Panthers Begin to Gear Up

Coach Dave Wannstedt addressed the media following practice on Friday, August 12th. See his comments to Greg Lee's shoulder injury.


On Greg Lee's injury:
Greg's a little banged up. But the good news is there's no surgery or breaks or anything, and it's just going to be day-to-day. I don't know the extent of it. But he was feeling a lot better today. We'll just take it a day at a time and as quickly as we can get him back, we will.

We checked it over last night. He'll be out here today watching practice. As soon as he can start catching and jogging we'll do that. We'll ease him into practice as soon as we can.

Today's the first day with shoulder pads. If there was a disheartening reaction (to Lee's early injury), it was because we didn't even have pads on yet.


On whether shoulder pads would have prevented the injury I don't think there's any question shoulder pads would have helped. It was when the other player fell on top of him (Lee) that he bruised it. But he'll be fine. That's the good thing.


On the first day with shoulder pads:
We need today. Today will be a good day. We need to put the pads on. Today we'll get a little more intense, particularly with our line play. This will actually help prevent some injuries I think from a linebackers' and running backs' standpoint. I know a lot of the guys were complaining about their shoulders being beat up. Even though it wasn't live, there was still some contact.


On possible benefit for young receivers with Lee's absence:
I don't think there's a positive side. Now do we have other receivers who are capable of going in and performing, or do we need to look at other options when we throw the ball? The good thing is we do have some capable tight ends, and we've got some capable backs who can catch the ball. The first reaction would be it's a great opportunity for other receivers to fill in and get a lot more work and prove they can do the job. If they can't, then we've got to find other people who can get the job done.


On evaluating players in pads:
We'll start getting a little bit better picture with our veteran guys. This will be the first intense work the freshmen will be experiencing.


On the upcoming first scrimmage:
Yeah, Sunday or Monday we will have a controlled scrimmage. We haven't stamped it in stone yet. Once we get the full pads on we need to take it to the next step and put the players out there where they can play the game.


On the offensive line:
I really have been encouraged with what Dale Williams has done up to this point. I would expect to leave Dale there (right guard), and I think we've got a battle for the right guard spot.
On the battle at defensive end:
We've got pretty good depth. You figure we've got (Chris) McKillop and (Charles) Sallet, and I will say this. Charles Sallet, he's a good football player. I've been very encouraged by what I've seen from him so far. We didn't get a chance to see that in the spring because he wasn't out there. We're real encouraged where McKillop's at. So you have those two guys. You've got Joe Clermond and Vernon Botts. So we've got some good competition there and at the defensive tackle position. I'm always a believer in rotating those guys. I plan on playing eight defensive linemen each week. We just have to make sure they're the right eight.


On having physical workouts:
That's the only way that I know how to do it. The thing about becoming a physical team is you can talk about it, but you have to practice it. You also have to practice it in the fall. This is when you do it. You don't become a physical football team in the third game of the season. Right now is when you have to take advantage of having this contact. We plan on doing that.


On the depth of the secondary:
Sam Bryant is close to full speed. We need for him to get back into it. You know he's coming off a broken (ankle). He's not quite 100 percent yet. We have Tez Morris and we have Mike Phillips playing back there. So we're really trying to find that third defensive back. (Jemeel) Brady is a guy that could be in the mix. I feel good about one or two of the guys for different reasons. But we still need to determine who that third and fourth safety are.


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