Panthers’ Austin Corbett asked about move to center: ‘It was inevitable’

Carolina Panthers offensive lineman Austin Corbett may have too big of a personality to play guard, and that shined through on Wednesday.

Following the team’s second outing of voluntary minicamp, the 28-year-old hog molly spoke about his move from right guard to center. Although he played coy at first, Corbett told reporters that the transition won’t be a challenging one.

“I guess we’ll find out, no?” he replied with a laugh when asked to confirm the switch.

“It’s been fun. I’ve been groomed to be a center my entire career. Kinda even starting back in college. Played every game at left tackle, but my head coach, Brian Polian, he’s like, ‘If you’re gonna play in the league, you’re gonna be a good center. You’re too smart not to.’ From that time, I’ve been constantly groomed to be a center.

“I’ve been the emergency center every team I’ve been on. Constantly taking reps. I was the starting center going into the Super Bowl year back in ’21, through training camp and ended up shifting around. The backup center was healthier than they thought, so shifted back out to right guard. So it’s nothing new, by any stretch of the imagination.”

Corbett has never logged a single regular-season snap from the position. His only in-game action at the spot has come in preseason play, when he lined up at center on 203 plays for the Cleveland Browns in 2019.

Carolina’s free-agent additions of guards Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis sparked the change for Corbett, who manned the right side of the interior in 2022 and 2023. His recent setbacks might’ve factored into the situation as well, as he missed 13 games this past season due to two knee injuries.

But as he gets back to full health, he says there’s another body part that’ll really give him an advantage in the middle.

“Everywhere I’ve been, everybody on the line will tell you I talk too much as a guard,” he added. “So it’s natural just to kick me in there now and have control anyway. It was inevitable at some point in my career. Every offensive line coach told me, ‘You’re gonna play center at one point. This is what you’re made to do.’ And here in 2024, it’s finally happening.”

Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire