Comments from Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox following the team's morning training camp practice.
On injuries: Tyler Brayton (ankle), Quinton Culberson (thigh), Thomas Davis (PUP - knee), Aaron Francisco (hamstring), Chris Gamble (knee), Mike Goodson (ankle), Trent Guy (hamstring), Steve Justice (back), Jeff Otah (PUP - knee), Jordan Senn (shoulder), Steve Smith (PUP - arm), and Jamar Williams (shoulder). We did get back out there today: Charly Martin, Jonathan Stewart and Garry Williams.
On if it was encouraging to have running back Jonathan Stewart back: Yeah. In fact, he was carrying his helmet and I got a little excited.
On what the process will be for running back Jonathan Stewart: Day-to-day. We'll see what he can do. We started him a little slow today in some walk-through and individual and we'll build that back up as he's medically capable.
On if Stewart will practice once a day for the time being: One-a-day for sure, maybe even two-a-days very little. We'll talk about that with the medical staff, see how this went today and evaluate it from there.
On how hard it has been going through practices without Stewart considering how vital he is to the running game: You always like it when guys are out there. The more you do it, the better you get. The good side of some of those guys missing time, whether it's a Steve Smith or Jonathan Stewart, you get to look at other guys. That helps in those young guys' development. But you would always to prefer to have all of your working parts out there.
On what the Panthers need to improve from the first preseason game: Some of the things are correctable. We didn't pass protect as well as we needed to. When we game plan, we look at four games. You know exactly what the opponent is going to do. You see all their blitzes; you see all their pressures; and you see their personnel. One frustrating part about preseason is you don't get the opportunity to game plan, so a lot of it is new and you have to understand basic concepts and some of the finer points of things without actually repping them. Sometimes that's kind of expected. That was an area we need to get better. Leaving points out there as far as in the kicking game with a bobbled snap on a field goal and then a missed extra point. Then we gave up a couple of big punt returns. But some of those were against down the line guys. There are some things we need to improve on in that area.
On what he was pleased with: I thought for the first time our tackling was pretty good. Defensively, our pass rush was pretty good. I thought our quarterbacks played well. Given when we did protect and they had time, we did a good job.
On why offensive line play is a little slow to develop in the preseason: We're missing a couple of guys. We had two tackles out of the game - Jeff Otah and Garry Williams, two veteran guys that we count on. All-in-all, it's more the frustrations of preseason. It was the first time against a 3-4 (defense). That's a bigger adjustment than people think and we didn't practice against a 3-4 all week. Some of their blitzes are a little bit different out of the 3-4 than a 4-3. A lot of it is correctable, and I'm definitely not in any kind of panic mode.
On the progress of rookie defensive end Greg Hardy: We obviously saw some of his skills and talents during practices, both during the offseason and training camp. With the first game, you never know how a guy is going to react and I thought he reacted very well.
On defensive end Eric Moore: Eric kind of showed early in the offseason and early in camp. Then he had a little bit of a setback with a muscle pull and missed a little bit of time. But for a couple days of practice and coming back, he obviously paid attention. He is a veteran, and I thought he performed pretty well Thursday night.