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Cabarrus Magazine

Voice of the Panthers, Mick Mixon, Helps 'Up Front' Preview Upcoming Season

Aug 07, 2020 03:12PM ● By Jason Huddle

Episode 70: 2020 Carolina Panthers Season Preview

Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine has posted it's 2nd Annual Carolina Panthers Season Preview, with special guest, Mick Mixon.


Jason Huddle  00:00

After promising five and three stars in 2019, the Carolina Panthers were a dismal five and 11. By the end of the season now, without Luke Kuechly, Cam Newton or Greg Olson, three core members of the team, the Panthers begin to prepare for their 2020 season and some think anything is possible

 

Mick Mixon  00:20

This season, Jason, depending on what the virus decides to do, could be profoundly unfair.

 

Jason Huddle  00:27

Sure.

 

Mick Mixon  00:27

Not that there's fairness in professional sports at all, injuries, the randomness of the universe, weather conditions, the bounce of the ball, etc, etc. Why we love it right. But the Panthers if they can stay healthy, healthier than other teams, who knows what might happen in 2020.

 

Jason Huddle  00:47

Join me along with our guests MC mixin, voice of the Carolina Panthers as we break down the 2020 campaign, the new players once we've lost and what we can expect by the end of the season. This our second annual Carolina Panthers season preview on Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine, a presentation of CabCo Media Group and sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, Cabarrus Eye Center, Cabarrus Health Alliance, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Level Up Realty, New Hope Worship Center and Walk Cabarrus I'm your host Jason Huddle. Hello, my friends and welcome once again to Upfront with Cabarrus Magazine. We are up to Episode 70, seven zero. Thank you so much for your listenership and your support, of course to our sponsors, who make this program possible. Before we get into this week's episode I want to talk just briefly about last week we received a lot of feedback regarding the effects of plan C as we talked to three members of the Board of Education for Cabarrus County and their vote to move to plan C, which is all virtual learning. There was a lot of controversy about whether or not they voted for Plan B first and then voted for C, the answer I have been given by a member of the school board is that technically Yes, there was no vote for Plan B, but there was a consensus. And those two are, according to the bylaws of the board of education are one in the same. In addition to that, I did go back and fact check myself regarding the posting of Plan B on Cabarrus County Schools website. Sure enough, it was there, posted directly after the governor had made his announcement about what schools could or could not do, leading me as a parent to believe that plan B had been decided upon. So whether or not there was a vote on the 13th of July, it doesn't really matter because Cabarrus County Schools put out information to that effect, therefore allowing parents to believe that about Plan B had been instituted before there was another vote for Plan C. I'm going to digress at this point and leave the rest to your opinions. But that is, in my opinion what happened and I feel like certain board members that are being vocal about there not being a vote on the 13th need to backtrack their statements. That's all I have to say about that. Before we talk about this upcoming episode, let's get into shameless plug time. We've been hearing from our listeners that they need more platforms for upfront to be available in order for them to listen and we have heard you we have been working hard to have our podcast on several platforms and now we are on Amazon Alexa. So all you have to do is say Alexa play Upfront with Cabarrus Magazine and you can hear the podcast as you're getting ready for work or trying to wind down in the afternoon. So now on top of all these other platforms, that Upfront is available on, you can just listen in your house. Isn't that great? And that is today's shameless plug time. Now let's get down to the business at hand. 2019 for the Carolina Panthers was basically a repeat of the 2018 season, decent start, terrible finish. Once again the Panthers collapsed down the stretch, the defense couldn't stop anybody and we were embarrassed on several occasions. Now the Panthers have a new coach, a new starting quarterback and a new perspective on how things are to be run moving forward. today. We welcome in once more Mick Mixon from the Carolina Panthers. He's going to help us talk about how the Panthers are dealing with no longer having Cam Newton or Luke  Kuechly or Greg Olson, who is going to step up and be the man in their place. And then we'll also talk about what we can expect from this team young as it is brand new head coach who's never had coached in the pros before. It's definitely going to be an interesting season to say the least. We're going to get into all of that right after these messages from our sponsors, stay tuned. Mick Mixon is next.

 

Commercial  05:17

 

 

Jason Huddle  06:54

Welcome everyone to the program. I have on the line with me Mick Mixon the Voice of the Carolina Panthers. Welcome back to the show Mick.

