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Foxhole: Minicamp reflections

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

!On his impressions of the three-day minicamp: I thought it was good. We're obviously young but we've got a lot of energy. Guys are willing to work hard, and I'm seeing that. Now we've just got to mold it into a football unit.

On if anything or anybody stood out: A lot of guys. I don't like singling people out but overall I liked our efforts and I liked the attitude they came (with). I'm just getting to know a lot of these guys because they are new to myself and the staff. They all kind of caught my eye as far as their energy level.

On if he approaches things differently because there are so many young players: Not really. Coaching is coaching - high school level, college level, pro level - it doesn't matter. You've got to execute football plays on the field, and that's where we are right now. We've increased our team speed some. We've got a lot of youth. With youth comes energy, so that's the good news. Now we've got to direct that energy in the right way.

On the increased team speed: I'm anxious to see how we play the game. I think track speed right now we're faster but we've got to learn how to play football fast.

On how rookie wide receiver Armanti Edwards did: The things I've seen so far: he's got excellent football character, he understands the game, he's a football player. We're asking him to be at a different position. That will take a minute, but he's got the ability and the mindset to get it done. I think he'll get better every day.

On rookie wide receiver Trent Guy, who is from Charlotte, N.C.: He's got excellent speed and quickness. That did catch my eye, and the coaches weren't yelling at him too much for not being lined up right or knowing his playbook. I'm anxious to see what he does as we keep progressing forward.

On if Guy will be used primarily as a kick returner or wide receiver: I think both. He's got a skill set at wide receiver and obviously as a return man.

On why the decision was made to trade safety Chris Harris: We've got a budget, and that had something to do with it.

On how hard it was to release so many veteran players during the offseason: This league is all hard. Whether you've got young ones, old ones, experienced or inexperienced, that all can happen to you at any time in a season due to injuries or things just happen to you as a football team. I don't look at this any differently as a challenge as maybe some injuries and situations we've dealt with in the past where you rely on younger players.

On if the youth at wide receiver is a concern: Every year is always a concern. You're competing against 31 other teams that are fairly talented, too. We'll take it one day at a time.

On wide receiver Steve Smith's role with so many young players at the position: Veteran leadership. One of the reasons why we do our minicamp the way we do, where we combine the rookies and the veterans, is some of the best tools of learning are watching a guy do it. A guy like Steve Smith or Jon Beason at linebacker or even a Jordan Gross or (Jeff) Otah or (Ryan) Kalil on the o-line, those guys can show these young guys how to do it. As much as it is important in that meeting room and on the practice field, I think watching a veteran guy do it helps.

On how Smith has matured: He has grown up. I've been able to watch him grow up in front of my eyes. He's definitely matured a lot, not only as a player but even as a young man.

On if wide receiver Brandon LaFell, who worked with the first team some, has impressed him with how quickly he has picked things up: As I've told all of these guys, don't concern yourself with the depth chart; you're here to learn. We rolled different guys through because that's how we do it. We've just started the race. It's going to be more important what happens when we start to finish the race.

On what he has seen from LaFell so far: He's a big, speedy receiver. A lot of those guys have added some juice to that unit, and we'll see how they do when we start playing real football.

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