John Fox had some commonts after the game:
Foxhole: Good bye
October 17, 2005
Comments from Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox's weekly press conference following Sunday's 21-20 victory over the Detroit Lions.
On injuries: Nothing has changed since yesterday.
On quarterback Jake Delhomme: Other than being shaken up, he did fine last night.
On linebacker Dan Morgan: He has a hurt shoulder. They're still evaluating that and deciding what they want to do as far as rehabbing it. I think right now they are just going to rehab it and see how the shoulder reacts to the rehabilitation. I think there was a dislocation involved. He'll be day to day. You can put a harness on it. There's different ways you can adjust it to play. It's way too early to tell yet (if he will play in two weeks).
On defensive end Julius Peppers: He broke a bone in his hand. They'll just cast that up, and he'll play with the cast. The cast stood up and he was able to play (against Detroit). He'll wear the cast until the bone heals.
On the timing of the bye week: If we had to list something on Wednesday, it would probably be a longer list. I think we'll get some guys back that didn't play yesterday, most notably Rod Smart, DeShaun Foster, Chris Gamble and Brad Hoover. We only went into the game with three running backs yesterday at Detroit. I foresee those guys being back, plus the guys we added.
On if changes were made to create more of a pass rush against the Lions: You always adjust a little bit. Probably about the same number of pressures. I think we just probably executed a little bit better and covered them a little bit longer. That buys time for the rush. I think defensively, our defense gave us an opportunity to win the game without a doubt. Was it perfect? No. But I think it was much improved over the week before.
On if this was the defense's best game of the season: I thought they were pretty strong against New England, too. To measure those two would be hard.
On if he feels fortunate to be 4-2 considering the number of turnovers the Panthers have committed: Luckily, we've stayed on pace with the other side of the ball. At the end of the day, it was not as widespread as it could have been had we not been forcing turnovers on the other side of the ball. Fortunately, we've been able to do that and been in six close games and won four of them.
On why the Panthers running game is struggling: The defenses are committing some people to stopping it. It's not one of those areas where you can put blame on one thing - the backs, the tight ends, the fullback or the offensive line. If you run every play like it's diagrammed in the playbook, it will be a touchdown. The reality is the other team practices, too. It only takes one error technically or assignment-wise or them committing an extra guy to the run box (to stop a run). It's not just one area.
On if running back DeShaun Foster not playing limited the Panthers options in the running game: Not really. Personnel-wise, we lost Kris Mangum, who replaced Brad Hoover at fullback. Running without a fullback sometimes is a little bit tougher. From a personnel standpoint, that was probably the biggest blow. Not that we didn't miss DeShaun. We'd rather have him out there. But that wasn't the reason we struggled.
On if playing close games is the Panthers nature: I think if you just look around the League, there were four overtime games yesterday. I don't think it is just relative to us. We've not been a part of a blowout, which can be good or bad depending what side of it you're on. We've had opportunities to win all six and probably opportunities to lose all six. But I think that's really the National Football League.
On how Delhomme played before he got hurt: He was up and down. Jake made some great throws and he made some not so great throws. But that happens. It probably wasn't one of his better days. He threw the one ball that was returned for a touchdown and came back and threw a great pass to Smitty (Steve Smith) that went 80, so it was a good throw, a good catch and a good run after the catch. Not his best but not his worst ever either.
On if he considered replacing Delhomme during the game prior to his injury: No. It wasn't like it was all bad. They made some good plays.
On reducing Delhomme's number of interceptions, three at Detroit and eight this season: I think he realizes that it's not good for the effort to throw interceptions, and we've got to continue to improve in that area. He's got to get better. We had this happen to us over the first two games. We settled back down and it has popped back up again. A lot goes into that. There's pressure. There are people in your face. It's hard to see. It's hard to react. Throwing off one leg versus being able to plant and deliver the ball. So it's not just all the quarterback. It's a variety of things.
On if the Panthers have a quarterback controversy: There's not a quarterback controversy.
On his state of mind when backup quarterback Chris Weinke came into the game: Really, I was nervous before he (Delhomme) went down. That was going to be about our last opportunity. But immediately, I knew he was going to be out and said, "Get Weinke ready." I think Chris saw it fast, too, because when I turned over my shoulder before I went out to see how Jake was doing, he was already starting to throw the ball. Chris has been around here a long time. He knows the two-minute drill. He knows the players. One of the plusses of having a veteran back-up is they've been there before. He's been with us; he's been with the team; he's been in the system; and he executed it very well.
On the percentage of snaps Weinke gets each week in practice: A small percentage, probably 15 percent. It's not a lot, but I think it's pretty standard around the League.
On if the offense gets simplified when the backup quarterback comes in late: No. Our two minute is pretty much locked in. There is a lot of communication that has to occur from the quarterback. Basically, the quarterback is the offensive coordinator. But it's rehearsed. He knows it. The good thing is he's not that far removed from training camp, not that far removed from training camp type practices where he's getting a lot of reps in that environment. If this was game 15, it may have been a little different than game six as far as that carryover. Like I said, he's been with us the whole time, so he knows it (the offense). He's been doing it for awhile. You expect a guy to go in and know what he's doing, and he did.
On Detroit's defensive coverage on Carolina's game-winning touchdown drive: Early in that series, they came with five-man pressure most of the time and played a man-free coverage. I think they were trying to rattle Chris, which is a common ploy when you get a backup quarterback in the game. Chris did a good job of recognizing it, and our offensive line and backs did a good job protecting it. It created one-on-one situations for virtually everybody. Ricky (Proehl) happened to be to his throwing side, and I think he was the first guy he saw. I think there is some trust there as far as the depths and the precision it takes in the passing game, and they hooked up on a few big plays.
On safety Mike Minter's touchdown-saving tackle on Lions tight end Marcus Pollard: One of the things you always stress, no matter what phase it is whether offense, defense or special teams, is hustle. You just never know what's going to happen, and that proved to be a game-saving tackle because we were able to put together a pretty good series there defensively and force them to kick a field goal and be down six instead of 10, which would have been a little bit tougher road. It was a critical play. Was it the only one? No. But it gave us a chance. Had he not caught him, it would have been a lot tougher duty for us. It was a hustle play. He wasn't involved in the coverage at all. He was just backside and was running to the ball on the throw.
On if Lions safety Kenoy Kennedy's hit on Delhomme was intentional: I don't think it was intentional. That game is played fast, and guys are trying hard. I think sometimes that stuff happens. We've been on the other side of that, too. It's not intentional. These guys respect each other too much to go after them. They want to play the game hard and tough, but I think for the most part most everybody respects the other players and doesn't intentionally try to hurt them.
On his bye weekend plans: I think my wife has got a few things planned for me. But other than that, I'm sure I'll watch games Sunday and do some