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Foxhole: First practice


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

On who did not practice: Thomas Davis (knee), Steve Smith (arm), Jeff Otah (knee), Jonathan Stewart (ankle), Louis Leonard (knee) and Duke Robinson (conditioning). We did have one injury during practice. Sean Ware had a bee sting and had an allergic reaction, so we took him off the field.

On how the first practice went: Good. It's been a year since they've been in pads, not that it's sloppy, but guys are getting used to that and it's the first time they've had the armor on for awhile. But I thought it was a good first day.

On not having quarterback Jake Delhomme in training camp: With every season comes change. You have a new personality. We feel comfortable with the guys we have. Obviously, we all liked and miss Jake, but there are other guys - Muhsin Muhammad, Brad Hoover, a lot of guys - that have been a big part of this organization for some time. Now we've just got a younger bunch.

On trying to get a young group of players ready to play in a hurry: That's the case every year. It's a race now. Everybody is 0-0 and everybody is fighting for the same thing, so it's not all business as usual in the National Football League.

On how Dan Connor is doing at middle linebacker: Good. Dan is a good football player that's played a lot of roles for us. This is the first chance that he's had to start and get considerable playing time. I liked what I saw this whole offseason and what I saw today.

On if he is hesitant to move Jon Beason from middle linebacker because of how well he has played there: There's no question he's proven himself there. He's had a couple of Pro Bowl seasons in my opinion. Right now, we'll just see how it falls. He's getting reps at Will, and we'll just see who the three best ones are. Hopefully, we'll answer that question in camp.

On if moving Beason to the Will is permanent or if he is still looking at other options: We've got some new faces there, and we don't know what our best combination is going to be yet. That's why we're here in camp. That will be a day-by-day evaluation, and we'll try to get our best three on the field.

On if he is concerned about Beason making the defensive calls from the Will rather than the Mike: He's still making our signal calls. He's out in front in the huddle and he'll make all those calls. Those three guys are on a string anyway, so regardless of whether it's the Mike, Sam or Will, they can communicate those calls after the huddle.

On rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen being in camp on time: I think it's important for everybody to be in camp. We don't get a chance to do this very much by the nature of the rules in our league as far as padded football. Having everybody in camp on time at least makes the playing field level and they're at every practice.

On what Clausen needs to work on: Familiarity - like anything, the first time you do it it's a little more foreign than the second and third time. It's just a matter of reps and getting game looks in game conditions. That's critical for any quarterback.

On if he liked how the quarterbacks practiced today: Yeah, (but) it's one practice. There's no question we're young, and I'm looking forward to seeing them in game conditions and we won't get a chance to take a look at that until the preseason starts.

On rookie Armanti Edwards making the transition to wide receiver from quarterback: We got a lot of that done - about 20 opportunities - in the offseason. He's definitely a playmaker. He's good with the ball in his hands. He proved that in his college career at the quarterback position. There are a lot of different roles on this football team that have to be filled, and we'll evaluate him in a few of them.

On the importance of staying healthy during training camp: It's always a key, whether it's training camp, preseason games or regular season games. It's a physical game. It's a contact game that sometimes doesn't bode well for the body. Hopefully, we can stay healthy and that be true with any team in the league.

On if he envisions rookie Eric Norwood lining up at multiple positions: Right now his base position for us is linebacker. We'll see how that goes. He spent a lot more time with his hand in the dirt in college. He definitely has those skills, so he can be a designated pass rusher as well as an every down linebacker and we'll evaluate that as we move forward.

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