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Quotable: Wednesday Open Locker Room


Q: Do you think that this Carolina team will be a little different from the team you faced in Week 2?
A: "Yeah it definitely looks like they're playing with a little bit of poise and a little bit of energy out there. It's going to be tough. Too bad for us, but I think it's going to be a good game."

Q: What are they doing different?
A: "They're not really doing too much different. I think that they're just playing better. That's all there is to it. When you lose a couple of games it makes you say how do we want to go about our season? And I'm sure that they're at that point where they're saying that we're going to turn this thing around. It's going to be tough."

Q: What about your PETA ad?
A: "It's something that me and my wife talked about and it's something that we feel strongly about. It's a great cause. Especially when you educate yourself and you find out what's happening out there in that world. It's a great cause and it's something we felt strongly about."

Q: When did you shoot it?A: "That was during the offseason."

Q: Did they come to you guys and were there any reservations on doing it?
A: "They came to us. We talked about it. It was something that we definitely talked about. Obviously that's something that I have never done before and I'm usually not deeply political like that. So it was something that we definitely talked about and said you know what, we feel strongly about this and let's do it."

Q: Did you feel like this PETA ad was the right thing to do?
A: "When I saw that tape I said that this is something that I feel strong about. This shouldn't be done and it's not right. I had never done anything like this before and we, my wife obviously included, we definitely had to think about it. I am glad with the decision we made and whatever the follow up may be I'm glad that we did it."

Q: Have any team mates commented on it?
A: "A couple of the players and coaches."

Q: What was there reaction?
A: "Some stuff that I can't say. I almost had to slap somebody. I'm just kidding. It was all in good fun. If you do something like that then you better be prepared that the guys in the locker room are going to let you know what they think about it. It was all in good fun."

Q: That was alright with you?
A: "I can take it. I have been around for a long time and I have heard it all before. It's all good stuff."

Q: Midway point in the season and is this what you envisioned coming here? Having a 5-3 record?
A: "Obviously I wish we would've won more games, but a the same time we're going in the right direction and that's important. As long as we stay healthy and we start hitting that stride. Obviously the running game is really coming along and I think that's going to open up a lot of things that we want to do on the offensive side of the ball. It's important that we just keep taking it one day at a time and keep accumulating victories."

Q: You said that you're having a lot of fun here. After winning two games all of last year you've got to think that this isn't bad?
A: "It's a lot more fun when you win and I did say after the game that I won only two games all of last year. So to be 5-3 at the halfway point is a dream come true, but I'm not too surprised by it. We're a good football team and we've got to keep getting better."

Running Back Michael Turner

Q: Carolina has improved a lot since Week 2 don't you think?
A: "Yes they look like a totally different team now then when we first played them. I think that they're more comfortable with their new defensive coach and they've been playing some good football. Even though they lost last week they still fought hard."

Q: What have they been doing differently?
A: "Just the intensity level and I think guys know exactly what they're doing now, just fitting into their system. That's something that you've got to get used to sometimes as a team."

Q: What do you think about your record of 5-3 at the halfway point?
A: "We're still in the fight. We've still got a chance and that's all that you can ask for right now."

Q: When you look at the NFC picture is there a certain number of wins that will get you in the playoffs?
A: "No because there are a couple of teams that are playing real good right now. You've got to go out there and put yourself in the best position to win by taking care of your own business and whatever happens happens."

Q: Because of injuries how does it feel to be the guy completely carrying the load for the running game?
A: "It's my job. That's what they brought me here for to begin with. Injuries didn't have any effect on that. I've just got to play big every week."

Q: What is the grade you would give your performance this year as compared to last year? Is it fair to compare to last year?
A: "There are different things that are going on this year than last year. I'm just going out there and trying to be productive. I can't give myself a grade right now. I will do that at the end of the season. Each week I am just trying to get better every week."

Q: How difficult is it to beat someone twice in this league?
A: "It's very difficult. Guys are familiar with each other and they're more determined to not let the sweep happen. You want to go out there and fight hard and it's tough, but it's a task that we're capable of doing. Hopefully we can go to Carolina and pull off a win."

Linebacker Mike Peterson

Q: As for the Panthers what problems do they present?
A: "They're a great running team. They can run the ball real well. We'll have our challenge this Sunday on stopping the run."

Q: What's the difference in Carolina from Week 2 to Week 10?
A: "I think they've won a couple of games so they've got some confidence. Whenever you win a couple of games you get a little confidence. (Steve) Smith has been getting the ball a couple of times so I think that they're trying to get the ball rolling for them."

Q: Why is it so hard to win twice against an opponent in one year?
A: "Because they get up for you. Nobody wants to be beaten twice. They're going to look at the tape and the coaches are going to be on them hard this week, but we're ready."

