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Game Quotes: Panthers vs. Texans


On the defense's play vs. Houston: "We did some good things defensively. Sean McDermott and the rest of the defensive staff did a nice job. I thought Sean called a very good game and put us in position to make plays. We missed some opportunities, that is disappointing and we will go back and look at those things as far as the defense is concerned. I thought offensively we had opportunities and we missed those as well but we kept fighting and we did the things we needed to do to win at the right time. In this league when you win, it's a big deal, it really is. It doesn't matter how or when or where. To me the big thing, more so than anything else is we came through this, we fought through this and we made something happen."

On the momentum the two big catches made for the offense: "We have some young guys out there, some young guys out there that are starting to play an awful lot of football and they are going to make some mistakes and miss some. But the biggest thing more so than anything else is we went up to Ted Ginn again and said hey, we believe in you, you are going to get your chance, we know it's coming. Same thing with Devin Funchess and I think Kevin Norwood is on track. He is learning what we need from him. He understands what we are trying to do. So I think as these young guys develop in the system, I think we will be fine. It's just a matter of keeping things close and not making mistakes that hurt us. Again, the turnover in the red zone was huge. It gave them some momentum and they took advantage of it and did some nice things as well. They came out in the second half and really set a nice tempo."

On the Panthers' wide receivers group: "I think we have wide receivers by committee. I really do. Teddy has some tremendous speed and the ability to be a playmaker for us. That's huge. I think Jerricho Cotchery is a solid veteran guy that even though he is not one of the starters for the most part, he is as big as anybody on this wide receiving staff. You saw what Philly Brown is capable of. I was really proud of Philly coming back and making the play that he did. I thought it was a great call first of all, a great play action protection. I thought Cam Newton through the ball right where Philly needed to catch it and Philly went up and got it. When our young guys can step up and make plays, it gives us the opportunity to win football games."

On what was going through his mind during Cam Newton's rushing touchdown: "Get it in. Honestly. That's one of those things that we didn't do during the preseason when we got down in the red zone. We didn't run the quarterback and truthfully he has always been a big part of our running game in the red zone. I thought it was a good call at the time. You always hope for the best with him and believe me he wants to put it in the end zone and he is going to do whatever it takes to get it in there."

On A.J. Klein's interception and linebacker packages: "We were in one of our zone coverages and AJ Klein rolled very nicely and had a good read on the quarterback and undercut the pass. It's one of those things that you go back and try to look at what we tried to do with the linebacking crew to try and keep the other two guys fresh, it was tough on Thomas Davis because he played the whole game. But both AJ and Shaq Thompson split time in nickel packages, where Thomas actually played the mike for us in nickel packages a couple of times, taking control of the defense and did a heck of a job."


On the team's offensive performance: "I think we played well. Throughout the game we had ups and downs and that was extremely frustrating, but yet we didn't give up too many sacks. The challenge was up front. We knew we had to come here and run the football efficiently and counter that with big plays downfield."

On his confidence in the receivers: "I think it is not about confidence. It is just about guys doing their job. Everybody sees the dropped balls and they are able to point to confidence. The truth of the matter is that we have to do our job. My confidence wasn't shattered in giving opportunities to guys that are doing what they are supposed to do. I am supposed to throw them the football and they are supposed to catch it. You know they are professional athletes and that is what we get paid to do."

On his leaping touchdown flip: "I just know that my heart was in my socks. When I was flipping I was like hey, I don't know how this is going to end. Then when I was coming down, I said hey I can stick this. So, I didn't stick it but I still think I got a good high rating by the judge."

On the adjustments in the offensive line to prevent batted balls: "It was very impressive to see those guys anticipation when I was throwing but what you expect. They have a highly trusted guy on the cross side with J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney is not too far from him, it is just playing more games. They are a dangerous tandem. I think our guys did a great job offensively. We have to keep getting better. Defensively, seeing those guys giving us an opportunity to go up big… you know I just love to see us finish. You know when we had those guys up 24 points, on the next series we just have to get that killer instinct. (It was a lull in there that we had just like the first half for the first quarter.) We just kept getting three and outs. With great teams, we just have to find a way to move the ball and switch the field position."


Thoughts on today's game: "It was a hard fought game. That defense, obviously we know that they're talented. They got a lot of guys you've got to account for, especially up front and it's a good hard fought win. We're 2-0 We've got a home division game coming up here and I think we're in a pretty good position."

On the offense clicking with long drives: "We scored 24. We had a bad fluke deflection that led to an interception in the red zone another time so now you're over 30. You start counting your opportunities We move the ball better tan we did last week where we obviously settled for that one field goal I think the second time down and then had a turnover, batted balls happen. That's kind of the way it goes but it was better. It's not great. We've got to score a little more than 24, but it was better."

