Zach Banner drove 7 hours to Panthers' offseason workouts

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  • By Ralph Warner
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First impressions are important -- when you start a new gig, you never want to be late or a complete no-show. Carolina OT Zach Banner knows this and bad weather, nor a daunting seven-hour journey in a "hamster car" would keep him from the first day of Panthers' offseason workouts.

Banner, who spent his rookie season with the Browns, was claimed off waivers by the Panthers on March 16. Ohio was hit with some extreme weather over the weekend, including flooding, tornado warnings, and snow. Banner was due to fly out of John Glenn Columbus International Airport on Sunday morning, but his flight was cancelled.

"My flight got delayed at first [because] of weather, and I had to stop in Columbus, OH," wrote Banner on Instagram. "Then they told me no flights till tomorrow morning, and I had an issue with that because my undefeated streak of being on time would be broken, because breakfast at the Panthers facility is at 7 a.m. tomorrow for our first day of OTAs."

Banner wasn't going to take any chances, so he rented a Kia Soul and made his way south to Charlotte. Keep in mind that the Kia Soul is considered a compact car -- Banner is listed at 6-foot-8, 360 pounds.

"This is a prime example of taking what you want and earning respect," said Banner. "Don't just expect it. Pray for me and this journey across the frozen tundras of my old home, into my new one."

Despite the obstacles, he still made it to his first day of OTAs on time. Banner's streak of punctuality is still alive and the Panthers have some insight into how dedicated the 24-year-old is.

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