 

Mick Mixon  07:04

It's an honor I love love Cabarrus County, huge collection of Panther fans. They're got a lot of history in that county and, and, and I enjoyed being on the show with you last year. Jason, you show has a good feel to it. So I appreciate you given the Panthers a little bit of attention. We feel sort of isolated and insulated here at Bank of America stadium with practice meetings. Meetings are going on practices scheduled, but it is just a, its psychotic how our football team is trying to come together under the guidelines of social distancing.

 

Jason Huddle  07:38

I can't imagine I mean, you know, you segwayed right into where I wanted to go first is 2020 it's it's, it's so weird in so many different ways and from the NFL standpoint, the Raiders are now the Las Vegas Raiders. The Washington Redskins are now the Washington Football Team and the Carolina Panthers are without number one, Cam Newton. So it's just an odd year and I, I feel you say you guys feel disconnected. I feel disconnected from the team. I feel like I haven't been able to really get energized about this season because there's such a limit of what is going on and how the press has not really been included, for obvious reasons. But it just seems so odd, this whole year is just weird.

 

Mick Mixon  08:30

Yeah, I'm with you. I think I got a couple thoughts. Number one, our digital team, our content team at panthers.com. To me, they have done, they've been the miracle workers because they have been places that I don't know how they've gotten. I don't know how they do what they do. Very talented group of people. But even when everything has been shut down, Jason, they've been able to get just enough access. Doing it of course, all within the guidelines that has been imposed upon all of us by our security teams. But they've tried to keep sort of that Panther home fire burning throughout March, April, May, June, July and now August. The other thing I want to say is that, in relating to your comments, Jason about how strange it feels, almost feels like to me that I woke up in the morning and the laws of physics have changed that the water no longer freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit that there's now no longer 24 hours in a day that gravity has decided to to change the way it affects the planet Earth. And I know that's, of course overstating it, but with so much new with the Panthers having completely taken this thing down to the studs, and tried to remake it. Not only Cam Newton, but Greg Olson, Gerald McCoy, Eric Reid. There's just a yeah Lu, Oh my gosh, yeah, Luke Kuechly, there's just a long long list of iconic Panthers Trey Turner, we miss him, you know, the Turner for Okun trade that made Some news in the offseason but in all of this change, there is excitement and as that drumbeat begins to get louder, and as the coming season looks like it's it's gonna happen at least it's going to start. There's tremendous excitement. And if you don't hear anything else I say during our podcast, watch the Teddy Bridgewater press conference or listen to the podcast the thumbnail upon further review on Panthers dot com. Have you have you immersed yourself in Teddy Bridgewater yet? I mean to me this guy is amazing is what he can do on the field but his leadership voice and his his quiet confidence off the field.

 

Jason Huddle  10:38

I have not really delved into the man that is Teddy Bridgewater and what he's going to be to this team to be honest with you, I`m, I guess the jury's still out for me, because I'm so unsure you know, he did well as Drew Brees`s back up last year when he had to step in, but he also had the New Orleans Saints In that squad, helping him out. So um, you know, I'm hoping that he can replicate that kind of production here. But you know, I'm just not sure yet and I'm hoping you will calm those fears.

 

Mick Mixon  11:15

I`ll try too, but it's all up to Teddy and the team of course, but here's what I'm hearing number one is he's a gym rat. He's a worker, he's watch. As I said on the podcast yesterday here, he's watched more film than Siskel and Ebert and that's contagious. Number two Sean Payton said about him last year when he substituted for Drew Brees. Teddy Bridgewater, I'll tell you about Teddy Bridgewater, smart, accurate. A leader can make the first rusher miss. I'll stop there. So to me that word economy that that concise but yet impactful summary that Sean Payton gave of Teddy Bridgewater means a lot. And then lastly, for this particular comment I'm making, not trying to be critical of my fellow reporters but yesterday during a press conference, Teddy Bridgewater got the dreaded two part question. I hate two part questions, especially when part one is not connected to part two, because it's actually it's not one two part question. It's two questions.

 

Jason Huddle  12:17

Right.

