View Full Version : Football Panthers O-Line Issues (Fox presser)

09-29-2008, 10:37 PM
Comments from head coach John Fox at his day-after-game press conference following the Panthers' 24-9 win over the Atlanta Falcons:

On injuries: Really, there's no new updates from yesterday.

So there's nothing new on the severity of Jordan Gross' concussion? No; same as (Sunday).

On whether there's a hard rule on giving players a week off after losing consciousness on the field: No, I don't really think there's hard-and-fast rules on any injuries -- particularly head injuries. We just rely on what the doctors say. (The players) get evaluated. They're way further along in evaluating that than they were, say, 15 years ago -- "they" being the doctors. We just rely on what the medical people say and go from there.

On whether his track record causes him to err on the side of caution on head injuries: I err on the side of what the medical people say, because they're the experts. I would not put anyone in harm's way as it relates to any injury, but, again, that's why I rely so closely on the medical people.

On talking with Gross Sunday night: I saw him after the game. He's good. He felt fine. We were real relieved that there was not a neck injury involved. After that, it's something we can deal with.

On how Gross got hurt: He got kneed in the head throwing a block. Actually he'd already thrown the block. He was kind of lying on the ground and a guy running by kneed him in the head. It wasn't intentional. It was a defensive guy. That would have added insult to injury if it was one of ours.

On Jeremy Bridges, Geoff Hangartner and Travelle Wharton moving around and playing because of injuries to Gross and Jeff Otah: It's happened twice so far in four games. I think both times those backups responded well. It wasn't the same guys in the same positions, as such, but typically you go into a game with seven linemen dressed -- five starters and two swing guys as backups. We were at that limit in (the fourth quarter), and really, the next step was going to be Jeff King.

How comfortable are you with that? Not real comfortable. It's kind of like our third quarterback right now -- which I won't mention even who it is -- but I'm not real comfortable with that, either.

On whether this makes him re-think how many linemen are in uniform on game day: Again, you always re-think things, and you don't know -- you have no idea what's going to happen during the game. If you get a barrage of injuries at one spot, anybody and everybody's in trouble as far as guys having reps and practicing there. You just try to do the best you can to be prepared, and hopefully they respond.

On how much work the backups like Hangartner and Bridges get with the first team in practice: Very limited. I'd say 20 to 30 percent of the offensive reps. They're on the service teams and stuff like that, but actually running our plays that we're going to run during the game that week, I'd say 20 to 30 percent. I think it probably would have been far less than that for Travelle at tackle. Again, he was just coming back from injury playing guard, so that would minimize the reps he took last week at tackle. But he's had them in the past, so that's helpful.

On still having an offensive line where players are in positions where players had played before: Well, that's what happens when you start developing players. Travelle's been with us for some time. Obviously, Jordan Gross has been with us. Ryan Kalil is only in his second year, but he's a guy that's been trained. A lot's been made of guys being in different spots this last offseason, but at least they have been with us. A lot was made of us having four quarterbacks (in 2007). Well, the problem was that none of them had been with us the year before, after Jake (Delhomme). Some hadn't even been in camp with us that year (Matt Moore and Vinny Testaverde). That's more the problem than the fact that you might be on 2, 3, and 4 -- they're all problems, but when it's guys that you've just signed a week ago, it's a little harder. And let's not forget that you've got a rookie right tackle (Otah) that's starting who wasn't here a year ago. So hopefully we won't spend a lot of time moving him around.

On whether Otah could have returned from his ankle injury if needed in the fourth quarter: Again, it's hard to operate in what-ifs. We didn't bring him back, and I'm not real sure (if he could have played).

On if an injured Otah would have been a better option at right tackle than a healthy King: Again, I don't want to think about either one, actually. We're through that one and on to the next one.

hopefully our young D-Line can cause their offense some fits

09-29-2008, 10:40 PM
appears Gross will be out, and Otah will play through the ankle sprain: