Graham Gano sorry for 'friendly' push

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Carolina Panthers took care of the Buccaneers but had to talk about some other on-field raiders.

Placekicker Graham Gano found himself surrounded by a marching band during his halftime warm-ups, while injured quarterback Cam Newton interjected himself into a second-quarter huddle.

Video of Gano, surrounded by a sea of Bethune Cookman band members wrapping up the halftime show, pushing the trombone player aside to make room so he could warm up quickly went viral.

Gano figured he'd caused a stir with his halftime shove when he got back to his locker.

"My phone had blown up,'' Gano said with a laugh following Sunday's 20-14 victory over Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium.

Gano said he politely asked the trombone player, who was gyrating his hips to the music, to move before giving what he described as a "friendly'' shove. Just in case the musician didn't take it that way, he plans to reach out to him.

"I was just having fun with it,'' Gano said. "It was not like I tried to knock the guy out or anything. Hopefully, I can get a hold of the guy and just say I'm sorry.''

Newton, who's sidelined with fractured ribs, made his way on to the field by sticking his head into the huddle during a second-quarter timeout. Talk of Cam's cameo dominated much of the locker room chatter after Carolina recorded its first opening-day victory since 2008.

Newton's shenanigans were as surprising to his teammates as seeing the band still on the field when they were trying to prepare for the second half.

"I wasn't sure if there's rules against that or not,'' running back DeAngelo Williams said of Newton, who, until Sunday, had not missed a start in three NFL seasons. "The refs were kind of baffled themselves.''

Carolina coach Ron Rivera laughed at Newton's incident.

"I wasn't aware until they came and told me, 'Coach, you've got to keep an eye on him,' '' Rivera said. "He ran out there to bring water, I guess. The referees pointed it out, so we were able to calm him down.''

Rivera didn't think the band incident was quite so funny.

"That was a little disconcerting as far as I was concerned,'' he said. "We'll ask about it.''

Gano said the Tampa Bay staff apologized for the band being in the way.

"I was kind of enjoying hearing them play,'' Gano said. "It was just an unfortunate situation, and I do feel bad about it. At that time, that was the only time I could get my work in.''