 

Mick Mixon  12:18

And so anyway, I could talk for a long time on the knucklehead question asking techniques so common in today's world, but here's what Teddy Bridgewater gets presented with. Teddy two part question number one, how's your injury rehab going? Number two, you lived in Minnesota when George Floyd was killed in police custody, so what emotions is that brought up for you and have you decided whether you're going to kneel for the national anthem or not? So let's put that in a crucible. That's not that's three actually three questions. You got you got a softball. Then you got a fastball then you got another fastball. A lot of athletes because they get tugged, Jason their attention spans they get tugged in a lot of different ways a lot of athletes would have just said, I don't know, you know, well, well, well, injury I'm doing fine. But what was another part of your question? Teddy Bridgewater, got some air in his lungs and he just handled it with poise and confidence. What he said was inspirational, it was informative, it was it got a window into his psyche, his soul, this team and I just thought, okay, I'm behind it now I'm a fan.

 

Jason Huddle  13:24

Well I am looking forward to going back and listening to that interview. In fact, for our listeners, I'll find the link to that and put it in our show notes. So everywhere you go for that, too. Yeah, that'd be great. Let's talk about the loss of Luke Kuechly, you know, you, somebody that was the heart and soul of this defense and really, for the most part, the team. How do we recover from that?

 

Mick Mixon  13:48

Oh, it'll be easy, Kuechly was overrated, no talent bum. No, it's um, I wish you could have been with me the day several years ago that I sent the speaking invitation to address a middle school girls year in volleyball banquet. And somehow or another the athletic director she put on her Facebook page when she learned that a panther representative quote unquote had accepted their request. She put on her Facebook that Luke Kuechly was coming to their school.

 

Jason Huddle  14:18

Oh no

 

Mick Mixon  14:19

So imagine their shock and dismay and outrage and disappointment when instead of Luke Kuechly, a skinny, bald headed senior citizen in a 2005 nissan titan pickup rolls up and they got all these signs welcome Luke. You know, there's parade theres security, key to the city. And so I was told Luke when I got back I said, I'm mad at you. He said why I says because because I'm not you. Anyway. It's it's a vacuum Jason, you can't replace the answer to the question of how you replace Luke Kechly is it starts with you don't you just tried to have different people because there's no one else with all the great talent that's here. There's no other number 59 so everyone else has to do you know from Tahir Whitehead to Shaq Thompson. All the other guys, not just backers to the linemen defensive backs, has to try to do a little bit more, and try to be a better version of who they are instead of trying to be the next Luke Kuechly.

 

Jason Huddle  15:26

Now, I know that Kuechly is still with the team as a scout. So he's still kind of floating around the building, right?

 

Mick Mixon  15:32

I guess I hadn't seen him, but that's not unusual because everything's cordoned off and we have tier one employees. I'm sure Luke is a tier one employee. Then we have tier two employees. Then we have tier three employees. I'm probably a tier 11 employee. So but yeah, he's here and, and won't it be fascinating to follow his career? Will he want to be a GM someday will he want to run an NFL team will he want to transition To coaching, will he be happy in the scouting talent evaluating in that pathway, but whatever if he was just here pulling weeds out of the flower bed outside, it'd be great just to have him in the building and have him still be a Panther.

 

Jason Huddle  16:13

I find it hard to believe that a man like Keith Lee couldn't resist the opportunity to you know, pull some linebackers aside and give them some pointers and you know, I just don't see that not happening. From his standpoint. He's he's such a student of the game and he wants to improve those around him. I just can't believe that he wouldn't do that if given the opportunity.

 

Mick Mixon  16:37

I know it's so rare in athletics that the most talented is also the hardest worker. Yeah and so when you have a transcendent talent like that, who's also the most dedicated the hardest worker then that's that's, you know, that's a short list of guys and Luke leaves on that and females who play sports, Luke Kuechly  on that list.

 

Jason Huddle  16:59

Right before we cut to our first break, let me talk about the probably the biggest signing of the Carolina Panthers in the offseason. New head coach Matt Rhule. We, for the first time since 2011, have a new head coach. How's it working out? How's he chilling with his team?

 

Mick Mixon  17:18

I was leaving the building last night and had to come pop back in for a little bit. And I was walking out and Matt Rhule coach Rhule was talking to the team. I was on level four, so I could look down. Have you ever been to the stadium? The what they call the What do they call that area? It's sort of the concourse area, the lugs, the suites or whatever where all that is.

 

Jason Huddle  17:41

Yeah, the 300 level.

