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Carolina Panthers

Foxhole: Eliminating turnovers an emphasis


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

On injuries: Did not participate - Sherrod Martin (concussion), Jeff Otah (knee), Steve Smith (ankle) and Jamar Williams (neck). Full participation - DeAngelo Williams (illness).

On the announcement that Todd Collins will start at quarterback for the Chicago Bears: I've seen him a few times over the years, not necessarily with their team. He's a veteran guy, been around the game a long time, knows how to play the position. Whoever they put at quarterback, they're going to run their system and play within what they do. That's how we view it.

On limiting big plays by Bears kick returners Devin Hester and Johnny Knox: Every week when you turn on the tape everybody has got big-time players. Hester has been to Pro Bowls as a return man. Knox has great deep speed. I'm sure they're looking at Mike Goodson and Captain Munnerlyn, making sure they do what they need to do to stop them. It's more of the same. Whoever executes the best wins.

On limiting giveaways against a turnover-minded defense like the Bears: That's an emphasis offensively. Ball security is a must every week. We didn't do too well the first three weeks of the season. We played a very turnover-minded defense a week ago, and, offensively, we eliminated turnovers. It will be that same emphasis this week.

On if the Panthers will pressure the Bears, who surrendered 10 sacks last week: This is pro football, and week-to-week you'll have teams, for whatever reason, not perform as well. That hasn't been a four-game problem. For whatever reason, it snowballed for them last week. Usually, you get what you emphasize. I know that's been a big emphasis for them this week. Every week that's kind of what you expect. What was a weakness last week might be a strength this week. That's something we'll prepare for very hard.

On if the Panthers pass protection is improving: Yeah. I'm seeing our team improving - all three phases. Each week is a new challenge, new matchups, and the Chicago Bears present some of those issues.

On some of the battles in practice between tackle Jordan Gross and former defensive end Julius Peppers: First of all, practice is a little bit different than games. They are both first-round draft picks, both good players. I don't think anybody completely shuts Julius down just like not too many people shut down New Orleans' offense. I think you've got to slow it down and win your share. That's what we'll be working toward. You've got two very fine players going against each other. Sometimes he changes; he won't be on Jordan every play. That we've seen evidence of. Wherever he is we need to know where he is, because he is an excellent player.

On if he was surprised by Peppers' comments that the Panthers mishandled his departure: I know I communicated with him. Whatever means of communication. I think he knows how I feel. I know how he feels. I don't share all those things in the newspaper.

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