Thompson, Burns embracing leadership roles for Panthers

CHARLOTTE — The Carolina Panthers will take on the New York Jets in Uptown on Saturday evening in their preseason opener.

They will be led by two veterans who have grown into leadership positions on the team. Channel 9′s DaShawn Brown spoke to Shaq Thompson and Brian Burns about the evolution of the team’s leadership.

Thompson stands among all-time franchise leaders, but he looked for up-and-coming leaders. That’s where he found Burns.

“I had two leaders that installed leadership into me,” Thompson said. “I knew I had it, but they really put it out there for me to see that I had it. And once they left, I had to find somebody else.”

Thompson is entering his ninth season and Burns, a two-time pro bowler, is entering his fifth.

“When I got to my rookie year, I just followed suit, Burns said. “I was sure that I would become a leader one day, but he instilled it in me earlier than I expected.”

The duo will be an important part of the team as the Panthers head into their first year under new head coach Frank Reich.

>> In the video at the top of the page, watch Brown’s full interview with Thompson and Burns.

(WATCH BELOW: Fans get first look at QB Bryce Young in BofA stadium at Panthers Fan Fest)

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