We've all heard this type of thing about the Panther locker room before but I never tire of hearing it from someone new.
"They have some great talent there," Allen said. "That place is literally a walking cliché. I got in there and was like, this can't be real. It's like a mirage, and no one knows about it? This is cool."
Whether its Jerricho Cotchery, Charles Tillman, or Roman Harper (any many vets from past teams) they all talk glowingly of the culture and team first environment. I truly believe its been one of the Panthers underlying keys to success the past three seasons and will remain so going forward. It might even be the most important one. It's one that I hope draws veteran free agents to Carolina, that when given a choice between two similar offers the player prefers to come to Carolina.
"Again, like I said, there's zero drama. Zero. I mean, I've never been on a team where there's zero locker room drama at all," Allen said. "And the veterans have done such a good job ... the young guys make it easy to lead because they follow. But it's all because coach Rivera has set this culture -- it is a player-run locker room but that stems from the head coach.
Allen mentioned a couple other things I found interesting, namely that he hopes Charles Johnson returns to Carolina:
"Charles is a huge leader in that locker room," Allen said. "So, hopefully he gets to finish his career there, I don't know if they're going to get something done. But it's a cool spot and they'll be just fine."
When you couple this with the fact Johnson never announced his release on Twitter nor did he thank the Panthers or the fanbase for years of support, yada yada yada...I'm now thinking there is a good chance he returns. I'm hoping the conversation went something like this:
"Charles you've had a great career in Carolina and we really want you on our team but we can't justify the salary as it stands. We're going to release you so you can see what the market is and then we are going to be a bidder for your services. Make no mistake we really want you on our team"
Something like that. Hence why we haven't seen CJ say his 'goodbyes'. I mean certainly he would have something to say if he truly thought his time in Carolina was over right? He's only 29 years old and still has a few good seasons in him if he stays healthy.
So do you think there is a chance Johnson returns to Carolina?