Shaq Thompson unloaded on Panthers after loss to Bucs
The Carolina Panthers have lost five straight games after looking like a playoff contender early in the season, and veteran linebacker Shaq Thompson decided he had seen enough after Sunday’s blowout loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Panthers lost 46-24 in a game that seemed to unravel after Bucs running back Ronald Jones ripped off a 98-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. That flipped things entirely, as Carolina immediately went from trailing by a field goal with favorable field position to down two scores.
According to Panthers defensive back Rasul Douglas, Thompson unloaded on his teammates in the locker room after the game.
“I’m not going to curse every other word on the media, but he said some things,” Douglas told reporters, via Steven Taranto of 247 Sports. “He basically told everybody to look in the mirror. … He basically cursed everybody out and said we didn’t fight hard enough, we didn’t want it more. It’s a lot of stuff he said but he basically just told everybody about themselves.”
Safety Tre Boston confirmed that Thompson lit into his teammates, saying Thompson “wanted to let us know that everyone has to buy in” and that he echoed what head coach Matt Rhule has told the team all season.
The Panthers began the year 3-2, and many felt they were a playoff contender with Teddy Bridgewater under center. They’re suddenly 3-7 and dealing with some unfortunate circumstances.
Thompson, a former first-round pick, is in his sixth season with the Panthers. He has taken on a bigger leadership role since Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly left, and it’s clear he is a respected figure in the locker room.