Panthers LB Ben Boulware: Beard makes me ‘one of the hottest ugly guys on the team’

Ben Boulware already has stiff competition at Panthers training camp, but it isn’t over football.

The rookie linebacker said he has the best beard on the team, but defensive tackle Star Lotulelei said his beard is the best.

(Lotulelei) has better length than me, but mine has more character. Boulware said while brushing his beard. I’m like the hot ugly guy. I’m pretty ugly, but this makes me look pretty hot.

It’s exciting as a quarterback to have the front office and guys upstairs put some money into the guys that are in front of you. Obviously, it’s a little bit of a tough loss with (left tackle Taylor) Decker going down for a little bit (with a shoulder injury). Hopefully, we’ll get him back sooner rather than later. We’ll see on that. But the two guys on the right side are Pro Bowl-caliber players, veterans that have played a lot of football, a lot of meaningful football. It’s nice to have those guys not only on the field but in the locker room leading a pretty young group from center to left tackle.

As a quarterback, what can you do to help accelerate the learning curve of your new left tackle whether it’s Greg Robinson or Cyrus Kouandjio?

As a quarterback, it’s just communication, right? The best thing I can do is be clear and concise with my communication to those guys. And it’s up to the center and left guard and those guys to kind of echo calls out. They do a really nice job.

We’ve got a good group up there, a bunch of smart guys that get us in and out of the right stuff if we need to change. For me, it’s just communicating, getting the ball out on time, have our receivers getting open quickly and all these things that tie into (pass) protection. It’s not just the guys up front blocking for as long as I want to hold the ball. It’s guys on the outside winning early, me getting the ball out on time, correct decisions and all that kind of stuff.

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