Q: What's the key to staying on course throughout the season?
A: "First of all taking care of your body and getting in the routine of doing the same things so you're taking care of your body, don't get comfortable and along with that keeping your eyes on the prize. You set your goals in the off season. We're all aware of our goals and you've got to keep your eyes on that and keep climbing to those goals."

Q: Did you make an adjustment from NCAA Football to the NFL as far as taking care of your body?
A: "Oh yeah. Probably just after my first two years in the league. I tell the young guys now, but I've been there. Those first two years you leave practice and hit the streets and try to find where the club is. When you get a little older you realize what's really going on and you realize that this is your job, you put that to the side and wait until February, March and April to party like you want to."

Wide Receiver Roddy White

Q: What's the Carolina defense like?
A: "They've got some guys who can run around and get to the ball. They're causing turnovers and playing real good. Their defense is keeping them in all their games. We've just got to go out there and attack their weak spots that we think we can take advantage of and score some points early."

Q: Talk about playing a team twice, a team that is desperate to save their season?
A: "They're desperate right now at 3-5. We've got to go down there with intent to come out with a win because we need it just like they need the game. We've got to stay where we are in the standings because we're three games down to the Saints. We've got to keep pace and hopefully the Saints will lose a game."

Q: Why is it so hard to beat a team twice in this league?
A: "Because you've got to go play on the road and road wins are hard to get in this league. You've got to be hitting on all cylinders when you go on the road to get road wins. That's the biggest thing we've got to be hitting on all cylinders and get a road win."

Q: What's the difference in Carolina from Week 2 to Week 10?
A: "Their intensity. From our first game until now we've been watching film. They're flying around and making plays and they're getting to the ball. If they continue to do that they're going to get turnovers like they've been getting. We've got to keep the ball away from them guys and not turn it over and not give them opportunities on offense to score."

Cornerback Tye Hill

Q: What was the locker room's reaction to Tony's PETA ad?
A: "He's a great player. He's got a lot of years on a lot of guys, so I don't know how much he's going to get."

Q: How are you going to cover Steve Smith?
A: "Everybody knows Steve Smith. He's a great player, he's a fierce competitor. He plays with fire. He's going to be tough. They've got a good running game. Carolina's starting to put things together. It's definitely going to be a tall task for us."

Quarterback Matt Ryan

Q: You've seen the Tony Gonzalez PETA ad but you'd rather focus on Carolina right?
A: "Yeah my focus this week is on Carolina. I think that will be good for everybody."

Q: How far would you go for a cause?
A: "Well for the right cause you like to back and support those kinds of things. I think that Tony is passionate about it, so it's a good thing."

Q: A lot has changed since the last time you played the Panthers. Do you expect to see a change in the Carolina defense?A: "They're playing well right now. We felt like it was a good defense when we played the first time week two of the season. With that said they're playing at a high level right now and we've got our work cut out for us. They always have had a talented front four with Julius Peppers is a very good player, their linebackers are solid. Even with Thomas Davis being down they've still got a talented group. So it's going to be a tough challenge for us but we will be prepared."

Q: What are you thoughts on the DeAngelo Hall incident?
A: "I saw the replay, but it's tough not being in the center of it's tough to comment on it. You've got to love guys on your team having your back."

Q: What grade would you give this offense so far this season?
A: "I'm not sure if you can put a letter on it. I think we've done a pretty good job, but still have a lot of improving to do, myself included. I feel like we can play better. This is the time that we want to start peaking in November and December. We feel like our best football is ahead of us and if we play our best football the next two months it should give us a chance."

Q: It's only your second year in the league but you already know that it's difficult to beat a team twice in a season. That's what you're trying to do this week.
A: "It's always difficult, especially against Carolina. We're going up on the road in a tough place to play against a tough, physical team, a team that plays good defense and runs the ball well. It's always a tough challenge so it will be a good one on Sunday and we will be prepared."

Q: The running game is going better. What's been the difference to you?
A: "I feel like we're doing a good job. Our receivers are doing a great job down the field of blocking and opening some things up in the secondary for Mike. Mike's making some plays to. Our offensive line is opening up holes, but he's making some guys miss and running over people in the secondary. When you have a running back like that it gives you a chance every week in the running game, regardless of who you're going against."

Q: Seems like the return of Ovie Mughelli has helped to.
A: "Yeah Ovie helps. He is a big part of what we do in the run game. He's physical as a fullback. He does a great job of blocking against not only linebackers, but defensive lineman as well. When you have a big strong fullback like that that opens up holes it's a big part of our run game."

Q: Do you have a number in your head that would get you into the playoffs?
A: "You never know. You never know how many you're going to need, but our focus right now is to try and get the next one. We feel like if we take that mindset week in and week out that will give us a number that we need at the end of the year."

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