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Carolina Panthers

Foxhole: Saints marching in


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

On injuries: Did not participate - Jeff Otah (knee) and DeAngelo Williams (foot). Limited participation - Dan Connor (hip).

On linebacker Dan Connor's hip injury: It's a contusion. That's what happens sometimes when you play middle linebacker.

On practice: Their (the players) 48 hours are over. We've gotten over the last one and we're in to the next one. The New Orleans Saints are playing pretty good football right now, so that brings on a new challenge. They were pretty enthusiastic today.

On the Panthers' success defending the Saints: They've got a lot of weapons. They do throw it a lot; they do try to establish the run; they're very capable of running. Since our game, they ran it pretty efficiently against Tampa Bay. They ran it O.K. against the Steelers, who are a very, very fine defensive outfit. I don't know that you ever really stop this offense, but you try to slow it down and create turnovers. The teams that have beaten them have done that.

On if he would take allowing 16 points to the Saints every time like in the first game against them this year: It didn't work for us last time, so I can't say that I would agree with that number.

On the Saints' long drives in the first meeting: That's called ball-control defense, as long as you make them kick field goals. The red area is the key, and you just hope you can get points - whether it's off turnovers or your offense creates a big play. We had our opportunities in that game. Unfortunately, we ended up on the wrong side of it. But the length of the drive, as long as it doesn't result in scores and you take away the big plays, can actually be beneficial playing a team like that.

On trying to limit the Saints time-consuming drives: You'd prefer to keep them on the field and your offense have those 15-play drives. But like I said, it's a game of points, and if you can hold an explosive team like that to field goals - that's one way to defend them.

On rookie wide receiver David Gettis going from eight catches two weeks ago to none in the last game: It's not all just the player by any stretch. It's opportunities, how many plays. We only had 11 plays, I think, in the first half. So the number of plays doesn't give you a lot of opportunities to get the ball to anybody. But in his case it wasn't a performance-related thing; it's more of a scheme-related thing.

On the progress of rookie wide receiver Brandon LaFell in the last two games: He's put two games together, and what you're looking for with a football player, football team or any particular area of your football team is consistency. And he has put two good games together. I thought that was a great effort he made to score our only touchdown a week ago. It's all part of developing as a young guy in the NFL.

On if the offense has sorted out the communication problems it had against the St. Louis Rams: Every game brings a new experience and it takes on its own personality. At the end of the day you've got to execute against your opponent, and the challenge this week is against the New Orleans Saints.

On if there is a concern about finger pointing in the locker room when one side of the ball is playing better than the other: No. We've got high-character guys in that locker room. They understand what it is to be a team. Nobody can be the weak link; everybody has to step up; and we have to play together as a team. They understand that's the way you win, and we'll do everything we can to do that.

On if teams are attacking the Panthers differently with Jon Beason at Will (weakside) linebacker: No. As far as what he's playing, there's no doubt he feels more comfortable at Mike. It's a position he's played and went to a Pro Bowl playing. But being a team guy he's made the move to Will, and I think he's continuing to improve there.

On if linebacker Thomas Davis will be back this season: We'll wait and see. We've got to do something with him by a week from today. We've got three weeks once he begins practicing to make a decision and we'll see how that goes.

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