EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Carolina Panthers Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn – Part Two

…continued from part 1…

KD: Speaking of the salary cap situation, I’ve noticed the new GM David Gettleman signed some low-cost options in D.J. Moore and Drayton Florence. How do you see yourself fitting in with all the changes in the defensive backfield and the loss of Chris Gamble?

CM: Well, Gam (Chris Gamble) was our number one guy. Last year, Gam got hurt and he was our number one guy, so I plan to get out there and feed off what I did last year towards the end of the year. He was a vocal leader both on and off the field and helped everyone buy-in to what we were doing at the cornerback position. Drayton’s been in the league for a long time and I feel like if I just go out there and do my part we’ll be fine. I think we’ve got as good a group of corners overall as anyone.

KD: You’ve been in the league a little while now and have played under both John Fox and Ron Rivera – both defensive-minded coaches. What do you see as the biggest difference between the two in how they approach the game.

CM: Oh man, they’re both very similar in how they approach things. The only difference really is that Ron Rivera actually played in the NFL! I think he has more of a feel for his players…when they’re hurt or injured and he knows how to get guys back (on the playing field). So I think he’s more in tune with the players since he’s been there and done that.

KD: Great point. He was part of that dominant ’85 Bears defense.

Oct 7, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn (41) returns an interception for a touchdown during the third quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

CM: YEAH! Rivera knows where his players are coming from and hopefully I’ll be able to play 12 or 13 years or more because of it. They really are a lot more similar than different.

KD: What’s the biggest challenge in defending the slot as opposed to the outside?

CM: Oh, man, those guys in the slot – they can go anywhere! They’re off the line of scrimmage so it’s harder to get your hands on them to begin with, They’ve got a lot of room in there. I have a high respect for anyone defending the slot. When I first got here I was on the outside and have since played nickel too and I’m still wondering why nickel corners don’t get paid more than the guys on the outside. I HIGHLY respect anyone out there playing the nickel spot. Guys like Wes Welker – they go ANYWHERE on the field. Say, you see guys going on an out-route and you cover them and they turn it to an in-route!

KD: Yeah, the pro QBs are so accurate in their throws and people like Welker are so quick, it has to be a nightmare.

CM: Well, those guys on the outside – at least you have the sideline which limits where they can go.

KD: What’s the biggest need you see the Panthers have on defense and in the secondary in particular?

CM: We’ve got some good guys, we just need someone to step up. Everyone’s got their role, but since we lost Gam that leaves a big pair of shoes to fill so we’ve just gotta pick up the slack.

Topics: Captain Munnerlyn, Captain Munnerlyn Interview, Carolina Panthers, Carolina Panthers News

Want more from Cat Crave?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.
  • Joe Soriano

    Awesome interview, Ken. Incredible answers from Captain Munnerlyn that make me appreciate/like him even more.