It was an awesome day for me personally.
And getting to end it with a chance to interview these three guys?
Well, now...that's once in a lifetime.
And since the Panthers first preseason game is at hand, I thought I'd share some highlights from the three interviews with you.
A couple of notes though, very quickly:
1. I can't post the audio. It's against NFL regulations at this point.
2. I didn't actually ask any questions. But local writers and some national media members did.
All three had some very generic things to say.
Coach Ron Rivera said they'll play the "best guy."
But Smith and Rivera both said they were excited about Cam.
Smith made a funny comment about Newton's athleticism: "He's on his back foot throwing 70-yard passes. I mean, c'mon..."
So we know they like Cam, but as Rivera said, "We're not ready to make any decisions until the end."
Hmmm...sounds a bit democratic to me, Coach.
He also said he thought Jimmy Clausen had the same ability as Cam.
Actually, Rivera summed it up pretty well when he said, "I'm still confused about it."
Aren't we all?
Smith in particular was asked several questions about the other receivers and whether he felt like a second guy would step up.
He was definitely hesitant. Either that or he hadn't made up his mind.
"I don't care as long as he can go out there and play," was Smith's comment.
Well, I think everyone hopes he, whoever he is, can play. Smith went on to comment on how everyone is making plays.
The interesting thing is he seemed frustrated when asked about Armanti Edwards. He chimed back at reporters that they didn't need him to tell them about how good Armanti was doing.
He did say about Edwards, "He's making fantastic catches."
As I mentioned earlier, Edwards was running out of the slot.
Also interesting was Coach Rivera saying, "I think he's gonna help us."
He was talking about Legedu Naanee.
All the guys really liked the addition of the two tight ends.
Rivera was optimistic: "I can see Chud using both guys in certain packages."
Smith and Cam were optimistic, too.
As Cam said, he has "the easy job."
He just has to throw the ball.
Cam was asked about how he felt he was coming along as an NFL QB.
He talked a lot about all the installs he was having to do at practice, but he felt like he was improving in "getting the play out."
He knows he's in good hands with Chudzinski, though.
He specifically mentioned how good Phillip Rivers was: "Phillip Rivers was an artist in this offense."
It was also interesting to hear him mention the possibility of Rivera implementing some spread tendencies: "Rivera knows I came from Auburn, where I ran the spread."
It will be interesting to see if that comes into play in the regular season.
Steve does have a sense of humor.
This came out when he talked about his role in former coach John Fox's offense:
"Run blocking is not my forte."
"The philosophy (referring to the QB) has been not to screw up..."
It seems like Smitty likes the change of scenery.
Oh, and one more thing.
"A lot of fights are happening, and I'm not involved."
Good to know, Steve. Good to know.