By Joseph Person — firstname.lastname@example.org
Greg Hardy was in midseason form Thursday – playing and talking.
The Carolina Panthers' trash-talking defensive end got leaner during the offseason, dropping nearly 15 pounds. He’s hoping to improve his speed-rush and prove his breakthrough 2012 season was not a fluke.
Hardy might have lost weight, but he hasn't lost his gift of gab.
In a five-minute interview, Hardy referenced a fictitious NASCAR driver, invited critics to kiss his backside, said he's more interested in winning than money and that he plans to rank among the league leaders in sacks.
“I'm just trying to get more,” Hardy said. “I talk a lot of trash, so I'm just making sure I step my game up this year from what it was and try not to make as many mistakes.”
Hardy, a sixth-round pick in 2010, collected 11 sacks in 2012 after finishing with seven his first two seasons combined. Hardy's emergence, combined with another strong season by defensive end Charles Johnson, gave the Panthers one of the league's top pass-rushing tandems.
Now a lot of critics want to see Hardy do it again.
I love Hardy, definitely my favorite Panther of the new generation that's been drafted since 2010.
You know... Besides Cam of course. lol