« Connor's knee injury may be serious | Main | Connor has torn ACL »

September 22, 2008

Transcript of John Fox's Monday news conference

Fox200pforblog Here's a transcript of coach John Fox's weekly news conference with reporters on Monday:


Q. Are you any closer to knowing when Travelle Wharton will be back?

I'm anticipating there's a good chance he'll be out there Wednesday. It's not automatic, nothing is, but that's our hope.

Q. How much of a difference has it been without him in the lineup?

Any time you list a guy as a starter (and he's out), you're not 100 percent. That guy's there for a reason. Not that yesterday's mishaps were all because of that change, I'm not insinuating that at all. But getting Travelle back will be helpful.

Q. After watching the tape, can you assess the offensive line's play?

There's always room for improvement, not just because we lost, because there are areas in wins we could have played better. Without a doubt, they played better, but I don't want to take anything a away from them either. That's a pretty good (defensive) front of theirs, there were some matchups we didn't want to get in. When you get into passing down, a lot of sacks occurred, whether it was the 2-minute in the half or the game, or the last play before the half. All those situations you don't want to be in as an offense, and that proved true. Maybe all five of those sacks came from those situations.

Q. Were the offensive line problems an outgrowth from all the change you made there in the offseason?

It was probably a combination of everything. Truth be known, we've just got to get better and we've got to get better running it so we don't get in those situations. We've got to get better not having the penalties so we don't get in that situation, and we've got to get better scoring points so we don't get in that situation.

Q. Will you start using DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart differently?

I think they're both good players, unfortunately we've got to name one a starter and not the other. A lot is made of that. But we've got two tight ends who play and a couple of left guards who play. So they both have starter's capabilities and I don't think that's going to change.

Q. Did you get Steve Smith involved in the offense as much as you'd have liked?

If you look back got back look at the five sacks, he was about to really get involved. Unfortunately it didn't work out that way. But he had four catches. I thought he made some good plays and he helped us. We didn't have quite enough but that wasn't due to Steve Smith.

Q. Did he look rusty to you?

He felt good. He looked good and, again, I'd have rather had him practicing all that time and I'm sure he'd have rather have had that happen. He'll get better as we move forward. He might have felt a little gassed, but there's nothing like playing. You've got to play to get into that kind of shape.

Q. How's Nick Goings doing after missing the block on the crucial fumble?

Nick is a pro, he's exhibited that over time. What happened the other day, the guy 'mugged' up and Nick saw that he didn't come. He released and never really saw the guy coming. Guys make mistakes. All of us make mistakes.

Q. What happened with the called timeout that wiped out the blocked field goal?

Like all timeouts, I'm not sure we would have blocked it if ... they might have paused. On tape it looks like they could have. Again, we almost blocked the one that was live, I know that. It was very close and it's one of those plays where you never know.

Q. Did you call the timeout because there were 12 men on the field?

That was why. I wasn't trying to freeze them. What happened was we had some substitution changes, because Charles Johnson was injured, then all of a sudden he was back healthy. Our guys didn't realize his replacement was in along with him at another position. Rather than risk a penalty, I called timeout.

Q. What have you learned about your offense?

I've learned we're good enough to be 2-1. There's not a phase of our team where I think we've arrived. We've improved in some areas. We've still got areas to grow. Not too many coaches in the league are ready to say their teams have arrived. I'm definitely not one of them.

Q. How did your defensive front four play?

Not well enough to win.

Q. Talk about Jonathan Stewart's long kickoff return that was called back because of a block in the back penalty.

There was some hesitation on that return, I don't know if everyone remembers, where our return man wasn't really sure if he was coming out. We were back up inside the guy and I'm not sure he was going to make the tackle. It was a huge swing. A big play in the game. It was plus 10, minus 10 (points). A huge discrepancy in a big spot in the game. Whether you look at the timeout before the field goal, or that return, or the sack-fumble before the half or the third and 8 that went for 50. If they'd gone differently, the game could have been different. But that's the National Football League.

