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News » Carolina Panthers Inside Slant 2008-10-28

Carolina Panthers Inside Slant 2008-10-28

Carolina Panthers Inside Slant 2008-10-28
The Panthers enter their bye week at 6-2, just as coach John Fox hoped when they began the season.

Fox draws up his season into four quarters with the goal of being 3-1 in each quarter.

"I liken it being on the road to a final destination," Fox said. "We are on the path, so we haven't gotten lost. We're on target, on schedule. We have definitely not gotten there yet, but at the halfway point we're on schedule."

The Panthers should have a chance to go at least 3-1 in the third quarter of the season. They come out of the bye with games against Oakland, Detroit and Atlanta.

When asked what he likes best about his team, Fox replied, "I think we have played as a team. When one side has struggled the other side has come through. I think in all three phases, actually.

"I'm starting to see us play as a team, but like I said, we're on schedule, but we've not arrived. We've not hit our target yet. We definitely have work to do."

Several Carolina players said Fox turned up the heat a notch at practice last week making it a little more physical than normal.

"Coach Fox, the offensive line coach, the offensive coordinator, the receivers coach, they were on us as if we were 2-5," wide receiver Steve Smith said after Sunday's 27-23 win over Arizona. "We are probably beat up a little bit, because in practice they were riding us a lot.

"And I hate to say it, but obviously, coach knows best, because this went from a grinding game to a shootout, and we were able to withstand the offensive mistakes that we made, and it worked out."

Fox said he pushed the players extra hard because of the upcoming bye.

"It's like a two-minute drill right before halftime," Fox said. "You step it up a little bit and then get your break right before halftime. That was our approach as we prepared last week."

Middle linebacker Jon Beason believes the physical practices helped the Panthers.

"I'm a big believer in the idea that you practice how you play," Beason said. "If you go out and have a bad practice or give a lack of effort it's not like a switch is going to come on game day. Look at Steve (Smith), he makes the same plays in practice as he does the game. I think this week we had the best preparation we had all season."

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 28, 2008

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Damione Lewis Name: Damione Lewis
Position: DT
Age: 30
Experience: 8 years
College: Miami (FL)
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