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Carolina Panthers

Foxhole: Next guy please


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

On injuries: Did not participate: Jake Delhomme - right finger, Richard Marshall - ankle, Muhsin Muhammad - knee, and Jonathan Stewart - toe. Full participation: Tyler Brayton - concussion and Na'il Diggs - ribs.

On the season-ending injury to tackle Jeff Otah: He's a great player for us. He started at right tackle the last two years. He's somebody we'll miss, but we've got confidence in his replacement to pick it up and help us win.

On tackle Geoff Schwartz and where he is in his development: Those are things we're getting ready to find out against a pretty salty defense, a pretty good defensive line. He played a little bit last week against New England there at the end. We've got some other options. We'll weigh all our options and expect those guys to step up and play good.

On the number of injuries the Panthers have had this season: For whatever reason, it seems like every other year we get whacked, and this has been one of those years. Nobody comes and rescues you. Nobody wants to hear about it. You've just got to plug in the next guy and keep swinging the sword. Our guys understand that mindset. We'll do the things we think we can do with the people we have and do it to the best of our ability.

On if Vikings quarterback Brett Favre looks any different now than in past matchups: Really not. I think he's executing the quarterback position very well. He's made good throws. He's managed the game very well. He's got a good supporting cast. I think they're one of the better offenses we've played to date, and they're pretty good on the other side of the ball, too. But I think he's had an outstanding year.

On Vikings defensive end Jared Allen: They are pretty formidable across that front, not taking anything away from Jared by any stretch. But inside they're good; they play good team defense; and he's definitely a force.

On Vikings running back Adrian Peterson: He's got tremendous speed. He's a breakaway back. He can take any run to the house; he's got that kind of speed. They've got a big, physical offensive line, one of the better blocking tight-end tandems there are in the league, and they've got some pretty talented wide outs to go along with it. They've got good talent, and I think it starts with their run game. That's what they've believed in, and he's an outstanding back.

On where Peterson rates among NFL running backs: He's up there. It's really hard to pick one. I think ours are pretty good, and there are some pretty good one playing in the league in both conferences. But you'd be remiss not to mention him up there talking about the best ones in the league.

On why the defense has been able to generate so many takeaways of late: I'm proud of them because they've fought very hard in games where sometimes they didn't have it real good as far as turnovers. They've hung together and continued to play hard, and I don't expect that to change any time moving forward. They're starting to get a little more comfortable with what they're doing, with each other and even though each other it's been a lot of different guys. They've still rallied and played hard and rallied to the ball.

On what needs to change on offense down the road: We're not done. We save all of the evaluations (until after the season). We are where we are, and there's not much you can do about it other than work with the guys you have to get better. Right now, that's all our focus and trying to do the best we can in the matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. Anything that needs to be done down the road or in the offseason, that's for a later date.

On if the Panthers considered signing Favre this past offseason: As far as personnel you consider everything at any position, whatever you can do, whether it fits in to your salary cap situation. There are just a lot of different things by a lot of different teams. But you consider everything.

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