Comments from Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox following the team's morning training camp practice.
On injuries: Mike Goodson was practicing today. Steve Smith camp off of PUP (physically unable to perform); he's working into practice. DeAngelo Williams was gone again for personal reasons. He'll be back tomorrow. Tyler Brayton (ankle), Quinton Culberson (thigh), Thomas Davis (PUP - knee), Aaron Francisco (hamstring), Ray Hisatake (neck), Jeff Otah (PUP - knee), and Jamar Williams (shoulder).
On having wide receiver Steve Smith back: He's been catching a little bit on his own with the trainers and those kinds of things, testing it (arm) out. Today, they (athletic trainers) had a comfort level as far as him running around a little bit, obviously non-contact. Running some routes, getting the timing with quarterbacks.
On how Smith adds a different element to the offense: Obviously, he's one of our better players, so it's always nice to have a guy like that out there.
On if he expects Smith to be rusty after not practicing for the first two-and-half weeks of training camp: We'll have plenty of time to get him sharp. He's always come in great shape. He always takes great care of his body as far as being a true pro. I think he'll do what's necessary and I know our training department and coaching staff will have him ready.
On if he feels compelled to play Smith in the preseason: Not really. I feel compelled to have him ready for that opener and whatever that takes getting him ready.
On if he is comfortable with Jon Beason at weakside linebacker: I feel comfortable with him at any linebacker spot, whether it's third down at Mike or Will or whether it's first or second down at Mike, Will or Sam. He's a guy we know the most about; he's got the most history with us. He's got the ability to play at any of those spots. Right now, we're sorting out who the best three are to get ready for the Giants opener.
On Beason playing middle linebacker in certain alignments: In some third-down things without getting too technical. He plays a variety of spots; he knows a variety of spots. All of those guys are interchangeable. It's a little bit like the offensive line. The more flexibility guys have, the more useful they are for us on game day.
On if Beason will wear the defensive headset in his helmet on game days during the regular season: I haven't decided those things yet. We're still trying to pick the team and see who we've got surrounding him. He's definitely capable of doing it. He's done it and he's got the most experience at it. The other night, because it was preseason and on defense you are only allowed two headsets, we didn't have one on him because he knows the signals the best. We're set up to operate whether it's with a headset or without one, so it's not that big of a deal.
On running back Josh Vaughan: He's a young guy we brought in. He's got real good football character. He's got great awareness. He understands the game. He's slipped right in there and done a good job. He's got good vision. He's a good size back, so we're playing him a little bit at fullback and halfback. We'll see how it shakes out.