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Foxhole: Polishing the passing game


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

On injuries: Sherrod Martin has a groin strain. We'll evaluate that. He left practice early. Other injuries: Tyler Brayton (ankle), Quinton Culberson (thigh), Thomas Davis (PUP - knee), Aaron Francisco (hamstring), Ray Hisatake (neck), Jeff Otah (PUP - knee), and Jamar Williams (shoulder).

On the plan for bringing wide receiver Steve Smith back: We'll get him back in football shape, and he'll be day-to-day from here forward.

On if he is satisfied with the passing game at this stage of the preseason: We've still got a lot more work to do in every phase - run game, pass game, pass defense, run defense - so we're still baby steps along in the preseason. I'm pleased with the effort and their work ethic. We'll see if we can improve from last week to this week.

On if it is hard to get the passing game polished without Smith on the field: No, I don't believe so. I think we've got young guys that have plenty of talent enough to play in this league. Last week we had more issues in the (pass) protection. Hopefully, we don't have other holes to plug and we can get that oiled up and actually watch our passing game work because you can't do anything in the passing game without protection.

On if he will view the results in the passing game differently this week because of the absence of New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis: No. We had our top corner (Chris Gamble) out last week. Guys miss time in the preseason, and it's just the way it is. We are going to get him (Steve Smith) as well as we can, and he'll be ready for the opener; there is no doubt in my mind. But we've got a lot of other young guys to get ready to play.

On the development of cornerback C.J. Wilson: He's had a good camp; he's improved. You look for improvement. If you're not getting better, you're getting worse. You don't stay the same. He worked very hard this offseason, both in the weight room and on the field in grass drills. I've seen improvement in his play. He had a good outing last week.

On his thoughts about going back to Charlotte tomorrow after the last day of training camp: There's no place like home, I think, for everybody. You've got your own bed, a place you're used to. Any time you break camp there is usually some excitement.

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