Comments from Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox following the team's morning training camp practice.
On injuries: Thomas Davis (PUP - knee), Aaron Francisco (hamstring), Chris Gamble (knee), Mike Goodson (ankle), Trent Guy (hamstring), Charly Martin (finger), Jeff Otah (PUP - knee), Jordan Senn (shoulder), Steve Smith (PUP - arm), Jonathan Stewart (PUP - foot), and Garry Williams (shoulder). We did get back in to work today: Nick Hayden, Louis Leonard, Eric Moore, Jamie Petrowski, Tyrell Sutton and Hilee Taylor. So we did get some guys back out there.
On if it was good having another healthy running back with the return of Tyrell Sutton: Yeah. Those guys fought through a tough few days of practice. We had limited numbers there, and even brought in a new guy - Dantrell Savage, who learned the offense pretty quickly. We weathered that first wave.
On waiving offensive linemen Noah Franklin and Kurtis Gregory and adding offensive linemen Jason Capizzi and Andrew Crummey: We had a little while to look at those other guys and we brought in two new guys.
On Capizzi and Crummey: They were in a camp and played last year. They have a little bit more experience than some of the guys we were playing with earlier. In both cases, we tried our best to upgrade.
On if he is doing anything special this week to get the team ready to play a game: We're all anxious - the whole coaching staff, myself. A lot of these guys we've never seen play in a game before. Again, it's all about preparation. It will be our first test against an opponent - live tackle to the ground football, quarterbacks included. It will be interesting. We're anxious and excited to see it.
On what he will look for in the first preseason game, especially from the young players: This game is kind of simple: what to do, how to do it, and be able to do it under pressure. The under pressure part is the part on some of them we have question marks, and this will be our first real test.
On defensive tackle Louis Leonard: We're still monitoring him a little bit, but he's coming back nicely. The same thing with Tank Tyler, who was on a one-a-day (schedule). Now he'll go into the two-a-days. We visit with the medical people and (determine) what's going to be the best long term for them. But I've seen progress in both of them.
On the competition at defensive tackle being wide open: It's wide open because we don't have any returning starters there. There's competition there. We're learning them; they're learning us. They'll sort that out as we move forward.
On who has been the biggest surprise of camp so far: A lot of guys have done well. Early in camp Trent Guy looked good. Unfortunately, he had a hamstring (injury). Matt Moore's comfort zone in our offense has been fairly evident. Brandon LaFell has flashed quite a bit. Defensively, C.J. Wilson had a good scrimmage on Saturday. I don't know that they're all surprises but are guys that have made plays for us thus far. Again, most of the evaluation will be from games, and we're looking forward to getting those started.
On cornerback C.J. Wilson making several big plays in the scrimmage at Fan Fest: It was good. He was impressive in that first outing, and we've got four more preseason games before we choose our team. There will be a lot of opportunities for everybody.
On the progress of the special teams units: Again back to the live reps, until you actually cover a kick against an opponent's return team - we haven't had a live rep yet. You just piecemeal it, and then we use the games as those experiences. But we've gotten a lot of technique work. We've got some guys that are more veteran as far as their knowledge and experience in the kicking game, which I think will be helpful.