Q. Will Ryne Robinson play next week?

He's day to day. He'll practice Wednesday and we'll have to see. Until he's back, I can't really think about what-ifs.

Q. Talk about the Falcons this week.

They have the same record we do, 2-1. They've got a pretty good stable of running backs and a young quarterback who's playing well, we liked him coming out. They've always been pretty good on defense.

Q. How do you fix mental errors like the false starts and illegal formation penalties?

You've just got to continue to work on them. Everybody's responsible, the coaches are responsible, the players are responsible. Those are penalties that have to get fixed. It's been a problem the last two games and it's definitely something we'll address. I'm always a believer if it needs to be emphasized, it will be emphasized.

Q. Is it something you work on the field or in meetings?

It's on the field. You can say it's what they're doing, you can say it's the noise. But, truth be told, it's typically the pressure of the game. It can't be any noisier, you can't make the stadium any louder than the noise we practice in (with a noise simulator). It's guys getting used to each other, we've had some changes up there. The whole element, offensive linemen, tight ends, receivers not getting lined up right. It's getting used to playing with each other and getting it coordinated.

Q. How'd Jake come out of that hard sack?

Which one?

Q. The one where he fumbled and they scored.

He took a hard shot and I’m just glad he's healthy.

Posted by Observer Sports on September 22, 2008 at 02:28 PM | Permalink


I looked back at the replay of the sack, fumble, TD. It was another of the many penalties that were just flat out called wrong in that game. After the fumble, the Vikings player clearly has possession of the ball with his knee down and in contact with Delhomme. With under 2 minutes left in the half, why wasn't that even reviewed?

Posted by: Morganja | Sep 22, 2008 2:52:24 PM

That block in the back call on Stewart's 90 something yard return was BS. It wasn't even close to a block in the back. I knew we were screwed when Fox called that timeout and negated the blocked FG, it just wasn't going to be our day.

Posted by: Michael | Sep 22, 2008 3:17:58 PM

Hey Morg, too bad they didn't let Hocule call the game.

Posted by: Michael | Sep 22, 2008 3:18:45 PM

The offensive penalties must be fixed, their really isnt much excuse for that.

I'm also shocked that the play wasnt reviewed, it most likely would have been a TD but it was close enough to warrent a booth review.

Posted by: matt | Sep 22, 2008 3:28:24 PM

I agree with both comments. Would have challenged that fumble TD play. (Though they still could have scored a tying td a few plays later) Should have never dropped back to pass in the first place. Run it with Stewart a few times and punt if they called timeouts and take the 7 point lead into the second half.
What block in the back? I was ticked off they called a block in the back and that the announcers agreed. it was a decent block that has been done many times before especially whenever Hester returns the ball for the bears...

While the Panthers offense played pretty poorly, and the defense was worn out on 9+ minute and 11+ minute drives but the Panthers were also playing against the zebras on Sunday.

I’m kind of scared for the next 4 or 5 "should win games" because from the last 4-5 minutes in the second quarter until the end of the game, Panthers looked like the 2006,2007 teams of old... poor on 3rd down conversions and sloppy offense/defense.

Last note.. Why in the hell did we try to get a score with less than 35 seconds left in regulation, down 10? TAKE A KNEE, end the game and admit defeat to a better team. Are we purposely trying to get our players injured?

Posted by: Dave | Sep 22, 2008 3:43:31 PM

According to Fox, there were 12 men on the feild when he called a time out on the feild goal. So it was a good call by Fox. Otherwise, the Panthers would have gotten a pently and they would have gotten closer for the field goal or a first down. I can't really remember which it would have been.

Posted by: Lylestyle | Sep 22, 2008 3:45:52 PM

This is the second week in a row that Nick Goings has missed a block and it resulted in a score for the opposing team.Maybe they should consider putting someone else in who is willing and able to make a play.And it doesn't help any that Jake wants to hold on to the ball forever.HEY JAKE,STEVE ISN'T THE ONLY RECIEVER ON THE TEAM!THROW THE DAMN BALL!

