Top cat Jerry Richardson pays visit to Panthers' camp
Carolina Panthers owner/founder Jerry Richardson took a brief respite from answering questions Wednesday at training camp by directing his own inquiry at anyone who had negatively wondered about his financial commitment to the franchise.
“Does anybody feel just a little bad about calling me cheap last year, just a smidgen?” Richardson asked following NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s fan forum.
“The facts are we did exactly what we said we were going to do,” Richardson said. “What really precipitated this is we hadn’t had back-to-back winning seasons and what we were doing wasn’t working. We wanted to attempt to go young and draft our own players and we kept every one of our core players which is remarkable to me. I would have assumed some percentage of them would have gone somewhere else.”
Veteran tackle Jordan Gross was vacationing in the Wyoming mountains with little to no cell phone reception and whenever he’d get a glimmer of a signal, the waiting messages continued to bring good news.
“It was exciting because every time I turned on my phone I was getting a new text about a new deal, another player re-signing. It was great to see that commitment.”
The spending spree and organizational overhaul came of no surprise to Gross, who had personally called Richardson in December with a few games remaining last season to inquire about future plans and what the owner had in store to help rejuvenate the franchise.
“I asked if I could talk with him and what the plan was because it was kind of a doom and gloom time in the Panthers organization,” Gross said. “He told me we were going to hire a defensive (head) coach, get an attacking offensive coordinator, a great quarterbacks coach and were going to draft a quarterback with our top pick and then be aggressive in free agency.
“So I had faith in it and it happened just the way he said. He told me that in private, and I didn’t tell anybody because he trusted me with that information. Now I’m singing his praises because he had a plan. That gives me a lot of faith and makes me feel comfortable in the direction we’re headed. It’s what he wanted to do the whole time.”
Mac on WFNZ this morning discussing whether or not the fans that were bitching owe him an apology.
What say you?