We just hung out, had a good dinner on Christmas Eve and then hung out (on Christmas). Watched Chevy Chase (in) “Christmas Vacation.”

Q. Is that your favorite Christmas movie?

A. Probably that or “Elf” (laughs). We watched that the other night. It was good, nothing crazy. We were going to play the golf simulator in our building, but it wasn’t working.

Q. Kyle Orton all of a sudden is the starter in Dallas, with a playoff berth on the line. It’s an interesting life you guys lead, isn’t it?

A. It’s hard because, yeah, we get practice. But we don’t necessarily get practice with the first team or the reps with our guys. So you’ve really got to be on top of your reads and watch how (Cam Newton) has been doing it. So if I needed to go in, I try to stay within the framework of what other guys are used to, too.

Q. Cam doesn’t miss many snaps. What’s that like for you?

A. I’ve been in other situations where I was backing guys up and I was in in the first quarter. And it’s like, ‘Come on, the kid can’t make it through the first quarter?’ But he’s so strong and obviously he can get through a lot. He pushes himself and is very mentally strong, and probably played through some things that other guys might not have even tried to.

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