Week 2 of the NFL 2019 sees Carolina Panthers host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the first time. both teams have played each other 37 times with the Panthers winning the series so far 23 – 14.
Both teams began the season with a home loss. The Panthers went down 30-27 to the Los Angeles Rams, while the Buccaneers lost 31-17 to the San Francisco 49ers. Carolina has lost the last four home games in a row dating back to last season, while the Bucs have tasted defeat in their last seven road games. Something, however, will have to give on Thursday night.
Here at the FCN, we are interested more in the back story – of two coaches in particular behind the scenes…Lori Locust of the Buccaneers and Jennifer King of the Panthers.
Lori and Jennifer have been part of the FCN for some years now, and their journey has been marked along the way by interviews sharing their journeys. Jennifer started her professional coaching career as a Basketball Coach at a high school, where she won a number of awards and Championships. Being a Football coach was a dream of hers, and something she never gave up on.
Lori, having only taken up playing football aged 40, has had a strong line of coaching positions across the years, picking up as much experience as she could. Back in April 2016, Lori told us: “I would love to be an assistant coach in the league (NFL), that would be a dream come true!? I am trying to learn more and make myself as knowledgeable as possible because short term I want to continue to do what I do in the local area but also I would like to be included within a big team in Europe.”
In August 2019, Lori began her first season as a Assistant D-Line Coach with the Buccaneers!
If you haven’t already seen their interviews, head over to our dedicated American football Page to search them out!
Jennifer King is an Intern Running Back Coach for the Carolina Panthers – one of the very few female coaches who is or has been part of an NFL team.
We first interviewed Jennifer back in July 2015, when she was an assistant basketball coach at Greensboro College, USA, because nobody would let her coach football when she began her career. Jennifer became a women’s basketball coach and was brilliant at it, working her way up to the head coach at Charlotte’s Johnson & Wales, which she led to a national title last year.
In the background, she studied football, and loved it more and more as the years went by. She has played quarterback and wide receiver in a women’s tackle football league for nearly a decade, and the more she learned, the more passionate about the sport she became.
Jennifer explained to us her role with her second stint with the Panthers:
“Last time I was working with the Wide Receiver positions, this time I’m working with the Running Backs, so I have switched positions which is great. I have pretty much always worked with Wide Receivers, and now I get to work with different positions with the Running Backs. I have learned a lot, working with this new position you have to know a lot more about Offensive Line Play…if anyone knows anything about Football, Offensive Line Play is where everything starts. Good and bad! So I have learned a lot more about that. It’s been great so far. I hope I can grow into a full time position – because this is making more well rounded, I am learning another position as well.”
Lori Locust joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL team after working as the defensive line coach for the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football during the league’s inaugural season this spring. In 2018, Lori served as a defensive coaching intern for the Baltimore Ravens during the team’s training camp and, from 2017-18, worked as a defensive line/linebackers coach and co-special teams coordinator of the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks of the National Arena League.
We first spoke with Lori back in April 2016 when she was the Head Defensive Line Coach and Defensive Special Teams Coordinator for the Central Penn Capitals Men’s Arena (indoor) Team as well as the Assistant Coach for Central Penn Piranha.
Lori explains what a typical day looks like for an NFL coach:
“I got here pre-season, so I am assuming it’s relatively the same as what happened at Baltimore (Baltimore Ravens NFL Team). We arrive a little bit before 6:00am, so we can start at 8:00am. We have everything prepped the day before, but we have meetings in the morning, they start around 8:00am. Then we break it down to have a Defence meeting and then we go into our specific position meetings. We watch film, discuss up and coming opponents, we go over the calls we have in for that week.
In the early part of the week, you look at first and second down situations and what the team does, and then as the week progresses you go into 3rd down, goal line…there is so many perimeters. Each segment of the game is broken down and we look at it from the D-Line stand point. On top of all that, we are still doing practice, the scout team prep.
There are also a lot of reports that get done that we present to the players. I was working on one this morning which was a template, because they like them to be visual so we try to make them look good.
As the week progresses, you continue to tighten up some of the other things like some calls, whose going, whose staying, you get prepared for travel.”
Best of luck to both teams!