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DR. Z
Paul Zimmerman
November 25, 1996
By dominating teams after halftime, the upstart Panthers have joined the playoff hunt
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November 25, 1996

Dr. Z

By dominating teams after halftime, the upstart Panthers have joined the playoff hunt

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THE SACKMASTER: Two and a half for outside linebacker Kevin Greene on Sunday, 10� for the season. He's 34, with 118� career sacks, and he has drawn a bead on Lawrence Taylor's all-time record for linebackers, which is 14 away. Emotions clash head-on in this explosive 247-pounder who came to the Panthers from Pittsburgh in the off-season, as a free agent.

"I loved the Steelers, but they said, 'Goodbye, Jack,' " he says. "What the hell, I'm happy now. I'm sacking, I'm racking. Then we played the Giants last week, and I thought of all those great old guys they had, Harry Carson, Jim Burt, all retired, and I thought, Maybe it's time to set sail because all my old fellas are gone."

The Rams tried to control Greene by giving tight end Ernie Conwell first shot at him, then passing him off to a tackle. It worked just fine. They held him to 2� sacks.

Oh, there are more heroes, many more, including president Mike McCormack and general manager Bill Polian, the brain trust, who have a clear vision of how an expansion team should be built. Import veterans for defense and special teams, save the draft for offense. Then there's Capers.

"He doesn't degrade," Greene says, "he doesn't belittle, he doesn't demean. He builds people up." And now those people are contenders.

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