Shaq Thompson’s locker room outburst had the desired effect
By Dean Jones
Shaq Thompson got the response he was looking for from his Carolina Panthers teammates.
Shaq Thompson got the reaction he was looking for. The outside linebacker got into his teammates after the Carolina Panthers suffered their fifth-straight loss in embarrassing fashion against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 10 and this was arguably the spark they’d been seeking in a bid to turn around their fortunes.
Thompson is not without blame for a poor run of form. The former first-round pick has failed to meet the lofty expectations he put on himself after the Carolina Panthers lost the services of perennial All-Pro Luke Kuechly to retirement and their game against the Detroit Lions was a defining moment about just what sort of character was left in this particular group following a campaign full of ups and downs.
Whether it was Thompson’s outburst that did the trick or not is up for debate. But the change in tempo, intensity, and overall production across the board was astounding.
The Panthers looked like a completely different team at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday. They were clinical in almost every area of the field on their way to a 20-0 victory, which was their first shut-out success since 2015.
Just as everybody expected.
Or maybe not.
Thompson was at the heart of everything good on the second level once again. And hopefully, this is a trend that can continue long into the future.