The Panthers entered the offseason intent on improving the line, and the job was done. A first-round pick and a few marquee free agents represented the kind of talent influx they needed.
“Six years in the NFL is kind of the nature of the beast, isn’t it? Moving parts, but it’s all about how quickly we can mesh and gel,” Moton said. “It starts in the OTAs and I think we are improving, day by day, so we have to keep developing.
“We are focused on building our line now. Anything can happen. But the important thing is knowing who is there, wherever they go, making sure they are as confident and prepared as possible when they arrive. .I just try to be a better leader every day and steer this ship in the right direction.”
Moton has been the one stable thing the Panthers could count on, starting every game for the past four seasons. He briefly bounced off the left tackle when needed but now Moton gets to work with Ekwonu for the rookie’s eventual rise to the starting lineup.
Moton said he was impressed with how Ekwonu has approached things so far. It’s hard to get an accurate read of linemen until pads roll out in training camp, but his college tape shows an aggressive blocker, and Moton sees a rookie who approaches his upbringing with the same enthusiasm.
“Honestly, he’s a great boy, he’s a hard worker, he wants to improve, he wants to learn,” Moton said of his new protege. “For where he was drafted, he has a lot of humility towards him, but he also has a lot of confidence. He has everything you want. He’s someone who can grow. It was great to work with him so far, and I’m excited to continue.
“That’s the kind of guy you want there.”