Ten questions about life off the field with Carolina Panthers TE Eric Wallace, who was signed to the practice squad this week.
Q. So what have you been doing the last four months?
A. I've just been hanging around Charlotte, working out. I took word from where (tight ends) coach (Pete) Hoener and (assistant GM) Brandon Beane and (Dave) Gettleman and (Ron) Rivera told me to work on before I came back. Basically just blocking and getting used to the basics of football.
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Q. Can you work on blocking on your own?
A. Yeah. I linked up with (former lineman) Orrin Thompson at D1 down in Matthews. He played some years in the NFL.
Q. Does he have a blocking sled?
A. He put the bag on his shoulder and said, 'Hey, this is how you block.' I worked out with him maybe three times a week for about two months.
Q. Did any other teams call you?
A. I worked out with Tampa Bay about a month and a half ago. And then I worked out with Carolina the day after. Came back and ran some routes for them, did some blocking. They just like to check and see how I'm doing.
Q. Knowing your background, how about any Aussie Rules teams?
A. Some of my teammates from Australia said, 'Hey, you can always come back and play.' I can't go back and play that game because [of] the aerobic part of the game. In preseason they're running about 12, 13, 14, 15 kilometers a day.
Q. Funny, you still stay kilometers.
A. Yeah, 9 to 10 miles a day.
Q. Did you get calls from any basketball teams?
A. My agent said I could have went overseas to play some basketball. But I was already on the football train and I really wanted to come back to Carolina. It's home. I'm a Carolina fan. I was staying in the University area and that was good because I met up with coach (Brad) Lambert, head coach at UNC Charlotte. He said, 'Whenever you want to use the field, you come over and use the field.' I probably used the field about two or three times a week, just running routes, using the (blocking) sled that they have. Just doing whatever I can to stay in shape.
Q. Did you have time to get a second job?
A. I actually was employed by two employers, (including) Mecklenburg Parks and Rec. I was working at Mallard Creek Parks and Rec. about two weeks ... (as a) recreation assistant, working with kids. Basically just shutting down the gym.
Q. What was your other job?
A. Harris YMCA, sports official. Officiating, shutting the gym down, stuff like that. But I hadn't really started that job yet.
Q. Are you giving your two-week notice?
A. I'll probably have to give the Rec. my two-week notice. But I'll probably stick with the Y on some off-time because, you know, we don't get paid in the offseason. I'm looking forward to sticking around Charlotte and coming over here whenever I can to get on the film and get on the field.