 

Mick Mixon  17:43

Yeah, so I'm on 400 level looking. Then I can look down the railing and see a grab gathering down on 300 and I didn't want to I wanted to stop and listen, but that wasn't my place. So I kept kept rolling, but just in the 10 seconds it took me to walk by. I heard yet again. Why Matt Rhule has built such consensus here already. Why he seems to have that common touch the gift of humility he's funny but he's also he's coaching these guys are and he was just talking to the team about being the about the warrior mentality about not looking for excuses. It is different. It is hard, but it's hard for everybody. It's hard for every team so here's the way we're going to be prepared. Here's why no other team will have done the work that we will have done and and and put in the effort to try to be a good football team. When opening day gets here.

 

Jason Huddle  18:32

Shoot, I said I was gonna go to break but I have to ask this real quick. How does he differ in style from Ron Rivera?

 

Mick Mixon  18:40

Well, Coach Rivera had never been a head coach at any level before he got the NFL job. But he had the pedigree of having played in the league 85 Bears won a Super Bowl coach coordinated defenses at the highest level. So then here comes Matt Rhule now Matt rule has not played at a high level, although he was a very tough minded walk on at Penn State, but he's run one. So he knows how to win a press conference. He knows how to deal with reporters questions. He knows how which wants to take on which questions to sidestep. He's got the polish that coach Rivera eventually got of course, but came in a little bit more raw in terms of actually being the man in charge. So they're different. They're very different, but, but I think that coach rule is gonna, I just predict, I think me just get ready because it's, there's gonna be someday soon there's gonna be ticker tape. There's gonna be a big parade at the corner of Mint and Morehead as the Panther celebrate absolute victory.

 

Jason Huddle  19:48

I long for that day. I have been since 1995, my friend, I've got to throw it to break when we come back. I want to talk about some additions and some losses and kind of break down the different um parts of the team and see where we stand. If you'll stick around, we will be right back after these messages.

 

Commercial  20:08

 

 

Jason Huddle  20:23

We have online Mick Mixon voice of the Carolina Panthers, our annual Carolina Panthers season preview episode. Our second annual, I should say. Thanks again, Mick, for being on the program with me.

 

Mick Mixon  21:36

My pleasure. Thanks for calling me up.

 

Jason Huddle  21:39

Absolutely. So let's talk about we talked about Teddy Bridgewater, we talked about the loss of Keith Lee, and we talked about coach rule, but there's some other additions to the team this year, like Robbie Anderson, Stephen Weatherly, these guys hopefully are here to make Immediate contributions. Yeah.

 

Mick Mixon  22:02

Well, no, no doubt about it and I'm glad you mentioned Robbie Anderson, 6'3" receiver, 27 year old former temple owl, played with the New York Jets had some good years. He can go get it. He's a Strider and he adds immediate, some immediate venom to that receiving corps. Most of the splashy free agents that were signed in the offseason tended to be on the defensive side or the offensive side of the ball. Not all of them, of course, but a lot of them were. But then the draft comes with seven for seven on the defensive side. And I think that we're going to be young, I mean, there's no now especially now that Graham Gano has been released. Other than JJ Jansen, the 34 year old long snapper kk shorts 31, but this roster is just dotted with 25, 23, 26, 22, 23 year old cats, so maybe, as older people know, young folks don't know what they don't know. And sometimes there's a good in that. So perhaps these young young guns aren't going to know that they shouldn't they shouldn't be. They shouldn't dare to dream of a winning season in their first year with this team and let's be honest, this this season, Jason, depending on what the virus decides to do, could be profoundly unfair. Sure, not that there's fairness in professional sports at all injuries, the randomness of the universe, weather conditions, the bounce of the ball, etc, etc. is why we love it right. But the Panthers if they can stay healthy, healthier than other teams, who knows what might happen in 2020.

 

Jason Huddle  23:56

Well, I hope you're right, but I also remember, before the 2010 season when we basically did  the same thing, we got rid of almost every vet over 30. Save, maybe Steve Smith and a few others. And as we both know, the 2010 team was the reason why we were able to draft Cam Newton in 2011. So, I hope you're right. But I also get scared that we're in for another repeat of 2010.

 

Mick Mixon  24:28

Which would be not very many wins?

 

Jason Huddle  24:31

Yes

 

Mick Mixon  24:32

Well, it could happen. But it's a different vibe. It's a different feel. As we all know, one of the great frailties of the human mind is to believe something, primarily because we wish it to be so.

 

Jason Huddle  24:47

Yes.

