Ryan Kalil sure doesn’t seem to have any regrets about taking out that full-page Super Bowl ad back in July.
Panthers center Ryan Kalil took out a full-page ad in the Observer in July predicting the Panthers would end their season in New Orleans, hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.
While the 49ers and Ravens participated in Media Day on Tuesday at the Superdome, Kalil was in Charlotte, rehabbing his surgically repaired foot but he figured he would be hearing from reporters.
“It didn’t work out? What do you mean?” Kalil said jokingly. “The Super Bowl’s this week?”
Kalil said he has no regrets about taking out the ad, which prompted Panthers coach Ron Rivera to distribute T-shirts to his players inscribed with the message, ‘I have Ryan Kalil’s back.’
And though it raised expectations for a team coming off a 6-10 season in Rivera’s first year, Kalil does not see that as a bad thing.
“Look, I have no misconception about how hard it is to win in this league. But I’m not the kind of guy who can buy into managing expectations or rebuilding or timing,” he said. “Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s just not how I feel.”
The Panthers won five of their final six games to finish 7-9 and buy Rivera at least one more season but Kalil said the team needs to figure out how to win the close games that crippled them the first half of the season if they want to become a legitimate playoff contender.