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Panthers: 10 years ago and today


The Carolina Panthers say they remember 10 years ago when they earned a spot to play in the Super Bowl, and they want history to repeat itself.

"That's the goal," Panthers LB Thomas Davis said. "That's what we set out to do this season. We control our own destiny and it feels good to be in that situation."

There is a huge difference between the team now and the team 10 years ago.

"10 years ago," Panthers WR Steve Smith said. "98% of the people on this team were in high or middle school."

Smith is right. This team is much younger now than the team was 10 years ago.  Quarterback Cam Newton is 24. 10 years ago he was 14.   We asked other Panthers players their age when the Panthers played in the Super Bowl.

"Ten years ago," Panthers LB Luke Kuechly said. "I was like 12. I was a young guy."

"10 years ago," Panthers K Graham Gano said. "I was in high school I believe."

Despite the age difference Panthers players say the makeup of the team is just right for a victory Sunday and beyond.

"We mix well together," Panthers FB Mike Tolbert said. "You've got Steve and Jordan, who were here before when the team went to the Super Bowl. You've got guys on this team like Domenik Hixon, Chase Blackburn who's been and won Super Bowls. You've got guys who have been deep in the playoffs like myself, Drayton Florence, so you got a good mix of guys that are veterans. Guys in this group of young guys that can show guys what it's like in the playoffs and lead them the right way."

It is safe to say there hasn't been this much excitement in Charlotte since 10 years ago when the Panthers did go to the Super Bowl. Players say since playing in the Super Bowl is in the team's history maybe history will repeat itself in the team's near future.

"At this point," Davis said. "It's all about us going out there to take care of business."

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