The Carolina Panthers lost Super Bowl 50, but budding defensive end Kony Ealy doesn't think his team has missed its window of opportunity.
Ealy is already looking forward to next season. He said there's "no doubt" the Panthers can match their 2015 success and compete for next year's Super Bowl.
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I'm going to take these couple weeks off, get my mind right and my body healed up. And we're getting right back at it again for next year. We will be back in this position. We will be back. There's no doubt in my mind.
With the players and the chemistry and the leadership of the team, all the coaches we've got, there's no reason why (not). We've shown that. We've just got to come out here and do it again.
Ealy is one to be optimistic about the future, since he enjoyed a breakout performance last Sunday. Wherever Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was, the second-year defensive end was not far away. He finished the game with three sacks, an interception and a forced fumble (which he recovered himself).
One could argue that the Panthers have the NFL's best quarterback, linebacker and cornerback in Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly and Josh Norman, respectively. If Ealy reaches that level of stardom as a pass-rusher in 2016, Carolina will be a tough team to beat and a favorite to win the Super Bowl.