Former Panthers RB Stephen Davis reflects on Pro Bowl career

(Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images) Stephen Davis
(Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images) Stephen Davis /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Stephen Davis /

The quick turnaround of the Carolina Panthers is reminiscent of the regime that went from 1-15 in 2001 to NFC Champions in 2003. We got a one on one interview with a key player from that 2003 squad, running back Stephen Davis.

There is plenty of reason for optimism after we’ve seen four games in the 2020 Carolina Panthers season. Change is not easy in the NFL, but even the most skeptical fans and analysts have to admit this new regime has adapted quickly and put a good product on the field.

While we don’t know what is in the cards for the rest of the campaign, early signs show the Carolina Panthers could be a good team very soon. And this wouldn’t be the first time the franchise has turned things around quickly.

Older generations of Panthers fans may remember having similar feelings in 2002 when John Fox was hired as the franchise’s third head coach and improved the team to a 7-9 record after going 1-15 the previous year.

We all know what happened next.

In 2003, Carolina improved to 11-5 and made an unexpected run to Super Bowl 38, falling to then 26-year old Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

What many may not realize is that the offense of the 2003 Panthers was led by a player who had just joined that year. That, of course, is Pro Bowl running back Stephen Davis.

Originally drafted in the fourth round by Washington in 1996, Davis was utilized as a fullback for three seasons before becoming a starter at running back in 1999.

The move paid off and Davis had a breakout season, rushing for 1,405 yards and 17 touchdowns, which earned him a selection to the Pro Bowl. After seven seasons in Washington, the player signed with the Panthers in free agency before the 2003 season.

He was the catalyst for the young team, rushing for a career-high 1,444 yards along with eight touchdowns. We virtually sat down with Davis to talk about that special season and more. Davis is talking on behalf of Pickswise.