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Greg Hardy has Carolina camp buzzing

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By Pat Yasinskas

I spent much of Thursday morning writing our Camp Confidential segment on the Carolina Panthers. It will pop up on the NFC South blog a bit later this afternoon, after our editors get a chance to read through and jazz it up with pictures.

This feature will involve a mention of rookie defensive end Greg Hardy. But he deserves more than a quick mention because he was creating quite a buzz around camp when I visited Wofford College earlier this week.

A sixth-round pick out of Mississippi, Hardy isn’t playing like a sixth-round pick. Coaches, players and the front office are noticing. In fact, when I sat down with linebacker Jon Beason for an interview for Camp Confidential and some other stuff for down the road, he brought up Hardy without any prompting at all.

Beason was talking in general terms about how he’s seeing some promise from young players on Carolina’s defensive line. All of the sudden, Beason paused and got very specific.

“Hardy, for instance,’’ Beason said. “He’s a guy who can do everything. He’s strong at the point of attack. Great against the run and great against the pass. He’s got a motor and he’s very fast. I’ve talked to him and said, “Look, I don’t care what happened at Ole Miss or anything in the past. Forget about it, because you can write your own ticket right now’’ and I’m challenging him to get out there and get better because he’s got a chance to be a special player.’’

All right, let’s put some context on this. Beason is a guy I know fairly well and he’s the clear leader of Carolina’s defense, maybe even of the entire franchise. I respect his football knowledge tremendously. But I should tell you Beason’s an optimist and I tried to keep his thoughts on Hardy in perspective until I talked to someone else.

That’s when I turned to John Fox. Anyone that’s followed the Panthers for most of the last decade knows that Fox, although almost always cordial, isn’t the greatest quote in the world. It’s rare for him to really heap praise on players, he’s never going to publicly criticize them and, actually, it isn’t all that often that Fox says much of anything.

That’s why his answer surprised me so much when I asked him about Hardy.

“I’ve liked everything I’ve seen,’’ Fox said. “He’s got the size. He’s got first-round ability. It’s still early, but everything I’ve seen has been impressive from his work ethic to his effort to his skill set.’’...

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Wow that sounds awesome. I hope it's not just hype we really need a good DE.

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could my early authentic jersey purchase pay off...lets hope

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It would be quite amazing if we somehow replaced peppers.

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could my early authentic jersey purchase pay off...lets hope

You have it custom made? No way anyone is selling authentic Greg Hardy jerseys right now.

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It would be quite amazing if we somehow replaced peppers.

Wouldn't be hard to stand on the sideline and smile. I think he can do better than that.

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had it custom made on panthers.com

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i predict that five years down the road this'll have been one of the panthers' better draft classes in the history of the franchise.

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had it custom made on panthers.com

Smart man. It will pay off. Not financially of course, but you'll know you were on the GH bandwagon before most others at least.

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Wouldn't be hard to stand on the sideline and smile. I think he can do better than that.

i hope the panthers beat the bears 3-0 and peppers comes away with 8 sacks and just shuts everyone up. he is hands down end of story the best player the panthers ever had. he is better then steve smith (who is the only person ill accept there to be a case made), sam mills, jon beason, and so on.

never once did any coach ever say peppers takes plays off and does not play hard. i have actually heard the opposite where they have said he puts on clinics in training camp. he came out of college with unfair expectations because of how physically gifted he is. if he doesnt get 4 sacks a game you guys bitch. the guy is a monster and pretty sure if he was always taking plays off he would not have been offered that contract. he also made the all decade team while "taking plays off". give me a break i can only imagine then how could he would be if he tried. get a clue.

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someone butthurt a little?

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someone butthurt a little?

best player to ever wear a panthers jersey.

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