10 questions about life away from football:
Q. You’ve been to the playoffs now twice in your first two years. But you have to know that doesn’t happen all that often, right?
A. Oh definitely. Just watching football for a while, you can be a hot football team or be down for a while. Just having more poise that I’ve been through it once, I know what to expect and it should be a better year.
Q. Do you think you’ve been spoiled now?
A. Just blessed man, and finally seeing what hard work results in. Staying focused and you get what you put in.
Q. If I had told you last year when you were 1-3 that you guys would go on to the playoffs in the next two seasons, would you have believed me?
A. With the group that we had, yeah, I would have definitely believed it. Coming in during OTAs and knowing we were a better team than 1-3, it was just a matter of time before it came together.
Q. Were you able to do anything for Christmas?
A. My daughter came into town so I just spent time with her. She’ll be here throughout New Year so that was my gift.
Q. What gifts did you get her?
A. She’s a 1-year-old so I got her a lot of learning gifts, ABCs and all that. I got her a name necklace and stuff. She had a good Christmas.
Q. So what’s this season been like for you? Because you’ve really come on strong this year.
A. As far as me personally, I’ve had my ups and downs. I know I could have been better, but a lot of things happen. In this league you have to learn to play through injuries.
Q. You’re from East Chicago, Ind. How are you liking Charlotte?
A. I love Charlotte. I’ve been comfortable here since last year. I like the people here. It’s a different culture than Indiana. It’s something different.
Q. In what ways is it different?
A. I mean the people, and city-wise, the crime rate is lower.
Q. You were principal for a day at Walter G. Byers School in Charlotte. What was that like?
A. It went pretty well. It was K-8. I had (Panthers offensive linemen) Fernando Velasco and Derek Dennis with me. It was an unbelievable day and it was great to see the smiles on the kids’ faces every time we introduced ourselves to the classes. The energy was crazy.
Q. So is that your post-career move? Are you going to be like a PE teacher?
A. I wouldn’t say all that but it’s fun to do it now and put a positive message in young kids’ heads.