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Thomas Davis practiced Monday, feeling 'really good ... not really feeling any pain'

The Carolina Panthers linebacker got plenty of questions at Super Bowl 50 Opening Night about his broken forearm. He discussed how it felt, and the braces he is considering for Sunday's game. We've got a full transcript.

The Carolina Panthers arrived in the Bay Area Sunday afternoon for Super Bowl 50, and got in their first practice Monday. Later that evening, the team took part in the NFL's "Opening Night" program (replacing Media Day). Thomas Davis got plenty of questions about his practice status, and how his broken forearm is feeling. Davis said practice went well, and that he is "not really feeling any pain."

The Panthers will continue practicing through the week in preparation for Sunday's game. For Davis, that means figuring out the right brace to wear for the game. He said the trainers are coming up with several options for him to try out in practice. They include a kevlar brace, and others that include "some new technology" to help him get ready.

Here is Davis's full transcript from Monday's Opening Night.

(on today's practice) "Practice went good. We had a light practice, an opportunity to really get back out there and move around and for guys to really get their legs back up under them."

(on how practice was for him, specifically) "Practice was really good. I was excited, just really glad to be back out there with my teammates, running around, moving around, being active (and) not really feeling any pain. So, that was probably the best part of the day."

(on if he is still confident that he will play on Sunday) "Without a doubt, I will be there playing on Super Bowl Sunday."

(on the craziness that he is experiencing during Super Bowl week) "It's all fun. It's all fun. This is a great opportunity for our team. We waited so long for this opportunity, but at the same time, we have to understand - and we know - we didn't come here to party and vacation. We came here and we mean business while we're here."

(on his reaction to his first knee injury) "You're disappointed as a player, but at the same time, you know it's not the end of things. You've got to go back at it, you've got to work, you've got to rehab and you've just got to get ready to go."

(on his reaction to his second knee injury) "When it happens again, it's really more devastating than it is the first time, because you've put so much work in to come back, and you do everything in your power to make sure that you're ready to go. And then you do it again, especially the way that I did it. The way that I did it, it was one of those things where we're not on the field, we're not in game action. It happened in OTAs (organized team activities). So, I was definitely devastated, but at the same time, I knew (what) I had to do to work again. I had to make sure that I was ready to go, and I did that."

(on his reaction to his third knee injury) "And then when it happens a third time, you really - for me, in my mind - I thought that my career was over, and the reason I thought that (was) because I had never heard of a guy getting another opportunity to play the game after going through three-consecutive ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears to the right knee. So, that was my mindset, but then we had a meeting, sat down, talked to (Panthers owner/founder) Mr. (Jerry) Richardson, talked to (Panthers Head) Coach (Ron) Rivera, and they believed in me enough to give me another opportunity. And that was all I needed."

(on the design of the arm brace he will be wear in the Super Bowl) "Right now, we're coming up with a couple of different things that we're trying out, and it's not going to be a cast. It's going to be more like a hard brace. That's kind of what we're using - some new technology that they have - and it's going to be something that's going to protect it from all kinds of bumps and bangs. So, it should be pretty good; today went pretty well."

(on if he was able to test the brace during today's practice) "It was a light day, but I took every opportunity that I could to hit it up against something to really see how it would feel, and all in all, it felt pretty good. I know it's going to be different when you're actually out there, and things are live when you're playing the game on Sunday. But at the same time, for it to be my first opportunity to get back out there, I really felt good."

(on if the hard brace is Kevlar) "That's one option."

(on the other brace options) "I don't really know what they call it, but it's some other things that our trainers are coming up with for us, and (Panthers head athletic trainer) Ryan Vermillion will probably be able to answer that better than me."

(on if making the Super Bowl was everything he had dreamed) "So far, so good. It's definitely been everything that you dreamed about as a player, because we're one of the last two teams standing. We're still relevant right now, and we're going out, and we're just working our butts off to make sure that we're as prepared as we can be when Sunday comes around."

(on what makes Broncos QB Peyton Manning a top-caliber quarterback) "I think the way Peyton (Manning) prepares, when you look at him as a quarterback - the way he goes out, the way he approaches the game - I think that speaks for itself. Then you add that with the numbers that he has been able to put up as a quarterback, and for me, I've gotten to have a couple of conversations with him. And just getting to know what kind of guy he is, I just think that he's a truly phenomenal guy and a really good player."

(on if the Super Bowl feels like just another game) "Not at all. I would be sitting here lying to you if I said that this felt like another game. We understand that in actuality, it is another game, but it's still the Super Bowl. At the end of the day, this is what you play for. This is why you play the game."

(on if there's a need to treat the Super Bowl like just another game) "Yes, because if you look at what we've done all season long, we've won 17 games this year, and we've done it in a fashion to where we've stuck to our principles, things that we feel like make us who we are by going out and playing good defense, playing really good on offense and doing a really good job on special teams. And that's kind of our makeup all season long, and our coach preached that week-in and week-out; and we've done it as a team all season long. So, that's kind of the approach we've got to take for this next game, as well."

