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Foxhole: Closer to full strength

Posted Oct 7, 2009

Comments from Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox following the team's practice.

On injuries: Did not participate: Mike Goodson - concussion. Limited participation: Everette Brown - ankle, Na'il Diggs - rib, Tony Fiammetta - ankle, Chris Harris - knee and Jonathan Stewart - Achilles.

On running back Mike Goodson's concussion: He actually had a combination of sick with the flu and had a concussion the last game. He's working through that.

On if it was good to practice again following the bye: Yeah. It was a good break, and we got some guys (back) out there practicing - at least on a limited basis - so, hopefully, working some guys back in that will be ready Sunday.

On the Washington Redskins: They are 2-2. They've played four good teams instead of three good teams like we have. They've had a taste of winning, which we're trying to get accomplished, so it should be a good test.

On how much it would help the defense to have starting strong safety Chris Harris back: It's huge. We are young; we are young back there. He is kind of the quarterback of our secondary, if not the defense. It would be great to have him out there because he understands the defense, he knows all the checks and helps everybody get lined up, and I think guys have a comfort level with him.

On if injuries have been as big of factor as anything in the Panthers' run defense: Yeah. As I've mentioned before, not fitting in the right place, not rolling the secondary the right way, guys not fitting as much as we have (been) getting beat physically. As a coach and as a player in the National Football League, you're going to get beat physically sometimes. That team practices and gets paid, too. But it's when you don't execute that it drives you crazy, and we've got to get it fixed.

On if defenses are giving more attention to wide receiver Steve Smith than in the past: Steve's not new to the scene. He got a lot of attention last year and the year before that and the year before that and the year before that. We're not seeing anything new and different. Obviously, we've turned the ball over way more than we expect and we've got to get that fixed.

On the progress of newly signed defensive tackle Hollis Thomas and how quickly he'll be able to contribute: Each day he's going to get it better figured out. Playing defensive tackle in the National Football League - it's a three technique or a one technique - so it's not real complicated. It's just there are a lot of stunts, adjustments, different blitzes, different techniques, so basically he's learning a new language. Other than that he's a pretty quick study.

On taking more shots down field throwing the ball: We did connect one (against Dallas to Muhsin Muhammad), and it looked like a would-be touchdown. Sometimes people highlight all the ones that you don't make, but we got called for a foul and that was unfortunate because it could have been a big play in the game.

On if A.J. Feeley understands the offense well enough now to be the number-two quarterback: It's a day-to-day thing. The quarterback position is a little bit different than defensive tackle - you've got to know what everybody's doing. He's not a young rookie; he's grasping it pretty good. But we evaluate that daily. Like always, all those are game-time decisions.