Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Stewart's quiet confidence

Who is Jonathan Stewart? It's a question media and fans in the Charlotte area have been asking for 2 years now. The stats speak for themselves, nearly 2000 yards rushing, 20 touchdowns and 33 games played.

Despite nagging injuries to his toe and Achilles' tendon, Stewart has played in every single regular season and playoff game in his two short years in the NFL, that speaks to his work ethic.

So his resume has been established. It's the off-the-field life and who the soft-spoken running back might be as a person that still remains open for debate. Shrek once quipped "Ogres are like onions." Now, I'm not saying Stewart is an onion or an ogre, but there are a number of layers to the athlete we see take the field every Sunday in the fall.

There's the Hip-Hop artist with a twist. Just last week he played at a piano recital at Jerrie's Christian Academy, not something you would expect from Kanye West, but with Stewart we have come to expect the unexpected.

"Being able to wind down at the end of the day, being able to take your brain to another level of relaxation by playing the piano," Stewart said. "It's just something great to have."

Stewart relishes his role in the two-back tandem self-titled Double Trouble. His partner in that duo, DeAngelo Williams, has become his best friend. A relationship that could have been built on competition for playing time and yards, has turned out to be the fuel of the Carolina Panthers offense. Williams, known for his outgoing personality, plays the yin to Stewart's yang. Every comedy duo needs a straight man and Stewart has the part down cold.

Let's be honest, the media can be quick to judge, and when a star player doesn't take to the spotlight, we start to ask questions. Stewart barely took part in workouts these past four weeks, but Panther fans don't worry -- he never has.

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