Foxhole: Falcons, Ryan present challenge

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

On injuries: Did not participate - Jon Beason (knee), Chris Gamble (hamstring), Nic Harris (head), Ed Johnson (knee) and Travelle Wharton (toe). Limited participation - Marcus Hudson (ankle), Tyrell Sutton (ankle) and Jason Williams (knee).

On the rivalry between the Panthers and Falcons and records not mattering when the two teams meet: I think so. It's a division game; we haven't won a division game yet this year. We're 0-4 right now and we've got them left twice in the last four games. They're obviously having a heck of a year. They've stayed healthy. They've got a very veteran team. But I'd say records go out the door in this type of game.

On the Falcons being 10-2 and winning a lot of close games: That's how you get to 10-2 - you win a lot of close games. Offensively, they're first in the league on third down. They've got weapons at tight end (Tony Gonzalez) and (wide receiver) Roddy White, both Pro Bowl caliber players. (Running back Michael) Turner had a little bit of an off year last year, but in years past and again this year he's been excellent. On top of it, they've stayed injury free; they've got two guys on IR after game 12. So that's the way it has to go for you to have success in the National Football League.

On Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan: He's a terrific player. We looked at him coming out (of college). Even his rookie year I thought he had an outstanding year. He's surrounded by a pretty good football team, a very veteran football team.

On what plays like the one punter Jason Baker made against the Seattle Seahawks tell him about the team: I've got the utmost respect for Jason. He's always been a professional his whole time here and my experience with him. It was a great effort on his part.

On if there were plays in the second half of the game against the Seahawks that were not on the same level as Baker's: No, not at all. I don't think our team's results have been related to effort at all.

On how cornerback Captain Munnerlyn has done in his two starts: Unfortunately, we didn't win either game. He's played very competitively, both as a return man and as a corner. He's played a lot of football for us. We had a guy (Chris Gamble) struggling there, and then the second week get injured. So I think he stepped in and did a good job.

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