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Quotable: Head Coach Mike Smith


Q: How was today's practice?
A: "Well it was good to get back on the field. We made our corrections on Monday in the film room and now we are on to game planning for Carolina."

Q: What are some issues in facing the Panthers, who are 0-1?
A: "Well, they are the defending division champs. They were 12-4 last year and the third-ranked rushing team in the league, and I believe they were second in yards per rush. In addition on the offensive side of the ball, they have a very good receiver in Steve Smith. He had over 1,400 yards in receptions. He is a guy we have to account for as well. And then, defensively, they create a number of issues starting with the defensive end Julius Peppers. I think their linebacking core is very fast and they're very effective. Jon Beason, who was their leading tackler, I think is a very smart football player. Thomas Davis has got great speed and Na'il Diggs has been playing in this league for a long time. Then you throw in their two corners Richard Marshall and Chris Gamble, those two guys are guys who can create problems. So, we anticipate it to being a hard-fought division game. "

Q: What do you do for Sam (Baker) who didn't play them last year and has a big assignment against Julius Peppers?A: "Well Sam (and) our entire offensive line and backs are involved in the protection schemes. When you've got a guy that can rush the passer like Julius you've got to make sure you know where he is. I think they do a nice job. He is not always in same spot. They move him around. So we are going to have to do a good job of identifying him and where he aligns and make sure we are in place schematically to take care of him."

Q: When you see a quarterback like Jake (Delhomme) struggle, do you alter your game plan?A: "No, we don't really try to change our thoughts on him over one game. We look at what he has done over the past two or three years and the last three times that we've played him he has been very effective. He's a very smart quarterback who knows where to go with the football and I think it's going to be a challenge. We anticipate that we're going to get his 'A' game. We don't necessarily look at one or two games; we look at the whole piece of work."

Q: How is the health of your team?A: "We are very healthy. William Moore was back out participating, so we had everybody participating in practice today."

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