Panthers camp opens with a brutal reality for former UNC star Hood

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WTVD) -- The NFL is a cold, cold world. Like, absolute zero, -273 degrees cold. Proof of that arrived Wednesday afternoon at Panthers camp in Spartanburg.

Former UNC great Elijah Hood arrived Wednesday morning in the backseat of the family car with his fiancé NeShei at the wheel and infant son Elisha tucked safely into his car seat next to him. He unloaded, hugged his son, kissed his fiancé and said goodbye.

By the afternoon, he'd been cut. Not even one practice in and axed. Call his fiancé and tell her to turn around and pick him up again dismissed. Yeeesh.

It's a changing of the guard camp this time around what with franchise icons Julius Peppers, Thomas Davis, and Ryan Kalil all moved on. Their legacies can't be matched but their spots need to be filled both on the field and off. Ron Rivera told me there's definitely a leadership void that needs filling in their absence and while he didn't specify any names, he does have some candidates in mind that he hopes to see step up.

The Panthers signed former Bronco Matt Paradis to fill Kalil's spot at center. His meshing with Cam Newton is surely a storyline to watch here at Wofford.

The most drastically re-tooled unit of the defense may be the defensive line. With the additions of top pick Brian Burns and guys like free agent Bruce Irvin and Gerald McCoy, Luke Kuechly said speed is the biggest quality they've added.

It's clear that in addition to the interior pass rush that the Panthers hope they've acquired with McCoy, they've also added some serious personality. Gerald arrived in a custom Lion King shirt on Wednesday. When asked if he's seen the new movie, he immediately answered: "I've got five kids, of course I have!"

He gave it a very positive review, by the way.

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