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Carolina Panthers

Foxhole: Seeking improvement


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

On injuries: Jon Beason - knee. C.J. Davis - ankle. Thomas Davis - knee, limited. Charles Godfrey - hand. Landon Johnson - groin, limited. Nate Salley - knee. Jonathan Stewart - foot. Travelle Wharton - excused for personal reasons. We had Lonnie Harvey and DeAngelo Williams back at practice.

On if running back DeAngelo Williams will play against Baltimore: Those are game-time decisions.

On if the starters will play into the third quarter versus the Ravens: That's the plan, but a lot of times some of the best laid plans you have to adjust. We'll kind of make those adjustments during the game.

On what he looks for in the third preseason game: Improvement. Again, not a lot of game planning; neither side does much. You let your starters play a little bit longer and you want to see them improve in the things you're doing offensively, defensively and in the kicking game.

On if tackling has been an issue in the first two preseason games: That's always an issue. If you haven't missed a tackle you haven't played. It's something you look for, and we need to continue to improve it. I thought we did from week one to week two and I expect to see the same improvement from week two to week three.

On the line between not getting players hurt by tackling in practice and keeping them healthy for the regular season: It's like holding Jell-O. You want to get them ready but you want to make sure you have some people to be ready with. It's all technique involved in tackling, and you've got to continue to hone that in because other than these preseason games we haven't done it in a year. It's something you're looking for, and hopefully, we improve that this week.

On the best way to practice tackling: It's fundamentals - how you practice, how you run to the ball, how you break down once you arrive at the ball. I think you can practice without going live, taking them to the ground. Hopefully, it transfers over to the game.

On the running game breaking out in the third preseason game last year: The key is to have break-out games in the regular season, so I don't know if anything we did in the preseason affected that. You're looking at execution, and I think we're looking for that this year. We've seen it at times and we need to improve on that.

On his assessment of the team's defensive tackles: We're hanging in there. The guys we have are improving, and that's what we look for. It's no different than any other position. I think they are making progress.

On outsiders saying the Panthers need help at defensive tackle: I can't affect what people say. We've got what we've got, and as coaches and as a coaching staff you try to teach and work fundamentally the best you can. I think that's where we're at right now. As a football team we've got to improve, and it's no different at that position.

On if he hopes to get some help at defensive tackle before the season starts: I hope for a lot things, but the reality is we've got to improve with what we've got.

On if he will be concerned if the Panthers do not add any other defensive tackles before the regular season: I feel comfortable with the guys we have, and we've got to do our best to improve them. What's out there, what's obtainable I can't answer.

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