Gaulden's Training Camp Hit Reminds of Mike Minter in '97

In a distant time, long ago when players hit hard in training camp, rookie Mike Minter crashed into Rocket Ismail, sending his helmet flying and leaving him writhing in pain and with three different injuries that sidelined him for three weeks. Today, Rashaan Gaulden hit veteran Jarius Wright in the endzone, which sent both the players and Twitter into a panic. They just don't hit like they used to, and on a day where Ross Cockrell heard his leg crack in practice and a day after Daryl Williams dislocated his right patella and tore his MCL, we're probably glad it's a thing of the past. 

Watching the tweets fly after Gaulden collided with Wright, you'd think that he had clean took his head off like Minter did in 97. The hit was hardly bone-crushing and the ear-full that Gaulden would get from his teammates, coaches, and Twitter is amusing when you think of Minter stating during his first training camp and after leveling Ismail that, "First of all, I'm an aggressive player. I love to hit.''

After the hearing Funchess scold the rookie for a "stupid play," Gaulden drew the ire of Defensive Coordinator Eric Washington and next Head Coach Ron Rivera. When addressing the media after practice, Rivera tempered the discussion a little by stating he was mostly concerned with using it as a moment to discuss the new rules about helmet contact and hits to the head that are certain to draw a lot of subjective confusion this season. 

Carolina hasn't really had an answer at safety since Minter retired in 2007. They've tried a patchwork of players over the years that haven't delivered the stability that Carolina had when Minter was knocking guys out back there. While everyone scolds Gaulden for the contact, I can only hope that he can be that answer that Minter was for a decade. 

By Tony Dunn
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