Comment and analysis on all things Charlotte

Mike Minter: Class Act

Panthers safety Mike Minter bowed out with class today after 10-years in the organization. His was an emotional press conference this afternoon and you could tell the entire organization respects him and vice versa.

So it was exceedingly odd to see Jerry Richardson take the opportunity of Minter’s retirement to publicly call out Julius Peppers and ask for more leadership from him. Panthers beat writer Pat Yasinskas also took note of Richardson’s words, which is another surprise as I firmly expected this little odd turn to get buried like so much dicey Panther info does in this town.

The obvious question — and I assume Yaz is busy trying to get it answered — is how has Pep, to this point, fallen short of Richardson’s standards for leadership?

Peppers has never been a rah-rah guy. Never. To expect him to be at this late date seems more than a little daft coming from the Big Cat. Then there is the matter of Peppers’ new contract — he’s due for one, a big one. We are talking $12 million a year as a baseline for a top DE.

Is Jerry saying that if Peppers wants that kind of money he’ll have to assume more responsibility as the face of the franchise? Is the owner upset that Peppers has missed practice time with an ill-defined “illness” recently? Or has Peppers crossed some secret Richardson bright-line of loyalty like Bill Rosinski or Keyshawn Johnson did?

Richardson is going to have to spell out exactly what he meant now that he has raised the issue of Pep’s leadership — or lack thereof — in such a public and didactic way.

6 Responses to “Mike Minter: Class Act”

  • Aug
    07
    2007

    Mike Minter is definitely a class act. Not only has he been an outstanding leader on the team, but from all accounts he’s a good family man who has kept his nose cleaner than a NASA satellite assembly room. I don’t think I have ever seen a negative word about him in the press (aside from the occasional “Minter didn’t play well yesterday” comment in the paper).

    That said, I am trying to decide whether I think he deserves to be in the Panthers’ Ring of Fame and have a statue out in front of the stadium. He’s been a solid player all these years, but never a very spectacular one, aside from those plays where he just flattened some receiver.

  • Aug
    07
    2007

    I’m all for giving Ohioan’s recognition on the ring of fame! The guy was solid, but I’m not sure, as a player, he was ever in that “rare air” catagory like Bailey, Lott, Houston, or even Polamalu (sp?). I think a statue is pushing it. Few players have statues outside the stadiums they once graced, it is often kept for those that changed the game. But, he should be permanently recognized. I a big fan of football and I always respected the guy’s ability. You have to respect his decision leaving the game so early. Good for him.

  • Aug
    07
    2007

    I just watched NFL Live on ESPN and there wasn’t one mention of Minter’s retirement. Ther was TO news, McNabb, Brady, and Pacman, but no Minter. That’s weak.

    I’ll be the first to say he deserves a statue. He anchored the D every season he was in the league, leads the team in just about every stat he can, and was a model citizen. Sam Mills on the other hand played for just a couple of seasons and has a statue. Minter might have lost a step late in his career, but for about 8 straight seasons he was the most dependable player the Panthers had. And he could lay a lick like no other.

    Also, if he was on a more glamorous team–Cowboys, Eagles, etc, he would have been a pro bowler at least 4 times in his career–probably more.

    Oh, and interesting thoughts on Pep, Jeff. There’s no way the Panthers let him get away. It would be a PR nightmare.

  • Aug
    08
    2007

    Mike is a Class Act. He did a foorball camp over in Harrisburg that my Son went to and I was very impressed by his interaction with the kids impressing on them that education and family were more important than sports. Too bad all we hear about in the news are players with ego problems and players in trouble with the law.

  • Jan
    03
    2008

    [...] Ever since the Big Cat’s rambling, didactic call for Julius Peppers to “lead” last August, this team has not felt right. Something is hanging over it. Jerry Richardson seems to have some other agenda aside from winning football games — or making money, even. [...]

  • Jan
    16
    2008

    [...] Worse, Richardson does not begin to grasp what a mistake it was for him to burden Julius Peppers with team leadership responsibility back in training camp, a move that immediately seemed out of place to many Panther fans. The Big Cat also betrays a huge double-standard here when he does not step up to accept some of the blame for Peppers horrid season. Recall that Keyshawn Johnson earned Richardson’s ire by not stepping up to accept responsibility for some of Jake’s INTs during Johnson lone season as a Panther. [...]

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