If you’ve been waiting for Graham Gano to respond to a negative, snarky tweet you sent late Sunday afternoon, you can find something else to do.
The Carolina Panthers’ kicker has steered clear of social media since missing two late field goals in Sunday’s 19-17 loss to Atlanta.
“People usually don’t have nice things to say,” Gano said Tuesday. “I learned that in the past and just keep moving on. It’s not going to change me as a player.”
Gano hooked a 46-yard kick just left with 1:22 remaining, and had a 63-yarder blocked as time expired in the Panthers’ most gut-wrenching loss of the season.
Gano said he had a number of supportive text messages waiting for him when he got to his locker after the game, including a poignant text from his wife, Brittany. He said he was appreciative of his teammates who approached him and offered encouragement.
“I’ve made pressure kicks for this team before. It’s just an unfortunate situation,” Gano said. “I know it was a big kick and I hope we get that opportunity again.”
Gano said he went home Sunday night and wrestled and played with his two sons – 9-month-old Ryder and 3-year-old Bryson. They provided a nice respite.
“I was frustrated, just like anyone would be. It was nice to be home,” he said. “The 9-month-old has no idea I play football. And my 3-year-old knows I play, but he doesn’t know what’s going on. They just love me for me.”
Gano has made 18 of 22 field goals this season, and had connected on seven consecutive tries of 50 yards or more before his 63-yarder was blocked. After the game he said he’d done nothing mechanically wrong; he just missed.
“You don’t want that to happen. But we have five more games. So if I dwell on that, we’re not going to be any good,” Gano said. “I’ve just got to improve. I can’t wait to go to Minnesota and kick again.”
Told he could be kicking in inclement weather Nov. 30 at the University of Minnesota’s outdoor stadium, Gano said: “I’ve kicked in cold weather before. Same ball, just a little bit harder.”
Bye-bye: After a short workout Tuesday morning, players were headed out for a five-day break. Rivera normally has two practices during the bye week, but he decided to change it up in the hopes of improving the team’s fortunes.
The Panthers are 0-3 after byes under Rivera, a mark that does not include the playoff loss to San Francisco last season after a week off or the Monday night loss to Philadelphia on Nov. 10 following a 10-day “mini-bye.”
Players will return to Bank of America Stadium on Monday to begin preparations for the Vikings.