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 Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Stephen Davis /

Interview with former Carolina Panthers RB Stephen Davis: Part 2

If the 2003 Carolina Panthers could play one game against the 2015 Carolina Panthers, assuming all players are in their primes, who would win?

Us, the ’03 team.

We know over the years the game has changed, but the type of football we played was grimy. You had to have the running game because you were in tight games and you had to have a good four-minute offense at the end of the game to play in those games.

You had defenses like Tampa and New England, guys that wanted to stop the run and you had to have a lot of intensity about yourself.

Today’s game is a little finesse. You line up in three or four wide (formations) and run the zone-read with five or six guys in the box. When I was playing, I was running against eight or nine guys in the box and I think the mental toughness back then was a lot different than it is now.

With that being said, they probably have more athletes on the 2015 team, but our skill positions players were better and our defense was probably one of the most ferocious defenses at that time.

We had (Julius) Peppers with (Brentson) Buckner and Kris Jenkins. You had to really block those guys because the linebackers were always running. You have to think about it with all that put into perspective. If we had a chance to play them in our primes, we probably would beat them.

Tom Brady was across the field from you in Super Bowl 38 and won Super Bowl MVP. Did you think he would be as good as he turned out to be?

When (the Patriots) won the first Super Bowl, as a player, I thought “this guy is gonna be pretty good for a lot of years.” I didn’t know it was going to be 20 years, but seeing him in person and playing against him and seeing the way he operates and the way he directs a game is amazing.

light. More. Who is on the Carolina Panthers’ Mount Rushmore?

Looking at him over the years, I can see where he’s matured and how he’s running the game and it’s amazing, I like looking at it. If I had to bet on anybody, I’m betting on Tom Brady.