White is the new black
Veteran Carolina running back virtually shatters all team rushing records in 11th season
By "Aki Kurikawa"
(Charlotte) - James White. Darryl Dixon. Mike Cummings. Scott Gary.
Those are the names of the great Carolina Panthers franchise running backs of the past.
Now Jay White has surpassed all of them. (There is definitely something in this town about running backs named White)
Jay White now owns virtually all of the franchise's rushing records now at 33 years old, and thinks he has a couple more seasons left in him. Considering he led the league in rushing this season, one is inclined to believe him.
The only team record he doesn't seem to own that is rushing related is All-Purpose Yards, and he is only 521 yards short of that.
'I can't do what I do without the boys up front,' White said. 'In fact, when Mr. Miller came to town, the first thing I did was take that giant man out to a steak dinner. I know how to take care of those guys so they take care of me,' he added with a grin.
The Panthers offensive line was a big key to the 400 plus point offense this season that saw the team win 13 of 14 games. QB Mark Walls was also appreciative as he was sacked the least of anyone in the league.
'I have had seasons where I was on my back a lot,' Walls joked. 'I like it a lot better being upright, believe me.'
One change this season is the team seems a lot more loose, both on offense and defense, with players joking and getting on each other good naturedly. Coach Scott Dorn said that was a good indication early on as training camp began.
'I thought we had something special here,' Dorn said. 'Our GM put some nice pieces together for me. I am so glad to see those results carried over to the field.'
Now Panthers fans are looking forward to the playoffs for a change after so many disappointments early in recent years.
Will that success carry over to the playoffs? We will see in the upcoming week as they take on a San Francisco team that was the only team to beat them this season so far.