The Moose is Loose! Interview with #87

Sunday, January 2nd, 2005 could mark the final game for Muhsin Muhammad as a Carolina Panther in Bank of America Stadium.<br><br>What makes him tick? Who does he hang out with outside of practice? Where is Moose going to be next season? In this exclusive interview, Carolina Panthers wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad opens up about these topics and many more.<br><br>Some of the answers you would expect. However, some of the answers might surprise you.

Mike: Moose, thanks for taking the time during your extremely busy schedule to answer some questions for your fans and fans of the Carolina Panthers. I'll start off by asking you a question that fans have been wondering since the beginning of the season. You've obviously had your best season since being in the league and have been rightly deserving of a spot at the Pro-Bowl this season. Did the injury to Steve Smith create more pressure on you to step up and help carry the load? Was this something the coaching staff came to you about or was this something you decided to do yourself?

Moose: I believe that pressure was applied to the whole team to redefine ourselves and find new emerging stars as well as veterans to take on bigger rolls. But as we well know pressure can crush things as well as make diamonds.

Mike: You and Jake have been a two man highlight reel this season. When and how did the chemistry between you and Jake Delhomme begin developing? Why do you think certain QBs and receivers never get on the same page? What does it take for a QB and a receiver to have a good relationship?

Moose: True chemistry can only be developed during the heat of the battle in a game. If two players never develop that, then they probably need to play more together. Chemistry can come fast or take some time. I believe Jake and I formed a bond during the Washington game last year and got better in the post season.

Mike: How many different plays does an offensive player have to know at any given moment? Have there ever been times in which you've forgotten a play and have improvised and had it work out for the better?

Moose: We usually go into a game with about 60 plays. Each pass play has about 3 conversion plays based on the coverage which works out to be about 180 plays. So if you forget what you're doing, it's probably going to be a disaster!

Mike: Who do you think is the most under-rated cornerback/defensive back in the league right now?

Moose: I think Chris Gamble will be a very good player.

Mike: Speaking of up and coming players, rookie wide receiver Keary Colbert has shown sparks of being a good player in the NFL this year. What do you think of Keary as a player and what advice have you given him to help him improve his game?

Moose: I believe Keary will be a very good player. He listens well and has very good athletic ability. I always tell Keary to pay attention to the little things. Small details make a big difference.

Mike: The locker room is a sacred place for the players to bond and be themselves. Can you describe how important a healthy locker room environment is and have you ever know of certain players that bring an entire locker room down because of their attitude? Do players find ways to make sure troublemakers don't affect the team chemistry?

Moose: I think we're fortunate enough to have one of the better chemistries in the NFL. I believe it's true what they say "ONE BAD APPLE CAN SPOIL A BUNCH", but all our apples are ripe and red.

Mike: Have you ever known any football player to not really like playing the game and play just for the money? What's more important to you right now; money, happiness or stability?

Moose: Yes. People play for the money all the time. The most important to me is my family. That determines a lot of my happiness.

Mike: Fans normally only get to see one side of a player and that's when they're on the field. Can you think of one player that may act one way on the field but is totally different in real life (ex: very obnoxious and brash on the field and extremely generous and caring off the field)

Moose: Well, on our team, Dan Morgan is a beast on the field but in person he is very humble and quiet.

Mike: Who's the funniest guy on the team? Who do you hang out with outside of practice and the games?

Moose: Rod Smart is the funniest. The wide receivers usually go out one night a week to dinner, but usually I'm with my family.

Mike: What do you like to do for fun (if there was ever enough time during the day?)

Moose: I'm an outdoors person. I like to hunt and fish.

Mike: What is your most memorable off the field moment since you've been with the Panthers? (funny incident, something that touched you, etc

Moose: My most touching moment came when my children were born. I was there for all four births.

Mike: Talk to me about your experiences doing commentary for some NFL-Europe games. What did you learn and is it something you'd like to explore after your playing days?

Moose: I enjoyed my experience in Europe. I believe I got better at analyzing the games. This could very well be my next career, so look out. You could see me in the booth after my playing days are over.

Mike: There were rumors that you went to a trainer in the off-season that works with Andy Roddick on conditioning and agility. Is that true and can you see how any off that off-season training has paid off?

Moose: Yes, that is true. He is a speed trainer that works with athletes in football, baseball and soccer. I think the training helped me tremendously.

Mike: Word association: I'm going to list a name and I want to know the first thing that comes to your mind when you see it. You can be descriptive if you wish.

John Fox – Be all you can be

Last Year's Super Bowl – unforgettable

Jake Delhomme – passion

Steve Beuerlein – accurate

Summer Camp – retirement

M2 Foundation – commitment

Tampa Bay – Rivalry

Atlanta Falcons – Revenge!

San Francisco – Jerry Rice

The Media (including newspaper,radio,internet, etc) – inconsistent

Steve Smith – talented

The Future – remains to be seen

Mike: Great! Now something that the fans want to know. Do players notice fans in the stands during games? What impact do the fans have on the players' attitudes? How important are your fans to you?

Moose: Fans are very important. Fans drive the game and they obviously have a big effect on game day. A loud crowd can ruin a team's snap count and intimidate opponents.

Mike: Okay, now the million dollar question Moose. It's one year from today. Where is Muhsin Muhammad and what is he doing?

Moose: Hopefully in Carolina still playing football.

Mike: Okay, it's ten years from now. Same question.

Moose: Hopefully in Carolina watching my kids play sports.

Mike: What else would a fan like to know about Muhsin Muhammad that they don't already know?

Moose: That I'm all out of time and that I'll see them on Sunday!

Mike: Thanks for your time Moose. Good luck on Sunday and congrats on making it to the Pro-Bowl and making us all proud!

Muhammad will enter the final year of his current contract in 2005. However, due to the strict salary cap guidelines regulated by the NFL, Moose will likely be released by the team in what's commonly known as a "Salary Cap Casualty" if a contract renegotiation isn't attained. We realize that the ultimate matter of Muhammad's contract and future with the team is the sole responsibility of Muhammad, his agent and the Panthers front office but as Panther fans we need to send a clear message to all parties that Muhsin is a invaluable member of the Carolina Panthers and the Charlotte community. We believe a contract restructure can be agreed upon that's beneficial and fair to all parties, and it is our desire to have Muhsin retire as a Panther when his playing days are over.

"Save the Moose" day is our chance as fans to drive home the message that Moose should set yet another record as the first Panther drafted player to fulfill his entire football career and retire as a Carolina Panther.

What can you do?

- First, get a ticket and show up to the Jan. 2nd 2005 regular season finale against the New Orleans Saints: a half empty stadium sends the wrong message.

- Second, spread the message, get the word out that Jan 2nd is "Save the Moose" day.

- Thirdly, show your love for Moose. Bring a sign saying "Save The Moose" wear your Muhammad #87 jersey. Wear a Panther blue awareness ribbon (you know the drill) to show your support for this cause – around your wrist, as an earring, pinned to your had - anywhere.

- Get noticed! The local Charlotte/NC/SC media will know in advance of the event. Don't do anything stupid just get noticed!

*Finally, do your part to help Moose's charitable organization, the M2 Foundation. The M2 Foundation helps kids in the Greater Charlotte area get and stay on the right path so they can learn to become a productive member of society. You can find out how you can help by contacting the M2 Foundation at Thanks for your support!

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