Boulware hopes to build on first NFL experience

Boulware hopes to build on first NFL experience

Football

Boulware hopes to build on first NFL experience

The verdict is still out on whether Ben Boulware will make it or not in the NFL. However, the former Clemson linebacker has already accomplished one of his goals – playing in an NFL game.

Boulware accomplished that Wednesday night when he first entered the Houston game in the second half on kickoff coverage following a Carolina Panthers’ touchdown. He later played on the punt coverage team and then came into the game at middle linebacker in the fourth quarter.

“It was cool,” Boulware said after Carolina’s 27-17 victory over Houston in the preseason opener. “It was kind of one of the first things I wanted to accomplish, just getting the first game out of the way and just the first snap of an NFL game. At the end of the day it’s ball, at the end of the day it’s just football and I felt like I was prepared for it.”

Boulware did not record any tackles in his NFL debut, but he stayed within the scheme and played confidently.

“I studied a lot and after the first play, it’s football,” he said. “Once you get between those white-lines, that’s probably easier than the practices because they stress you a lot in practice. But at the end of the day, it’s ball and I thought it was a solid day.”

Boulware still has a long way to go before making the Carolina roster. Moving forward, the linebacker still has to learn more about the defense. So far in camp, he has been doing what he is supposed to do, listening and communicating with fellow linebackers Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis.

“There is always more I can learn, more I can obtain from Luke, Thomas and Shaq (Thompson),” Boulware said. “Just be like a sponge. This is a complicated defense. There are a lot of ins and outs that I still don’t know yet. I feel like I have a good foundation, but I need to continue building on that foundation.”

–Photo Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

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