Recently retired left tackle Jordan Gross is returning to the Carolina Panthers in a position he calls “a tiny bit less stressful than my old job.”
Gross, who played 11 seasons for the Panthers, will serve as the sideline reporter for the team’s radio network next season.
Gross, 33, will be on the field for all of the Panthers’ games, attempting to provide an insightful – and at times humorous – perspective to the action.
“They just want me to be myself, so I’ll be saying what I see, and adding a lot of excitement and energy,” Gross said Monday from his home state of Idaho.
The rest of the radio broadcast team will remain the same, with Mick Mixon handling play-by-play and Jim Szoke and Eugene Robinson combining as analysts. Sharon Thorsland will continue to do pregame reports for home games.
Gross said he also will be a part of a mid-week TV broadcast during the season, details of which have yet to be announced.
Gross, who was a rookie on the Panthers’ Super Bowl team in 2003 and played in three Pro Bowls, retired in February during a news conference that ended with center Ryan Kalil and a barbershop quartet serenading Gross with “Happy Trails.”
Gross said he is glad he can still be a part of the team.
“I have so many relationships in that organization, not just with players. It would’ve been hard to sever all the ties,” he said. “Plus, it’ll give me something to do on Sundays.”
Gross, however, won’t be making any comebacks: He weighs 240 pounds, down 60 from his playing weight.
And he is enjoying time with his family. He took 10 days driving to Idaho with his Airstream trailer, making stops at Mount Rushmore and the Iowa farm of former Panthers teammate Jordan Carstens.