Comment on Carolina’s success on the road?
Fox: “We’ve been successful on the road, but not at home. I think a lot of it is who you play, not where you play. We know we’re in for a tough game there in Tennessee, and it has to be a business trip. That’s just the way it is when you travel. We’ve tried to instill that. So far, we’ve done that pretty well. ”
Do the Titans and Panthers match up similarly, and is their approach to the game similar?
Fox: “I can’t speak totally for Jeff (Fisher), but what I see on tape, that’s what I see. I’d say that’s shared by me. ”
What have you thought about the play of RB LenDale White?
Fox: “He’s definitely a hard runner. He’s a big back and he pounds the ball. He’s not indecisive in the hole, by any stretch. I think that’s what he brought to the table when he was in college and I think that’s what he’s doing in the National Football League. Personally I didn’t have any doubts that he could be able to do that as I watched him, and we spent a lot of time looking at him and evaluating him. ”
Are yards-per-carry an unfair statistic by which to judge White?
Fox: “What [Tennessee has] done good is moving the chains in the run game. They’re one of the few teams that have run it quite a bit more than passed it, if you look along the league stats, as far as number of rushes as they compare to number of passes. The reason is, they’re able to move the chains in the run game. ”
Has Carolina’s pass pressure been good despite their low sack total on defense?
Fox: “You’re always looking for something to improve on. You peek at stats just to help sell those points, but again, I’m not sure if Peyton Manning has been sacked a bunch of times. I know we didn’t sack him and to be honest with you, they didn’t sack us, and they’ve got a pretty good (defensive) front. Sometimes it’s made too much of. I’d like to see us have more sacks than we do because they’re negative plays against an (opposing) offense. It helps create longer yardage situations. It’s something we need to improve at, but I don’t think it’s the end of the world. ”
Has the Panthers’ pass protection improved?
Fox: “Really, I think our protection has been good all season. We’ll definitely have a huge test this week against Tennessee’s front because they are very good. But I don’t think it’s been a real negative. If you look at our quarterback injuries, you might think that. But they’ve been things like elbows, Achilles, and one guy broke his wrist in the preseason just falling. So it’s not like we’ve been getting land-slaughtered because of our protection. ”
What is your timetable for naming a starting quarterback for this week?
Fox: “I’m a day-to-day guy. We’ll evaluate that each day. It’s one of those kinds of injuries that is that way. We probably won’t make any final decisions until game day. ”
Did Vinny Testaverde practice today?
Fox: “He did not practice. ”
How is David Carr’s back feeling?
Fox: “Very well. He played last week. I don’t know that it’s 100 percent, but I don’t know too many players out there right now that are playing, who are 100 percent. That’s just the way the game is, and you definitely have bumps and bruises that you deal with. I think it’s more in that case. ”
Comment on the play of Panthers Justin Hartwig, a former Titan?
Fox: “I think he’s been a bright spot. He was a guy we thought a lot of. That’s why we went and signed him in free agency. Truth be told, it couldn’t have gone any worse if you had written it up, for him or us. He got hurt early on and never was able to get back, and really spent the whole year on IR (injured reserve). He came in this year, worked very hard and things have gone well for him. ”
Why is Hartwig playing center, and what about the rumors about moving him to guard?
Fox: “Early on, we had a situation with a player who was suspended for the first two games and we had to go to ‘option B.’ At camp, we were working him a little bit at guard, and had drafted a center out of USC, Ryan Kalil, that was probably more of a center than guard, and that didn’t pan out so we switched back. For the first couple games, he was still playing center. We did venture with the guard experiment, but we went back and left Justin at center. ”
How much can a dropped pass change a team’s momentum?
Fox: “We’re dealing with adversity or prosperity every day – all of us. It’s like that on game day, it’s like that at a practice. Sometimes you’ve got to learn how to deal with that adversity. You can’t dwell on it, and you have to move on to the next play. It’s a one-play-at-a-time type of mentality. Whether it’s a mistake in some phase, or a drop or a fumble, on game day, you’ve got to be able to get on to the next play and have a short memory. ”
What have you thought of Titans David Thornton?
Fox: “I think the whole defense looks good. Their linebackers run, they’re very active, they tackle well, they strip the ball. They’re playing behind a very good front. There are some young secondary guys that I think are playing very well. At least statistically, not that statistics always mean everything, but I think their defense has been salty all the way through that group all season. ”
What about the play of Cortland Finnegan?
Fox: “He’s played tremendous, not just from the coverage standpoint. He plays the run well and he plays blockers well. He’s been very impressive. In fact, we’re getting on our scouts about how we didn’t know about him (during the draft).”