Close Article Return to stream X
NFL

Haruki Nakamura looks for bigger role on Carolina Panthers Defense

After backing up surefire Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed for four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, Haruki Nakamura is seeking a bigger role in his first season with the Carolina Panthers.

“When you come into the NFL, your ultimate goal is to make a football team,” said Nakamura, signed by the Panthers on March 16. “Then each year, you take your goals and bump them up.”

The Panthers ranked in the bottom quarter of the league in pass defense and pass touchdowns last year and Nakamura definitely helps with their depth at safety although they return two starters at safety.

Nakamura made his mark on the Ravens as a special teams stalwart after learning from Ed Reed, something he’ll continue in Carolina while hoping to earn more chances in the secondary as well.

Nakamura said he and his three siblings were raised with the idea that they’d become Olympic judo champions, and all four did win national championships at various points. Their mother maintained her husband’s rule of no football in the house after his death, but one of Nakamura’s older brothers took matters into his own hands when Nakamura was in sixth grade.

Nakamura actually grew up thinking they would be Olympic judo champions, but one of Nakamura’s older brohers worked on their mom’s football ban in 6th grade.

“My brother saw that I had an aggressive attitude that he thought would fit good with football, so he snuck me into a CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) program without my mom knowing,” Nakamura said. “My mom found out a couple of weeks later when I brought shoulder pads and a helmet home. She just said, ‘Well, if you’re going to play, you’re not quitting.’

“I fractured my wrist a couple of weeks after the first game. Instead of being the mom that says, ‘You’re done playing,’ we got it casted and she went to the store, bought two soccer shin guards, taped them on my wrist and said, ‘You’re playing football.’ ”

Nakamura then went on to earn a roster spot on one of the NFL’s best defenses. He is now trying to be part of the Panthers solution on defense.

Your Favorites
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NFL Videos

Broncos' Jordan Norwood Sets Record For Longest SB Punt Return

There has never been a punt return for a touchdown in any Super Bowl, and Denver's Jordan Norwood tried to change that with this epic 61-yard run. He didn't hit paydirt, but did set the record for the longest punt return in Super Bowl history.

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NFL Videos

Von Miller, Josh Norman, Marshawn Lynch Ham It Up On Conan

Von Miller, Josh Norman and Marshawn Lynch made an appearance together on the Conan O'Brien show this week, and it was nothing short of glorious. The fellas played video games, drank what appeared to be adult beverages, and had an overall swell time hamming it up in honor of the Super Bowl.

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NFL Videos

Watch Goodell Ruin The Dab For Everyone

Although we can't place the entire blame on Roger Goodell in this situation, thanks Robin Roberts, it doesn't change the fact that the Dab is no longer cool. When the most hated person in the NFL does a terrible attempt at one of the most iconic dances, it kills it forever.

Comment 0 Comments