Coordinators focus on fundamentals

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CHARLOTTE – Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott didn't see the progress he hoped to in last Thursday's 36-7 loss to the New York Giants. In fact, he saw regression.

"I feel like we took a step back," McDermott said. "As a defense generally speaking, we took a step back."

The Giants had the Panthers defense on its heels for much of the night, throwing for 280 yards, running for 125 and holding a 13:20 advantage in time of possession.

With that outing behind them, McDermott and his players are hoping to take two steps forward in Week 4.

"We've got a lot of guys that take a lot of pride in their work. They came back (Monday) ready to get to work and get down to business," McDermott said. "We're ready to get back to fundamentals and doing what we do well. We got knocked down but we have to get back up."

NEXT UP, ATLANTA: The Panthers defense knows it'll need to show improvement to limit the high-powered Falcons offense in the Georgia Dome.

"They are 3-0 and (Matt Ryan) is a great quarterback, he really is," McDermott said. "He's doing a lot at the line of scrimmage. A lot of no huddle out of a lot of different personnel groups, and they put a lot on his shoulders.

"As he goes, so goes the offense. He's got weapons all around him with the running back (Michael Turner), the tight end position (Tony Gonzalez) and now with both Julio (Jones) and Roddy (White) outside and (Harry) Douglas in the slot. We're going to have our hands full. Our players know that."

Last week against the Giants, missed tackles were a major factor in Carolina's inability to get off the field and McDermott needs to see more sure-tackles in Atlanta. 

"We've got to improve tackling," McDermott said. "You don't get anywhere in this league if you don't tackle well. We have to improve the tackling and that started in training camp. We emphasized it but we haven't gotten it to where it needs to be yet. We're going to keep working on it."

OFF NIGHT FOR OFFENSE: While the Giants offense found its groove early last Thursday, the Panthers offense never got in gear.

"There were plays to be had for us; we just have to get better at our consistency," offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski said. "You're playing a good team like New York and you have to be firing on all cylinders. We were just off a little bit."

As the deficit and frustration built, so did the offense's propensity to look for a big play to get back in the game.

"I think one of the things that we all are doing at times is pressing, and trying to do too much and compensate," Chudzinski said. "We have a lot of real competitive guys on the team and if we stick to each one of us taking care of our jobs, I think good things will come."

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