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Foxhole: Full contact


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

On injuries: We did Richard Marshall back; he practiced full today. Thomas Davis (PUP - knee), Aaron Francisco (hamstring), Chris Gamble (knee), Mike Goodson (ankle), Trent Guy (hamstring), Nick Hayden (oblique), Charly Martin (finger), Eric Moore (hamstring), Jeff Otah (PUP - knee), Jordan Senn (shoulder), Steve Smith (PUP - arm), Jonathan Stewart (PUP - foot), Tyrell Sutton (calf) and Hilee Taylor (knee).

On how difficult it is to accomplish things in practice with so many players out: I think it is more difficult on the guys in because they get more reps. But in our case we've got a lot of youth. Guys are holding up pretty good, and it gives them a chance to get those reps they need to gain that experience they need.

On his assessment of the team after 10 practices: The challenge here is getting better every day. Our attitude and our work ethic have been to the point where I think we're accomplishing that. Albeit we're missing some guys, but sometimes that can be a blessing at this time of the year. Hopefully, we'll get a little healthier as we go to take some of those reps off those other guys.

On the six-play goal-line scrimmage: I thought it went good; I thought guys had the right mindset. That's the thing you've got to start preparing for. We missed a short-yard scrimmage last week due to some numbers at the running back position. Although it was only six plays, it was our first taste of live football. It turns up a notch. We'll get our next opportunity in Charlotte at Fan Fest where we'll have some scrimmage situations and see how we're growing and playing live football.

On how defensive tackle Louis Leonard and guard Duke Robinson have done since coming off the physically unable to perform list: Good. Duke is a very powerful guy, and I think he needs to get a grasp on his weight a little bit. But he is a powerful guy that we think has got a chance. Louis Leonard is back out there, and he played about two games for us last year before he was injured. He's looked good so far, and we need to continue to grow him and get him ready for an NFL season.

On running back Dantrell Savage: He's a guy we picked up due to numbers. We've got a bunch of backs sitting under the tent. He's come in and picked up the offense pretty quick; he was in a similar offense in Kansas City as far as terminology. He's giving us a breather there at the running back position.

On if Savage's kick return skills played a role in the decision to sign him: Yeah. I don't think we've gotten him too many reps there. We've spent a lot of time getting him coached up on the offense, but he's got a chance.

On running back Josh Vaughan: He flashed to us in the offseason. He's got good vision. He came in lower on the list, but it's not where you start the race - it's where you finish. He's got some size; he's smart; and he's adapted pretty well.

On if he finds himself and his staff coaching more because there are so many young players on the roster: The biggest thing is you don't know because you have not seen them play a game yet. Where as a veteran guy that's been back and played for you, you've seen him in those spots. With young guys they're working hard out here and they are learning. They're trying hard. Now it's just getting them that game experience.

On if the element of not knowing rejuvenates him and gets him excited about coaching: Yeah. We coach; that's what we do. We coach veterans hard; we coach young guys hard. The method doesn't change. It's just getting the product to where you want it to be.

On his impressions of defensive tackle Ed Johnson: Good. He's still learning our system and how we do things. He's getting better every day.

On wide receivers like Kenny Moore and Wallace Wright getting more opportunities with wide receiver Steve Smith out: With some of the injuries to some of the guys that we know about that aren't out there quite yet, the good part of that is you get some of these young guys more reps and you get a longer look at them. Like anything, the more you do it, the better you get. So they are getting a lot of opportunities.

On if quarterback Matt Moore has taken hold of the leadership role: I think it all started last year. People forget, he was the guy the last five games and he grew in that stretch. I've seen him grow this offseason; I've seen him grow in this camp. At the end of the day, we're all evaluated on what happens on game day, so time will tell.

On if he believes Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre is retiring: I don't know; that's somebody else's issue. Brett's accomplished quite a lot in this league, and at some point I think he will retire. Whether it's sooner rather than later, I have no idea. But I was with (Minnesota Vikings head coach) Brad Childress a little bit over the summer in Afghanistan. That was a topic of conversation that will stay between me and Brad.

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