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The Drive Tuesday 7-31-12-Jake Delhomme talks with The Drive about his chances of coming back to the league this year, his best memories with the Panthers, and how he clicked with his teammates during his time in Carolina.
We traveled down memory lane with Jake, asking him about his time in Charlotte. We started by asking him what it was like to join the Panthers in 2003.
“It was the perfect storm. I came into the situation with a young, hungry football team that was very talented. For whatever reason, I felt like I just fit right in with everybody. It just worked, and from that point on I felt we had a very solid football team that showed up every week.”
Obviously Delhomme was not able to finish out his career in the place that changed his world professionally. We asked him if that was hard, but he assured us that his time in Charlotte was about much more than the football field.
“In March of 2003, my wife and I loaded up a suburban, a U-Haul with a car on it and all our belonging s and a three month old baby and drove to Charlotte. That became our home and they accepted us with open arms and we grew there as a family. We had another child there in Charlotte, and it was just great people and great friends that we’ll have for life. And certainly, football, it was fantastic. Six out of my seven years were blessed.”
As far as his best moments on the field go, Jake said it was a time in 2008 that still hits home with him.
“2008. San Diego. First game we came back. I was coming off Tommy John surgery. We won the game on a last second touchdown…Fox was real big on having players talk the day before the game to the team…I was lucky enough to give the talk the day before, and it got very emotional…I hadn’t played in a year, and it was emotional for me to come back to play that game. Some of the things that I felt in my heart in that talk happened the next day, and that’s probably one of the memories I think I’ll cherish.”
Delhomme says he still follows the Panthers, and he expressed a lot of joy after Kalil made the confident statement that Carolina could absolutely go to the super bowl.
“I couldn’t have been more proud when I heard that… We wanted Ryan to assert himself. We knew he was going to be very good. It wasn’t until the 2008 season when Ryan really started to come into his own and you could just see him grow. For him to do that, I just thought it was fantastic because if you know Ryan, he’s going to be prepared. He’s not one of these guys that just says these things. He truly believes it because he’s going to hold everyone accountable that he can.”