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Foxhole: Fan Fest

Posted Aug 8, 2009

Comments from Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox following the team's Fan Fest practice at Bank of America Stadium.

On why a number of players, like wide receivers Muhsin Muhammad and Steve Smith and defensive end Julius Peppers, did not participate in the scrimmage: We were two days late coming to camp this year. You want to ease into it. I think we got a little taste with some tackling to see where we were, both sides of the ball. I think we got that accomplished. We were able to look at some younger guys. We'll have plenty of time with four preseason games and we've got a lot of time before we go to New York.

On what the players get out of Fan Fest: It's a first little taste. It's a little sliver of what it's going to really be like. It's a good way to ease into it. They get to come into a stadium with fans here and kind of see what it's like - the pressure of a real game, partially. So from that standpoint it's more game-like.

On if he was pleased with how the defense practiced: Yeah. Most camps this time of year the defense is usually a little bit ahead. But there were some guys (Muhsin Muhammad, Steve Smith, Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams) standing over there by me. Our weapons weren't out there on offense. I thought we accomplished what we wanted to do - give some guys live hitting, some live tackling and get them used to football shape. Luckily, we got out with no injuries.

On if anybody stood out: I thought guys played hard. I thought we tackled pretty well. Individually, I don't have anybody that really stood out.

On his assessment of where the team is one week into training camp: This was just a little bit of a taste. It wasn't a whole lot of playing time. I like the way the guys are working. I think some of the basics - we are blocking and tackling pretty well at this point. We've got a lot of work yet before we get to that first preseason game.

On what grade he would give the team after one week of training camp: It's hard to measure. We've gotten better. That's the key. I look for improvement every day and I thought we got better today.

On the progress toward replacing injured defensive tackle Maake Kemoeatu: It's early. We'll keep working the guys we've got. We're always looking to improve. That train's going to keep going.

On why safety Nate Salley did not practice: We held him out, he has knee soreness.