 

Mick Mixon  24:48

 But I've had this talk with myself all spring ever since really last year, turned out to go sour after it's hit started with such promise is I'm not falling for Not taking the bait ever again. I'm going to just go offense defense special teams. I'm not going to get out ahead of it and think oh yeah, we got a chance. But dang it every year, especially this year. Panthers do thanks to reel me back in hiring Matt rule watching him talk. David tempers vision Tom Glick is our president I mentioned earlier the energy of our social digital our content team on the.com side. Teddy Bridgewater coming in you mentioned Stephen Weatherly, 26 year old Vanderbilt University defensive end with some some tons of tread left on the tire this draft class all defensive guys I just said now I got chills all of a sudden thinking, you know, why not? Why not? Why wait, why not just just be be great or try to be great anyway, right out of the gate. Another pillar of the team Greg Olson leaves in the offseason. Obviously he wanted to keep playing and the Panthers decided they wanted to go a different direction. Also Mario And then James Bradbury are no longer with the team. How do these losses affect what we're trying to accomplish a lot. It's hard. You know, it's Change is hard. It's hard in relationships. It's hard in athletics. It's hard in business. But sometimes it's necessary for real progress. This is what I would tell you about. Because I've been asked this I know you have to Jason probably the spring in the summer. Oh god, why? Why the Panthers Greg Olson. I loved him. Why did the Panthers get rid of Cam? Cam Newton? I mean, my golly, what are we doing?

 

Jason Huddle  26:31

Oh, yeah.

 

Mick Mixon  26:31

But I can tell you that it's not as if the Panthers were trying to get away from something. It was nothing against Mario Addison. It was nothing against (inaudiable) McCoy. There's nothing against James Reber. It's just that the Panthers and Cam Newton The same thing is just that we're trying to get to something we're trying to give this new coaching staff. Young offensive coordinator Joe Brady, crusty old D defensive coordinator, Phil snow. We're trying to give this new staff a fresh start. palette from which to put their fingerprints on the Panthers moving forward.

 

Jason Huddle  27:06

Did we run Christian McCaffrey too hard in 2019? How's he looking?

 

Mick Mixon  27:10

Not according to CMC, he's ready to ready to rock and roll again. But it is a great question. What do you do? How do you handle it? Do you if you think this year could be difficult from a wins and losses standpoint, or that we might not even have an entire NFL season? Do you? Do you try to preserve this great asset, this exquisitely gifted player Christian McCaffrey? Or do you just honor the work he's put in and the fact that you've got him he's your he's on your team to go ahead and let him get out there and do what he's done his whole life, which is be a football player, I would lean toward option two, as I think McCaffrey himself would.

 

Jason Huddle  27:51

Do you see Reggie Bonnafon or Jordan Scarlet having a bigger role this year to take that load off?

 

Mick Mixon  27:59

Yeah I guess so, but that assumes that that that McCaffrey will agree to come out of the game at times.

 

Jason Huddle  28:08

Let's talk about the receivers the receivers, the receiving corps seems to be one of the bright spots by most prognosticators coming into the season. I've seen it right it is the as high as number four as far as the top receiving course in the league. Got DJ Moore. You got Robbie Anderson's we talked about earlier, Curtis Samuel, and then you have that number four spot that's up for grabs. Who do you think wins that Seth Roberts Pharaoh Cooper, somebody like that?

 

Mick Mixon  28:40

Cooper's gots, special teams jobs former Gamecocks so that's that's, I think that could could argue in his favor. Of course, the receiving core. The core of the core begins with DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel, you glad you mentioned them? Right off the bat, you know, Omar Bayless, six one zylstra six to the Andrew white, who's flashed six feet. So this receiving Corps has they're not little they got that they got some some length to them. And, and I think it's gonna be that's gonna be one of the most interesting once we start padded practices, that's gonna be one of the most interesting position groups to follow. Because there's 10 I don't know how I hadn't counted and there's probably 10 or 11 of them. And normally NFL teams keep a maximum of six with Greg Olson moving on as

 

Jason Huddle  29:30

We talked about earlier you got Ian Thomas and Chris Manhertz ready to take up the mantle Ian Thomas looks like looks like he's gonna be the man at the number one tight end spot. Is he ready for it?

 

Mick Mixon  29:42

I think so y eah. Listening to Teddy Bridgewater. Talk about in Thomas yesterday was was kind of cool that just the speed the combination of size and speed and ability to make yards after the catch that Ian Thomas brings. He's got those dancers from And, and he's a humble kind of guy he's hard to get a lot out of. But if he can just be a consistent catcher of the ball, there's no reason why he can't make the transition between good and great.

