Tre Boston needed it.
The third-year Carolina Panthers safety has, all season, been “earning his spot” on the field according to coach Ron Rivera, and his time on the field has fluctuated between starter (six games) and backup. Week to week, Boston has played between 30 percent and 100 percent of the defensive snaps.
In practice, said teammate Daryl Worley, Boston flies all over the place. He not only self-scouts for his own improvement but keeps his eye on players even younger than he is.
So when Boston pulled down a deep ball intended for Kansas City receiver Tyreek Hill, it made the work worth it.
You know, that was his first pick for this year but I’m sure they are going to start stringing along for him.
“To be able to do that, it was good,” he said. “It was finally what we’ve been waiting for back there. Deep ball. Just me making the plays I know I can make.
“I was in the middle third (of the field) and saw Alex Smith set up, staring down the field; hitch step and I broke on the ball knowing exactly where I wanted to go.”
It was his first interception since 2014, and the first turnover by Kansas City since the fourth week of the season.
“It was big,” said corner Robert McClain. “It was like flashes of everything he did last year. Not saying that he did anything bad this year, but that was a huge play for us and it was good seeing him having that fun and that swagger-walk to him again.
“You know, that was his first pick for this year but I’m sure they are going to start stringing along for him.”
Added Rivera, “He is continuing to (earn his time). He is a young guy who is learning a lot and doing some really good things, helping us. He made a big play on a deep ball and that’s what he is capable of. That’s what we feel he has the ability to do. He just has to continue to grow and improve on what we are doing.”
Panthers teammates are looking to Tre Boston – whose personality, if at all possible, is even bigger than the play he made against Kansas City – to bring the energy.
With a quick turnaround game against the Saints on Thursday night and a 20-17 loss Sunday to drop the season to 3-6, teammates are looking to Boston – whose personality, if at all possible, is even bigger than the play he made against Kansas City – to bring the energy.
“Man, I’ve never seen Tre not smile,” said McClain. “Regardless of the situations we are in or whether people are happy or not, he’s going to enjoy what he does.
“Energy is going to be important. Every game we have for the rest of the season is a must-win. Not saying this wasn’t a must-win, but we have to go out there and play like it’s the last game we are ever going to play.”
Boston said he’s more than up to the challenge.
“That’s me, I’m gonna bring the juice,” he said. “That’s what I’m about. That’s my role with this team. We got to be able to bring it. You know, we might have lost today but the season’s not over. We got to go out and get a win on Thursday.”