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Foxhole: Safety valve


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

On injuries: Did not participate: Thomas Davis - hamstring and Rhys Lloyd - (right) ankle. Full participation: Na'il Diggs - rib, Brad Hoover - back, and Jonathan Stewart - Achilles.

On the free agent signing of safety Keith Lewis: We have some familiarity with him. With Dante Wesley being out we had a roster spot, so we added a safety. He's a guy that's had some experience in the kicking game at a pretty high level, and we'll see what he can do.

On if Lewis will take most of Dante Wesley's spots on special teams: Game-day decision.

On if he expects kicker Rhys Lloyd to play against Buffalo: Day-to-day.

On how hard it is to replace a gunner, like Dante Wesley, on special teams: It's hard to replace anybody. You've got to train them, and in this case it's a new player. But it happens to every team in the league. The team (Buffalo) coming to town might be replacing their quarterback. It's part of the deal. But Dante, no question, is a valuable guy on our special teams.

On the value of a special teams player like Wesley: As I mentioned after the game, people talked about the kickoff return (for a touchdown by Tampa Bay). Different guys had to shuffle during the game, so it's a game adjustment. We didn't fit it as cleanly as we had the other kickoffs in the game prior to that. But that's part of the game. Guys get hurt, guys get whatever, and your replacement has got to be ready. That's part of the deal, and everybody deals with it.

On the Bills' two running back system of Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson: I think they are terrific players. The trend in the league today is having more than one back. It is a very physical position. Guys are taking shots at you all the time, whether it's in pass protection or running the ball. But it wears and tears on the body. Not just because you want to have a back-up in case somebody gets hurt but just to share that load during a game. Most everybody has got a pretty good one-two punch and they are all quality players, and these guys are no different.

On how quickly newly acquired defensive tackle Tank Tyler can help: About as ready as Hollis (Thomas) was. About as ready as Louis Leonard was. It's what we do all day. We're on the practice field; we're in meetings. We're going to do everything we can to get him ready. Those are all game-day decisions on who will be our guys on the dress list.

On if quarterback Josh McCown is at a point where he could play if he had not been placed on injured reserve: It doesn't really matter. That decision was made, so there is no going back. He's a good guy, a valuable asset. He's a good teammate; our guys like having him around. He's a smart football player, so he's been an asset to us off the field. But on the field for this season is out of the question.

On if he regrets putting McCown on injured reserve: It's like any decision. There are calls you'd like to have back dating all the way back to a long time. You can't look back. You just learn from it and move on. I don't really think about it much.

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