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Carolina Panthers

Foxhole: Feeley gets crash course


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

On injuries: Did not participate: Chris Harris - knee, Nick Hayden - toe, Sherrod Martin - knee and Jonathan Stewart - heel. Limited participation: Everette Brown - ankle, Charles Johnson - knee and Jeff Otah - shoulder.

On why running back Jonathan Stewart did not practice: It wasn't a setback. We felt like he needed to take the day off.

On quarterback A.J. Feeley: (We're) trying to get him up to date. He was in here late last night with (quarterbacks) coach (Rip) Scherer, getting brushed up. He's a veteran guy; he's been around the game quite a bit. Now it's just a matter of learning our language and our terminology. He definitely has played quarterback in the National Football League, so he understands what it takes. It will be a crash course, but he'll come along fast I'm sure.

On if Feeley will be the backup quarterback against Atlanta: It will be a game-time decision. With a week's work, we'll have to wait and see. We've actually had a guy (Vinny Testaverde) start around here with a week's work. We'll play it day-by-day.

On the decision to sign Feeley instead of some of the other quarterbacks who were available: We felt like that was the best guy available for us, and that's who we selected.

On if the Panthers could have waited for quarterback Josh McCown to get healthy: Our medical people thought it was going to be a six-week injury, and six weeks is an eternity. I was definitely disappointed for Josh. I know he was disappointed. He's a guy who had invested a lot of time and we had invested a lot of time in him. Unfortunately, he got injured.

On how Matt Moore has progressed since his rookie season in 2007: I think he's grown. He hasn't had a whole lot more playing time since then. But I think he's more comfortable - in the league, in the playbook and in our system.

On getting back to playing smart and tough football: It's good to keep the game in hand. You want to keep it in close in the fourth quarter and then have a chance to win. Unfortunately in our last outing, it didn't quite go that way, and we've got to avoid that from happening. Being able to establish the run and be smart with the football is critical in doing that.

On the Atlanta Falcons: They're a good team. They beat a good Miami team at home. Miami played some giveaway; I think they had four or five turnovers. In this league you can't do that and expect to win no matter who you play. But they are as good as I remember them when they beat us last year at their place. They've got a good running attack and a talented, young quarterback who's got excellent mobility. They've added a new weapon on offense in tight end Tony Gonzalez. I think their defense is much improved. They've always been tough in the kicking game. They were an 11-5 football team a year ago and they're off to a good start.

On Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez: He's got veteran savvy; he knows the game; he understands coverage; he knows how to work coverage and get open. I think it's pretty evident that (Matt) Ryan has confidence in him. He does direct a lot of passes his way.

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