Posted by: Delante | Sep 22, 2008 3:49:05 PM

They need to have 3 WR sets with Jonathan Stewart in the backfield.

Trust me they will do better, I know they'l work on them false starts, thats what killed us the past 2 games.

Plus having everybody back @ practice helps alot

Panthers 27 Falcons 14
If we are healthy at the end of the week

Posted by: paul | Sep 22, 2008 4:07:57 PM

I agree with Michael..when we had the one fumble where Marshall kicked it back to Taylor I think it was it would have been big or if we would have recovered the fumbled punt return. With those 2 and the penalty on Stewart's return you knew nothing was going right for us. I don't consider the timeout before the field goal a bad play at all, it would have been 5 yards and possibly a first down had we not done it.

Posted by: JV | Sep 22, 2008 4:16:20 PM

With nearly two minutes left on the clock and a timeout, plus Steve Smith on your team, I would be very disappointed if we would have just run the ball three times and punted. Yes the fumble and subsequent td were game changers, however you can't play not to lose. Up 7 at that point, with Minn getting the ball to start the second half and having moved it 60 yards on their previous possession, was not in a terrible spot. If we drive down and put a td on the board and go into half up 14 I think they are demoralized and we take that game.

Posted by: Mason | Sep 22, 2008 4:58:08 PM

I have to agree with mason on this, Jake is a very good-great 2 min QB, if we put a TD on the board gameover. It seems the same people will complain just to complain. If Fox ran 3 times to kill the clock I would be a years pay that the same people would be upset about him being to conservative.

Posted by: Billy | Sep 22, 2008 5:13:14 PM

Goings is past over the hill and should have been cut in camp. Fox continues his blind loyalty to veteran players, that is why Marshall doesn't start over Gamble, or even Lucas.

Posted by: Phil | Sep 22, 2008 9:47:38 PM

One thing I didn't understand is why we didn't throw more short passes. Steve on a little 5 yard slant, DJ or Moose on a 7 yard out or even some deep seem routes with a third receiver or back cutting across the middle. Against a great pass rush, we drop Jake back into five step drops all day. I think if we would have thrown some screen passes and a few short slants to Steve, like we did at the end of the fourth quarter, it would have opened up the offense and we would have moved the ball much better.

Posted by: Mason | Sep 23, 2008 8:55:36 AM

Q. How'd Jake come out of that hard sack?

A: Which one?

That pretty much says it all about this game, well said Foxy. We HAVE to get better line play this week.

Posted by: DB | Sep 23, 2008 10:00:10 AM


Sweet Defensive Play of the Week: Minnesota cornerback Antoine Winfield sacked Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme, picked up his fumble and ran it back for six points. TMQ suspects this play was an uncalled "automatic" -- if Winfield saw a certain alignment, he was free to blitz. On the play, Delhomme only looked to his left, with Winfield coming from his right. The Vikings' corner left his man uncovered, but Delhomme never looked that way. From film study, Minnesota coaches must have noticed a formation or down-and-distance situation in which they were certain Delhomme would never look to his right.

Posted by: isaiah | Sep 23, 2008 2:32:33 PM

What is the over/under Sunday for the number of times Jake Fumblelommee will fumble.

Start Stewart Fox don't start this crap like you did with Foster/Williams.

You better let the best one start, here is a hint he has 3 touchdowns. If not this could be bye bye for you.

Keep Goins off of the line at all times. He is picking up where he left off last year before his concussion.

Tell Jake to review how Vinny would release the ball. Jake can't hold the ball all day and night and not get the chicken beat out of him.

We need an accurate passer. With our weapons if we had someone consistent and accurate passing we would be a threat every week.

Posted by: jason | Sep 23, 2008 8:56:22 PM

jake is all over the place with his throws and at 37 i dont see any power anymore. i wasnt impressed with moore this year and mccown is mccown. time for a new regime to let peppers go and use that 16 million on a q.b.

Posted by: ray | Sep 24, 2008 10:23:13 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.