 

Jason Huddle  30:15

Chris man hurts. He's sort of an enigma for me. You know, when he came to the league, I thought this is a guy who could come in and take over for Greg Olson when he leaves. After four years. He's had 1000 career snaps but only six passes. In four years, six passes. So is this the story of an underutilized tight end or is he just a better blocker than a catcher?

 

Mick Mixon  30:41

Little bit of both he's got he's only got one career touchdown catch and a quarterback didn't even throw that to him. That was a caffrey to man hearts. Yeah, so some gaps in his resume that he's open till man hertz is it's a little bit cliche Jason but the but he's a fantastic Team guy he's a locker room guy. He's not a he's he's pretty quiet but he's very intelligent. He is not afraid to speak up and lead mainly he does that by example. former basketball player at Canisius came to football somewhat late in life. But he is a road grader when he puts his hand on the ground. It's like having additional offensive linemen and in Joe Brady's offense, multiplicity is key. So these tight ends that can can can have that versatility they can block and set an edge, be stout at the point of attack, not get foolish penalties blocking downfield and can also catch the ball and and inside adjust and do those things. You could use those kind of guys in the Panthers have won in man hurts.

 

Jason Huddle  31:52

I have to throw it one more break. If you will stick with me. I just want to talk about our first round draft pick Derrick Brown and some of his cohortst With the draft class, and we'll talk about the upcoming season the prognostications. And then I'll let you go. Is that fair enough?

 

Mick Mixon  32:08

Fair enough.

 

Jason Huddle  32:09

All right. We'll be right back. after these messages from our sponsors, stay tuned.

 

Commercial  32:13

 

 

Jason Huddle  33:44

Welcome back to the program. We're closing it out but I wanted to talk before I let him go. I wanted to talk to Mick Mixon the voice of the Carolina Panthers about our draft class starting with Derrick Brown first round draft pick defensive lineman some thought he was drafted a little high. What are your impressions of Mr. Brown so far?

 

Mick Mixon  34:06

My impressions are double thumbs up. Is this the hardest thing to find in the league besides quarterback? Is that anchor strength. Big strong interior lineman that will get routed out that has the doesn't just tolerate that high traffic area but it has an appetite for the violence of that position and Derrick Brown with his hand placement with his his punch, his footwork, his ability to pressure the run support the run as well as having the ability to be a an excellent pass rusher. You don't normally you don't get a lot of sacks from the defensive tackle position. But with Browns athleticism, you can envision him coming right up the middle and busting up the game.

 

Jason Huddle  34:51

What about second round pick Yetur Gross-Matos?  I'm not even sure I'm sure I'm massacring that name is a monster.

 

Mick Mixon  35:00

Yetur Gross-Matos. Yetur Gross-Matos yeah, he's nuts. The other thing the coaches and the scouts did not run these draft picks and free agent signings through the play by play announcer this year because we have way too many hyphenated guys. So I had to work extra hard for Stanley Thomas Oliver and, and guys such as that, but I'm not just kidding. We will. We'll handle it and it'll be all right. But I think in gross Matos. This is another guy that has 652 hundred 65 pounds, but he's maybe a little light for a D tackle, but, but he's twitchy and he plays mad at it with that high motor. So he's gonna get a chance to get oiled up early on see what he's capable of.

 

Jason Huddle  35:53

What about second year man Brian Burns. He was our first round draft pick in 2019. What happened? end of last season he seemed to be really taken off and doing well. And it's also like they pulled his play time What? What happened?

 

Mick Mixon  36:08

Not sure it's true though, isn't it? His snaps definitely were limited and no one could really find out we'd all had our faces pressed against the glass peering in asking coach Rivera for any intel on why Brian Burns was not playing as much as he could have been. He hit a hit a little bit of a wall, mid season maybe his body started breaking down on him a little bit I just do not know but how these guys even function. However in NFL rookie even comes in and functions with, with with everything that they're asked to do is it's pretty incredible. But Burns has worked hard in the offseason and my wife she showed me a video the other day I'm not on social media but she showed me a video of burns doing this funky dance look like add up maybe while he was stretching or in a parking lot somewhere to add an appearance I'm not really sure but the limber the flexibility in his body was cry was quite something to see.

