Inside the Panthers

Q&A: Carolina Panthers S Michael Griffin

You might see Carolina Panthers safety Michael Griffin walking back to his apartment after home games.
You might see Carolina Panthers safety Michael Griffin walking back to his apartment after home games.

Ten questions about life off the field with Carolina Panthers safety Michael Griffin.

Q. Were you in that end-zone scrum last year (as a member of the Titans) after Cam Newton danced in the end zone at Tennessee?

A. I was standing there, but I wasn’t entertaining anything about it. That was some other people. I turned around and looked.

Q. That became a thing here because a woman dubbed ‘Tennessee Mom’ wrote to our newspaper ripping Cam. Did you hear about that?

A. It’s part of the game. My thing was if you didn’t want him to do it, then keep him out of the end zone. And he got in the end zone. He said it best: ‘If you don’t like it, keep me out of the end zone.’

Charlotte Observer reporters Joseph Person and Jourdan Rodrigue preview Monday night's NFL matchup between Carolina and Washington.

Q. How would you compare Nashville and Charlotte?

A. It’s different. I was in Nashville for nine years. I had a home there. I had my family. I knew people from my teammates to guys who retired to past (players). Met locals and everything else. Here I got an Airbnb. I stay in a small, one-bedroom apartment.

Q. Do you almost feel like you’re just visiting?

A. Yeah, it feels like I guess you’re in the military or you’ve got to travel for work. Sometimes I walk to the games and back home.

Q. Do people recognize you?

A. Nah. I normally got a hoodie on and I’m just walking, minding my business with headphones on. I just keep it moving.

Q. Where were you during the Keith Scott protests?

A. I was downtown, staying at the Holiday Inn. And there was a whole bunch of protesting. It was a life experience that you can put in the memory bank. Being in Texas during the whole time when I was rehabbing (his back), you saw it on the news. But I didn’t realize it was so close to where I was about to be.

Q. Have you done any Christmas shopping yet?

A. I really haven’t. I’ve got two kids that really don’t need anything. I’ve got an 8-year-old (Michael) that has an iPhone already and he’s talking about he wants an iPhone 7. My kids pretty much have everything. On Christmas day, we’ve already come to the conclusion that we’re not opening presents. We’re probably going to go to the store, purchase some presents and go the Boys & Girls Club or something and just go donate a bunch of toys.

Q. What does your 6-year-old (Miya) want?

A. She’s got everything, too. She has an iPad. She says she wants a cell phone, but the only person she ever calls is me on her iPad or FaceTime.

Q. And your wife?

A. She’s got everything she needs. We’ve got a baby on the way (a girl, Mikenzie, due March 31).

Q. Have you given any thought as to whether these might be the final three games of your career?

A. We’ll see. Ten years is a blessing. It’s nothing bad about that. But when that comes, we’ll see. Right now we’ll just worry about Monday night.