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November 27, 2008

Panthers practicing padless

Coach John Fox has changed things around this week. The Panthers practiced without pads Wednesday and Thursday, a move Fox hopes might help shake off the early-game doldrums that have plagued them recently.

"I like changing up," said Fox. "When you become stale, you've got to change the way you practice. I think sometimes change is good to refresh yourself mentally and physically."

The Panthers (8-3) fell behind the Atlanta Falcons 17-0 last Sunday on the way to a 45-28 defeat. The week before, Carolina trailed the winless Detroit Lions 10-0 before rallying for a 31-22 victory. The Panthers also trailed the Arizona Cardinals 17-3 on Oct. 26 before winning 27-23.

Fox wouldn't say if the Panthers would go again without pads Friday as they prepare for Sunday's game at Green Bay. But he'll make his decision based on intuition – and experience.

In 2005, the team mostly practiced without pads until a late-season victory against the Atlanta Falcons.

They practiced in pads throughout the playoffs that season, eventually losing in the NFC Championship game to the Seattle Seahawks.

Fox said the Panthers practiced in pads most of 2003, when they made their Super Bowl run. The following season, Carolina started 1-7 while practicing in pads. They went without pads the rest of the season – and won six of their final eight games.

"I don't think anybody's got it all figured out," said Fox, who has also increased the speed of practices this week in an attempt to help the team come out more quickly against the Packers. "It's a revolving deal. We evaluate the production on Sunday and go from there."

-- Linebacker Adam Seward (ankle) was the only player to miss practice Thursday. The Panthers had the afternoon off and will practice one hour later today so the players can attend meetings in the morning they normally would have been in Thanksgiving afternoon. -- David Scott

Posted by Observer Sports on November 27, 2008 at 03:36 PM | Permalink


Cool no Pads, makes since. There was no hitting at Atlanta so this should help at Green Bay. I hope it's not cold, since they did not practice in shorts and a T shirt for the cold weather.

Posted by: scott | Nov 28, 2008 8:17:42 AM

"...Fox... in an attempt to help the team come out more quickly against the Panthers." Makes sense to me because this team just seems to beat itself when it loses.

Posted by: ANILORAC OG | Nov 28, 2008 8:21:29 AM

Anil, you nailed it. It does go to show what a team this staff put together. The gameplanning and play calling is good enough to get the wins. These players just need to get over themselves and start playing like their careers depended on it. As if Getting rid of Kris Jenkins wasn't enough,
...maybe they should do something drastic to get these players fired up. I wonder if McCown WOULD do better than Jake. Jake is improving though. Hmmmm, maybe put Hangartner in?? I dunno, maybe Fox should pull a Singletary and moon his players. Nah! That didn't seem to work for Mike either...

Hey, how 'bout positive reinforcement. What if Peppers has a monster day against the Packers? Would signing him to a phat contract do the trick as far as motivating the rest of this team? Then again, the entire starting defensive line was given phat contracts after the were giveng credit for being the heart of the '03 team, and look how that turned out. Hmmmm... What to do, what to do?

Posted by: Keeping It Real | Nov 28, 2008 9:11:59 AM

In retrospect, I wonder if the benching of Landon Johnson had anything to do with the poor play of this defense and special teams coverage last week. Hmmm, maybe something behind the scenes happened that distracted this team. Maybe playing poorly was a passive way for these players to say the dissaprove of the move. I wonder if any of that played a role...?

Posted by: Keeping It Real | Nov 28, 2008 10:05:12 AM

Landon Johnson was signed specifically for the role of the expensive backup. That and they wanted to see if he could produce and oust anyone from the positions. Everything I've read about him so far says that the Panthers staff feels like they made a big mistake and chances are they'll cut him in the offseason. I've even seen some reports that they thought about cutting him during the regular season.

Posted by: Revshawn | Nov 28, 2008 12:38:48 PM

Yeah Landon Johnson is the epitome of a Non-impact player. We were already solid at LB, I don't know why they signed him in the first place. I guess they were worried about the injury bug again.

Posted by: Wayne | Nov 29, 2008 11:52:07 AM

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