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Transcript: John Fox Conference Call


Panthers head coach John Fox said his rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen is showing improvement every time he steps on the field

On preparing to play the Falcons:

"I think offensively they have a lot of weapons. They remain healthy, which is really helpful, especially in an NFL season. I think they've had pretty much the same starting group throughout the season, give or take a guy here or there for a week. Their offensive line has been intact. They have an excellent young quarterback named Matt Ryan. They've got Pro Bowl-type receivers as far as Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White. (Michael) Turner is turning out yards like he did a couple of years ago. I think offensively they're scoring points and possessing the ball and I think that's the way you win in this league. Defensively, I think they've been really good. Probably the most important stat is points. They play good team football with a huge return last week. I think that down in Tampa with (Eric) Weems that was a pivotal play. They've won close games and I think that's why they've won the record they have."

On progression of Jimmy Clausen:

"I think he has improved every outing. He missed a game. He's had six starts, I believe. He missed one with a concussion after the Tampa game. He came back and played pretty decent over the last couple of weeks, in particular in the game last week in the first half. Any time he goes out there, he gets a little bit better and more comfortable and the game comes back to him some."

On the development of the running game:

"We're going to run the ball. Unfortunately for us, we have been behind in second halves and that changes your game a little bit. We've been successful in running the ball all season. It's something we do and our staff does an outstanding job toning. Not that we can't be better, but we've done a great job managing that department."

On seeing a difference with Michael Turner's performance this season over last season:

"Not really. I just think they just weren't having as much success. The run game is a funny thing. It's a little bit like turnovers or takeaways. They come in spurts but I think they definitely did a good job in that department this year."

On seeing changes in the way teams defend the run against Michael Turner:

"Not really. They run the zone scheme much like we do. The run games in this league aren't that drastically different. It's not like college football. It's the execution of it, and every execution usually wins. I'm not really seeing much in the types of runs and those types of things. People change formations and personnel groups to keep you off guard but basically it's the same play."

On how the Falcons' loss against the Panthers last season might influence the Falcons' mindset this week:

"I can't speak for what's in their minds. Again, division games are what they are. Typically there, rivalries and records kind of go out the window"


On the status Chris Gamble:**

"He was inactive last week with a hamstring injury. He missed practice like a lot of different players do for personal reasons. We have guys that have babies and they are excused for personal reasons. That's all that was behind that. He was inactive for the game because of the hamstring injury."

On Chris Gamble's participation in Wednesday's practice:

"We have already practiced today. He did not practice."

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