Excerpts from Friday night conference calls at Bank of America Stadium
Panthers Left Tackle Matt Kalil
On getting a change of scenery
My first couple years with the Vikings was good, but I think I never progressed the way I should have. I don’t know what that’s attributed to. That’s not all on other people, that’s on me as well. There’s been a lot of players that have changed scenery and have met that potential that everyone’s been talking about. … I think it’s all for the best. It’s kind of reigniting that fire that I lost for a little bit. I’m just excited to be a part of this organization and see what I can do on the field, especially being 100 percent healthy and feeling the best I’ve felt in a while.
On his injuries the past few years, including a labrum tear in his right hip
It’s something I’ve had since college, so it was something that progressed and got worse. But it got to the point where they went in there, they fixed it, and now this hip feels the best it’s ever felt in a long time, even since college. Now that that’s kind out of the way, I’ve been doing some workouts and things like that. Quickness that I haven’t had in a while has come back and that’s exciting.
On the nature of the injury
My ball joint in my hip was misshapen. It sounds like a major surgery, but it’s actually not that hard to fix if you go to the right guy. They just got to kind of reshape that bone so it doesn’t grind down in your joint. (They) went in there, made the joint round, cleaned up the labrum, and that’s about it. Everything’s moving the right way. Everything feels great. I just got cleared by the doctors, so everything’s been going real well.
On running game coordinator John Matsko
I think Matsko is one of the best offensive line coaches in the NFL, and I wanted to go to a team that is going to make me play to the best of my ability and kind of break me out of my shell.
Panthers Center Ryan Kalil
On the confidence he has that his brother can bounce back from some disappointing seasons
You can’t ignore the amount of positive tape on him. … They spent countless hours — Mr. Gettleman, he’s a former scout, that’s what he’s done his whole life. I know he spent a lot of time watching the tape on Matt and he was more excited about the good than any of the inconsistencies that he’s had that goes along with some of those bad seasons.
On Matt’s recovery from his hip injury
I think that now that’s fixed, I think everybody’s excited. Just me working out with Matt this entire offseason and seeing his progression and listening to how he feels and talking about how now that they went in and shaved down that hip, the way people were talking about him was it sounded he reconstructed his entire body. But it was a pretty basic procedure. They went in there, shaved the hip, fixed the labrum and that’s the best I’ve seen him in a long time. I’m excited that got fixed and we get a better player out of Matt Kalil. … The other thing I’ll say about Kalils is he did this in his fifth season. I went on IR in my fifth season and then it took another five years for me to go on IR again. So Kalils are good — we break every five years. They got a good lease on him for five.