|Tre Boston harbors a steal party among Panthers defensive backs|
|Veteran safety holds true to Thieves Avenue concept|
|Published Tuesday, August 25, 2020 10:00 pm|
|PHOTO | CURTIS WILSON|
|Carolina Panthers safety Tre Boston (left) the last remaining member from 2015’s Thieves Avenue secondary, is imparting those values to force turnovers among younger defensive backs. “It’s like the lease – we just renew it,” he says. “Everybody has to earn it.”|
The veteran safety heads into his seventh season in the league with a piece of Carolina Panthers tradition he intends to instill in their young defense from the 2015 Super Bowl run in which 11 players produced 31 interceptions. Boston, who was in his second season during that campaign, returned last season on a one-year deal and signed a three-year extension in March. Boston is the only defensive back from the original Thieves Avenue and the only with more than five years of NFL experience. Now, he intends to show rookies like safeties Jeremy Chinn (No. 38 overall; Southern Illinois) and Kenny Robinson (No. 152; XFL, West Virginia) and cornerback Troy Pride (No. 113; Notre Dame) what Thieves Avenue means.
“It’s like the lease—we just renew it,” Boston said. “Everybody has to earn it. Guys might come and go, but it’s a lineage that we are passing down. As long as I’m here, it’s going to be here with me. It’s going to be what we do. We are thieves. We will rob teams of the rock, and we will not give it back. We’re taking fresh loot, I’m letting you know.”
While first-time head coach Matt Rhule may not be familiar with the legacy of Thieves Avenue, which included a sign in the Panthers locker room at one point, he expects Boston’s energy to filter through the secondary.
“Having an identity helps guys come to work every day knowing that this is a brotherhood, we’ve gotta hold each other accountable and we are thieves,” Boston said. “So what do thieves do? They steal.”
Said Rhule: “I don’t really know about Thieves Avenue. I hear him talk about the Thieves all the time. He’s a guy who brings energy and spirit to everything. During the team meetings at night, he’ll grab the mic and he’ll get up, and he’ll start singing. Here’s what I know about Tre Boston, he loves football. He likes to practice. He likes to play. He likes to talk about football. He’s a professional. He’s exactly the type of guy who I like to coach. He’s trying to coach and mold the young guys, and show them what it means to be a pro and he does things the right way. I’m fired up to have a chance to coach him.”
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