On Cam Newton's play vs. Houston: "He was rolling Passing. Running obviously. His running really got us going early when we were struggling. That really got us rolling. Picked up first downs. Move the field position. Got us in a little bit of a rhythm so those design Q runs were big for us there in the first half. And then obviously the passing game I thought we were pretty good. I don't think our stats were a ton of numbers but we were efficient. We moved the ball and then obviously the two touchdowns to Teddy (Ginn) and Philly (Corey Brown) were huge."

On Newton's touchdown flip: "Yeah, I told him the Russian judge gave him a 3, but everybody else gave him a 10. I guarantee the first thing he thought when he fell was he wished he'd stuck that landing, but that was pretty impressive. I caught the replay."


On playing against J.J. Watt: "It's J.J. Watt, he's a pretty big deal, so it was really special to be able to go out there and play him. Just an absolutely amazing opportunity. Just wanted to try to take advantage of it as much as I can. But it was just a dream come true."

On his performance against Watt: "I thought I did a pretty good job. Postgame, I always think about the negative plays, the bad things and there were a few things that I'd like to change and do differently, but overall I was pretty happy with it."


*On his touchdown catch: *"It was just a deep post. Coach [Shula] really did a good job scheming up a good game plan and knowing where they were going to be in certain situations, in certain downs to get a certain coverage and he was right. We came out of the formation and saw them in the coverage we wanted them in. Cam knew, I knew where the ball was going and we just had to make a play."


Thoughts on A.J. Klein stepping in for Luke Kuechly: "He did a phenomenal job, phenomenal job. The thing that people don't get to see is the preparation, the work that he put in beforehand, prior this Sunday. I commend him for stepping in without a hitch. I knew he would. I had no issues with him going in because he works really, really hard and he made the plays when we needed him. And he's been working on the jugs machine so it paid off, it paid off today.

On winning while still figuring out defensive scheme: "Absolutely. I don't think any team would want to say we're the best at week two. I think the great thing about this team is that we're finding areas we're weak at and getting better the next week. We're finding areas we're strong at and getting stronger. The goal is to continue to rise and rise and when it comes to the playoffs you've got to be hitting on all cylinders so I think this defense, this team, is really getting better each and every week. I'm looking forward to next week because we've got to get better. We have to get better and I'm looking forward to it."


On the focus of the defense today: "Just really playing Panther defense. Our coaches emphasize that every week, talk about running to the ball and don't let up. I feel like I did that today. I'm still earning trust from the guys and I feel like I earned a little bit today, but I feel like I have to keep going."

On his is first regular season game in Bank of America Stadium: "It was a great game. Not from me, from the whole team. It was a tight one but we came out with it. It was a great welcome game for me, just being active and getting involved in plays and playing the call."

On A.J. Klein's play: "A.J. stepped up really big. He replaced Luke Kuechly and did a phenomenal job. He kept us in here late watching film, making sure we got everything down. Getting lined up and stuff like that. A.J. did a great job. He's versatile."


On playing without Luke Kuechly:"I play behind two of the best in the league, if not the best with Luke and what he's done his last three years, he's the best linebacker in football. Any time you miss him you're going to miss him. Like I said last week it's next man up mentality. You've just got to go from there. Prepare and capitalize on it."

On his interception:"They just ran an all go. We were just playing the quarters and I had to roll inside. I just rolled and the ball was right there. (Ryan) Mallet put it there. We talked throughout the week that Mallett was going to put some balls there and we just had to capitalize. I know we had a few earlier in the game that we didn't capitalize on – one that Bené (Benwikere) had and obviously some fumbles that didn't go our way but when turnovers present themselves we've got to get them."


On playing a close game: "When you play this game there are some ups and downs. That's what you look for and it's about how you come out. At the end of the day we got a victory and the only thing you can take from it is we have to get better in certain areas."

On having the confidence to bounce back: "Just growing up, coming from a coaching background, you get a little bit more in trouble when you do different things on the football field and that's something I never forgot. Every time I get to make a play. After I make a bad play I just want to do anything and everything to try and make a play. Being on this team and having the type of brothers that you have here, we never give up on each other and as long as we go out and continue to play and we show that we're open, Cam Newton is going to try to get us the ball."

On being Cam's primary read on the touchdown pass: "I believe everybody is the primary on every play. I just think that he went through his reads and I ran a great route to make it look open and he hit me. If it wasn't for the other ten guys on the field doing their job, then there's no me."

View game action photos from Carolina's 24-17 win over Houston.

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