Greg Hardy Learning From Last Offseason
Almost a year after a motorcycle accident spoiled his offseason preparations, Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy is not only done riding – he's also in the best shape of his life.
Hardy, a sixth-round pick out of Ole Miss in 2010, added nearly 20 pounds of muscle to his 6-foot-4 frame this offseason. He was able to bulk up from 280 to 299 pounds by eating more protein and spending quite a bit of time in the weight room.
Panthers general manager Marty Hurney believes that a heavier Hardy will be an improved Hardy.
“He’s put on some weight and kept the same quickness. He shows the desire. He’s done everything to show you that he wants to be very, very good,” Hurney told The Charlotte Observer. “He’s improved. I think the offseason’s helped him a lot. … He’s just got a special knack as far as rushing the passer.”
A bigger man also requires a bigger vehicle. Hardy now drives a Chevrolet Avalanche, which he described as "a really, really, really big truck."
Steve Smith Hosts Summer Youth Camp
Panthers wideout Steve Smith hosted his fifth-annual youth football camp last Friday at Ardrey Kell High School in Charlotte.
Smith, along with Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and several other teammates, provided encouragement, advice and a few laughs to the 500 seven-to-14-year-olds who attended.
For the 33-year-old Smith, the camp provides an opportunity to not only have a little fun before training camp, but also to be a role model to a group of kids who idolize him.
“Yeah, they want a few autographs, but they just want to play ball, " Smith told The Charlotte Observer. "Sometimes when you play this game for a long time, you kind of forget that a little bit. I always look at this as an opportunity to start my summer off. This is where it begins."
“I know that after this, training camp is going to start. But I’ve got this to hold on to. There’s times when you grind it out at training camp. And you’ve got to remember, there’s kids right now that want to be you. I like it. It’s fun.”
Jon Beason Returning to Full Strength
Panthers linebacker Jon Beason looked good in last week's three-day minicamp, finishing his first week of full-speed drills since rupturing his Achilles last year.
When the team travels to Wofford College in Spartanburg for training camp, Beason plans to be ready to go in full pads.
Defensive end Charles Johnson (arthroscopic knee surgery), defensive tackle Ron Edwards (biceps surgery) and Jeff Otah (left knee swelling) did not participate in any OTAs.
While it's unclear whether Johnson, Edwards or Otah will be participants in training camp, all three are expected to be ready for the regular season.
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