 

Jason Huddle  36:59

So we added four players, you talk about all defensive picks in the draft. four of those players were in the secondary in Tony pride Jr, Stanley Thomas Oliver the third. There's some more pronunciations for you. And then Jeremy chin. And Kenny Robinson. And in addition to Eli Apple, who was brought over from the saints, and of course, Dante Jackson. And then you have Kenny Robinson now, I'm not a big xfl fan. I didn't really follow it. My son, my oldest son did and he was so excited when the Panthers signed Kenny Robinson is like you don't understand that guy. This guy is going to be great. What do you think about this secondary, obviously young and Dante Jackson has still a lot of learning to do. Where do you see them stacking up against the rest of the other 31 teams.

 

Mick Mixon  37:55

We got to be good and gotta be good early because we get a taste to the NFC South. We don't have to wait long on the scheduled before these NFC South teams start coming at us. And you just touched on one of the things Jason maybe the thing besides Bridgewater that I'm the most excited about for this season. I'm just one guy. I'm not trying to export my opinions but I'm the one that's on your show. So, but the deal is safety, the Panthers forever, it seems like we go out onto the streets, we got safety dues your we throw, throw them in the shopping cart, get a couple of years out of them, and sometimes it works. You know, sometimes you get a Mike Mitchell, Marlin McCree. Ne Sally, Charles Godfrey, Mike Adams. Sometimes it works Kurt Coleman. But how long has it been since the Panthers have just had a pair of skull crushers back there that you pretty much knew they were in the lineup every time? Yeah, other teams had to worry about coming over the middle. Other teams had to worry about what they might do. So I'm beyond fired up about Jeremy Chinn just was watching the draft and when when he fell to the Panthers I'll just bout ready to like a little kid jump up and down. I love that pic and, and then to sister him back there with Kenny Robinson six to 200 pounds and Trey Boston, of course. I mean, I just think I think it's got potential.

 

Jason Huddle  39:25

Before I let you go, I just want to look at the overall season. As we close out here, a lot of prognosticators national media have the Panthers at four wins, five wins. I've seen six, six and a half. somewhere in that range. I think they over achieved this year. I've got them at eight and eight. Do you think that's a realistic expectation?

 

Mick Mixon  39:48

Ah ha ha this is the this is the quicksand the sinkhole of doing what we do is trying to predict This much I do know these coaches work so hard they put in so many hours studying every nuance of this great game and they don't know. So I would defer to you I mean, I'm hearing you're in the gym in the Jason Huddle huddle. You I don't even I couldn't even tell you. I've heard that the the quote unquote prognosticators are thinking that the over and under is somewhere between four and seven wins for the Panthers. But I don't have the first clue. I think a lot will depend on the virus. I mean, we could end up with a complete schedule. Every team plays all their games, but we could could end up midseason with one team having played four or five more games, then another team, we could end up with one team's key players with their roster being kind of eviscerated because of quarantines the day or two before again Yeah, so more cyanide. So that's just my way. So I'm not trying to be a curmudgeonly old man that says, I don't predict. Even though that's, that is kind of what I am. I don't predict. But this year more than any other, I just don't think any, anybody who claims that they know or has an educated idea needs to find something else to do for a living.

 

Jason Huddle  41:22

Well, I'm also a fan. So I'm eternally optimistic about the Panthers, no matter no matter what the year is.

 

Mick Mixon  41:28

Me too I'm saying why. So I'll always pick it up. You said eight, eight wins. I'll go with, I'll go with that. That sounds fine. Maybe even more. Let's try to win. I have a winning season how about that that.

 

Jason Huddle  41:39

That's wonderful. We'll make I've taken up enough of your time. But thank you so much for joining me. I know you have lots to do today and getting back to camp. But thank you for joining us on up front and I hope at the end of the season, we'll be able to talk about the Panthers unbelievable success and unexpected success in 2020.

 

Mick Mixon  41:59

Its been a joy Jason, thanks for reaching out and by all means stay in touch.

 

Jason Huddle  42:03

All right. Thank you, Mick. You guys, thank you very much for listening to Upfront with Cabarrus Magazine. We are sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, Cabarrus Arena and Event Center, Cabarrus Eye Center, Cabarrus Health Alliance, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Level Up Realty, New Hope Worship Center and Walk Cabarrus and presented by CabCo Media Group. I am your host Jason Huddle along with Mick Mixon as my guest today. Thank you so much for tuning in. We'll see you next week. Until then, get ready for some football.

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