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Foxhole: Rain drops


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

On injuries: C.J. Davis - ankle. Thomas Davis - knee. Landon Johnson - groin. Nate Salley - knee. Steve Smith - shoulder. Jonathan Stewart - ankle.

On the possibility of the Panthers signing quarterback Michael Vick: As I've said before, you always keep all options open. I can't that say that's something we're heavily involved in this point. I hate ruling out really anything.

On practicing in the rain: It was good. These are conditions, and conditions affect the game. I think the more you can simulate in practice, the better. Our guys got a feel for it, and I think that's always good.

On if he makes any changes to practice when it's raining: Not really. The balls get heavier, so sometimes you might rest your quarterback a little bit, not that you are being soft on him, but the ball gets heavier and it affects his arm and the durability of his arm. You make adjustments on what kind of plays you run, what kind of defenses you run. But I thought it was good we got a chance to practice in it.

On how much he is looking forward to the first preseason game: Around the league at this point, everybody has been banging on each other for awhile, and I think guys get excited about a game situation and seeing where they are in their development as a team and individually. I know the coaches get excited about that and I'm sure the players do to.

On what he is looking for in the first preseason game: We've been installing offense, defense, special teams, and you've got game situations you're working on. There's no better place to evaluate it than in a real game situation, competitive against an opponent. It's just a growing process through those preseason games, and that's what you look for as a coach is that improvement.

On if he will expect more in the final three preseason games than the first: When you do this you expect to get better every day. Sometimes it comes to fruition, sometimes it doesn't. They all take on their own personality, but we're just looking for improvement, whether it's every practice, every game, whether it be preseason or regular season.

On defensive end Julius Peppers practicing on the left side and if he will play there during the regular season: Coach Baker and Coach Meeks, they are getting guys comfortable either way. It's a long season; you never know what's going to happen. It gives you flexibility. I think it's more fair to a player if he's had experience and had some reps and some training there. But a lot can happen in a season, and I think the more they are trained in different spots the better.

On if he still views Peppers playing primarily on the right side: I see him as an end and whatever is going to be best for us to win.

On the competition at nickel back: I remind them, it's not where you start the race it's where you finish. Right now we're in the development stage. We'll start evaluating as we go through the preseason.

On how defensive backs C.J. Wilson, Sherrod Martin and Captain Munnerlyn have looked: They've done a good job. They are good, young players that obviously we thought well enough of to draft them and develop them. They'll get a chance to show what they can do this Monday.

On linebacker Jeremy Leman's aggressive style of play: He likes to play football, and we'll see how it shakes out as we move forward. Sometimes there is a little extra curricular and you try to calm that down some and still have respect for your teammates and yet still play in a combative game physically.

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