Black and Blue Review

Black and Blue Review

Carolina Panthers News and Coverage for the Digital Age

After Talking ‘a Little Noise’ About the Panthers, Captain Munnerlyn Hopes to Mend Fences

Captain Munnerlyn knew the questions were coming.

The chatty cornerback met with the media Saturday moments after signing a four-year deal to rejoin the Panthers. And while his return to Carolina after a three-year stay in Minnesota is a nice story, the elephant in the room was what he said in September.

"I think we just knew where (Kelvin) Benjamin was the whole time. (Devin) Funchess, we weren’t worried about him," Munnerlyn said after the Vikings held the Panthers' second-year receiver without a catch in Week 3.

"I never talk like this, but I don’t think he is that good, No. 17."

Yeah, that could be awkward. 

So now that they're teammates, will Munnerlyn try to patch things up with Funchess?

"I probably will," Munnerlyn said with his typical smile.

"But we're definitely going to compete against each other. I'm sure he's going to want to prove me wrong, and at the same time, I don't mind that. If I can bring the best out of you, I'm down for that. I'm sure we'll have a lot of battles."

Which certainly could get interesting come August under the hot Spartanburg sun.

But Munnerlyn didn't just take a verbal swing at Funchess last fall.

"When we took the lead … I know those guys. I knew it was over," Munnerlyn told Alex Marvez of the Sporting News. "I’ve been in that locker room before, so I knew. Those guys really don’t play well when they are down."

Uh ... welcome back!?

"You guys know me — I'm very competitive. It was always out of fun," Munnerlyn explained, again flashing a smile.

"When it got out there like that, I was like, 'Man, no!' I was trying to call Coach (Steve) Wilks. I was like, 'Coach, I didn't mean it like that!' He was like, 'Nah, we got the message.' But like I said, it was all out of fun to me."

Ok, but they say there's a grain of truth in every joke.

"I wouldn't say that. We won the game. We were lucky to win that game," Munnerlyn replied, recalling how a penalty against wideout Kelvin Benjamin kept the Panthers from taking what would have likely been an insurmountable 17-2 lead.

"I was on a different team and I was just speaking what I felt at that time. I wouldn't say it was true, but at the same time, that's how I felt."

And as we found out during his first stay in Carolina, Munnerlyn's not shy about saying how he feels.

So, Captain, you may have some feelings to mend in the locker room, but from a media perspective, it's great to have you back.

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