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October 14, 2009

About that indoor facility...

The Panthers practiced in a chilly rain on Wednesday – which might be the case again Thursday and perhaps Friday as they prepare for their game Sunday at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

After practice, coach John Fox joked the weather conditions might work his team’s favor if it’s wet in Florida.

“If we can get some rain in Tampa…” he said. “Although it would be a hard sell to convince (players) it’ll be 45 (degrees).”

The Panthers practiced on their two natural-turf fields, both of which looked pretty beaten up afterward due to the wet conditions. They also have an artificial-turf field that usually goes unused.

“Today we managed to get through on the grass,” said Fox. “We’ll try to stay off the FieldTurf as much as possible, but if it gets real wet we might have to be out there on the artificial turf.”

One player joked afterward that the team should have practiced in its indoor facility – something Carolina doesn’t have. Several NFL teams – usually in either cold- or hot-weather cities – have indoor practice facilities.

--  Steve Smith still doesn't have a reception of more than 30 yards this season, and none for a touchdown. He's almost always double teamed and, according to Delhomme, doesn't come back to the huddle to tell him he's been open.

“If we've had another pass play and he was open,” said Delhomme, “that's going kind of raises my antenna to see him (the next time).”

-- If the Panthers make the playoffs – or even win their division -- after their 1-3 start, it wouldn't be unprecedented. According to the NFL, since the league instituted its 12-team playoff system in 1990, 11 teams have come back from at least three games under .500 after the season's first five weeks or later to make the playoffs. The San Diego Chargers were 4-8 last season and went on to win the AFC West. And if you think Carolina's hole can't get much deeper, consider this: Five 1-4 teams since 1990 went on to win their divisions.

-- The Pittsburgh Steelers signed rookie DE Sunny Harris off the Panthers squad to replace Aaron Smith, who's out for the season with a shoulder injury. The Panthers had signed Harris after the Steelers cut him, then Carolina released him and placed him on the practice squad. Carolina had hoped Harris would replace the injured Maake Kemoeatu, but it didn't work out that way. -- David Scott

Posted by Observer Sports on October 14, 2009 at 04:28 PM | Permalink


Doctor, I've got a pain in my Fox!

Posted by: JoeSchmo | Oct 15, 2009 9:45:27 PM

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