Former Panthers OL Gross sheds weight in retirement
Posted July 27, 2014
Updated July 28, 2014
Spartanburg, S.C. — Sunday marked the first day in pads for Carolina Panthers players in training camp as the team prepares for their first preseason game in less than two weeks. One longtime staple of the franchise that will not suit up is newly retired – and physically transformed – Jordan Gross.
Gross anchored the Panthers offensive line for 11 seasons while tipping the scales at 304 lbs. Since retiring, however, the 6-foot-4 former first-round pick has trimmed down to a remarkable 230.
“My wife’s freaking out, she says she is having an affair in me -- with me,” Gross joked.
Almost unrecognizable today, Gross said that everything he learned about retaining weight to win the battle in the trenches as a player provided a blue print for the weight loss. He has had a change in diet, a change in lifestyle and now, one more difficult everyday tasks are performed worry free.
“I used to put my seatbelt on and have to boost my arm over because everything was so big and heavy,: Gros said. “Now I put my seatbelt on and it’s like, ‘hey, kids, did you see that? I put my seatbelt on normal.”
Gross is still at Panthers camp for work purposes five months after retiring – just for a different job. He is now learning the ins-and-outs as the Panthers Radio Network’s new sideline reporter.
As for his former teammates, they can’t help but comment on the new look.
“I don’t like it. I told him he looks kind of weird,” said eight-year veteran lineman Ryan Kalil. “I told him it’s not against the rules to still stay in the weight room and maybe bulk up a little bit.”
“He looks mad skinny like he plays receiver or tight end,” said 340-poind tackle Byron Bell. “I don’t even think he’s eating and if he is, what is he eating?”
“I walked in here and they were lifting my shirt up, feeling my arms. I was thinking it was worse than the combine,” Gross said.
“The problem is that he is walking around and he’s checking himself out in the mirror and he thinks it’s cool and it just looks bad,” Kalil.
Even though Gross may be micro-sized now, his void on the line is a giant one in front of Cam Newton. In hopes of keeping the blind side protected, the Panthers have seven tackles in camp.