(on the Super Bowl experience) "This is a truly special moment. This is a great opportunity for our football team. This is a chance for us to really put our stamp on this team's history, and that's something that we're proud of."

(on his will to return from injury) "I think a lot of it had to do with my upbringing, the way my mother and my grandmother raised me. And then, a real big part of it came from going to the University of Georgia and playing for Coach Mark Richt. When you look at our motto when we were at Georgia, it was all about finishing the drill, and if you start something, you finish it; and that's kind of the way I raise my kids. I teach them the same ways and the same values that I learned, and if you start a sport, if you start any kind of extracurricular activity, you finish it. And that's kind of the way I live my life."

(on Panthers C Ryan Kalil's open letter in the Charlotte Observer telling fans Carolina would win the Super Bowl) "I was excited about it. That was saying that (Ryan) Kalil fully believed in this football team, and I backed him 100 percent. We came up short, but here we are three years later and we're sitting here right now."

(on how he will be able to play with a broken arm) "It's the Super Bowl. What would I look like as a player if there's any chance, if there's any way, that I can make it and play in this game and not take advantage of the opportunity? I could see if I was a first- or a second-year guy, but I'm in my 11th year in the NFL. And who knows if this opportunity is going to come around again? So, it's all about taking advantage of the moment right now."

(on improving from 7-8-1 to 17-1 in one offseason) "You stick together as a group. Nobody ever pointed fingers in our locker room when things weren't going well, and we believe in each other as a group. And we go out, and we compete hard throughout the week in practices and OTAs (organized team activities) and training camp. And we just really developed that family-type atmosphere around there, and comradery is so strong in our locker room. It's unbelievable."

(on if his injuries have made him a better cerebral player) "For me, I think when you sit back and you think about all the things I've had to go through from an injury standpoint, I definitely feel like it has made me a better player, and I think the numbers speak to that. A lot of it has to do with, like you said, having a better understanding of our defense right now. I've been in this system for a while now, and I have a pretty good feel of it. And we have a great coaching staff that does a really good job of putting players in position to make plays. I'm thankful for that, and when you look at the guys that are around me, it makes my job so much easier."

(on if there are any normal functions he can't perform with his arm) "I haven't tried anything that I can't do yet, but if I get to something, I'll definitely let you know. But right now, I'm able to do everything."

(on what makes Carolina's defense special) "I think what makes this defense so special is because it's not about one man. When we go out, and we play the game, it's all about playing for each other. And we are truly unselfish in our approach, and we just approach the game plan week-in and week-out like we're just going to go out and dominate. That's what we feel, and that's what we believe in when we go out and play."

(on the effect on his performance caused by a protective device on his arm) "It's really not going to have that big of an effect on it, because I still have my hand and my wrist free flowing. So, it's really just something that's covering up the injury, and that's pretty much the gist of it."

(on how previous playoff appearance have prepared the Panthers for this Super Bowl) "I think that everything we've gone through as a football team has prepared for this season to come out and compete the way that we have all season long - stick together when guys have gone down, have guys step up and play really big for us in the absence of some of our stars. I think just going through all kinds of adversity over the last few years has definitely prepared us for this opportunity, and it's just really going to be all about how we go out and play on Sunday."

(on the importance of community involvement) "I feel like as NFL players, we're put in this position for a reason; it's just to play the game of football. There's one thing that we've all been blessed with the ability to do, but (how) can you do more than that? How can you affect your community in a positive way? And that's the approach that me and my wife have taken, and we just want to do as much as we can to help families that are in need, not only in our community in Charlotte, but in Georgia and South Carolina, where my wife is from, as well."

(on how much he is thinking about his arm injury) "I really try not to think about it, other than when I get asked a question from you guys. It's really just one of those things where you try to focus in on the game plan. You try to make sure you're ready to go from a mental standpoint, as far as playing the game, as you can be and just let our trainers do their job, and they've done an amazing job up to this point."

(on how Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera has made him a better player) "Coach (Ron) Rivera is a tremendous coach. He has not only had a huge effect on me from a football standpoint, but off the field - just watching him and the way he carries himself - I think without a doubt, he has made me a better person, a better football player. And I can't thank Coach Rivera enough for all that he had done in my life."

(on Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera's message to the team) "Coach (Ron) Rivera's message has been the same all season long: ‘Just enjoy the journey, enjoy the process and take this thing one week at a time Don't try to look ahead.' And that's kind of the way we've done things all season long."

(on if he will know his abilities before the game given practice limitations throughout the week) "I have a pretty good understanding of how that's going to go, but at the same time, you can't duplicate live game action. It doesn't matter how hard you try, it's just hard to duplicate that, and it's really going to be all about playing the game. And I'll figure out a way to get off blocks, I guarantee you."