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Carolina Panthers back Super Bowl ad with T-shirts

Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil's full page ad promising a Super Bowl appearance in the Charlotte Observer over the summer was bold. Panthers coach Ron Rivera likes bold.

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The Panthers have been wearing T-shirts this week with the Panthers logo on the front and the phrase, "I have Ryan Kalil's back" on the back, according to the Observer. Rivera is the one that got them printed up and distributed.

"We have Ryan's back," Steve Smith told NFL Network's Scott Hanson in an interview that will air during Friday's "NFL Total Access" on NFL Network at 7 p.m. ET. "Some people didn't like it. Some people since we lost last week said, 'Hey, they did this and see they set they selves up for this.' I mean every single team, if you watch every training camp, every single team has a goal of the Super Bowl."

We usually try to keep the quotes listed in Around the League short and snappy. Makes it easy to read.

We make exceptions for Steve Smith. Because Steve Smith is awesome:

"It wasn't something Kalil was sitting around twiddling his thumbs at home, it was calculated. He went and saw what year we, Mr. Richardson, got the franchise. How many PSL seats were sold on which day. What day it was received, that opportunity, that Charlotte was going to be the expansion team. It was very detailed and went down to great lengths. And it just shows the leadership that Kalil has. The enthusiasm, the hard work, that he put into it, not just about going and getting the information but how he's working this offseason.

"At the end of the day, pressure is put on athletes all the time in this city, and we have to be able to stand up. And if a guy adds more pressure -- if a newspaper article is going to make more pressure on your job -- than this isn't the business for you because you got to perform because if you don't people are replaced every year."

Smith is right. Kalil's ad isn't going to make a difference in slowing down the Panthers' season. Sure, the guarantee looks a little dicier after Carolina's disgusting 16-10 loss against the Buccaneers. That's what helps makes the team's matchup against the New Orleans Saints this week so fascinating.

We picked the Panthers to make the playoffs. The Saints were the consensus division favorites. One of the team's will be 0-2. (I'm the only ATL writer to pick the Panthers to win.)

If Cam Newton and crew can't pull off the upset, expect the Super Bowl talk to die down in Carolina. Even if the T-shirts don't go away.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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