Fox: "There's not a quarterback controversy."

John Fox was quick to put the Panthers" "QB controversy" to bed during his Monday press conference. "There's not a quarterback controversy," Fox said.

"Jake made some great throws and he made some not so great throws," Fox said of Delhomme's performance. "But that happens. It probably wasn't one of his better days. He threw the one ball that was returned for a touchdown and came back and threw a great pass to Smitty (Steve Smith) that went 80, so it was a good throw, a good catch and a good run after the catch. Not his best but not his worst ever either."

Fox said that he never considered benching Delhomme, who had three interceptions on the day, which was solely responsible for the Lions even being in the game to start with.

"I think he realizes that it's not good for the effort to throw interceptions, and we've got to continue to improve in that area," said Fox. "He's got to get better. We had this happen to us over the first two games. We settled back down and it has popped back up again. A lot goes into that. There's pressure. There are people in your face. It's hard to see. It's hard to react. Throwing off one leg versus being able to plant and deliver the ball. So it's not just all the quarterback. It's a variety of things."

One of those "things" is the absence of the running game. Stephen Davis was abysmal, rushing 13 times for only 27 yards, for a 2.1 yards per carry average. DeShaun Foster, the only Panthers RB to consistently gain positive yardage rushing, stayed at home in Charlotte with a knee injury. That left Davis, 2004 wonder Nick Goings and preseason fan favorite Jamal Robertson the only RBs healthy. The trio only gained 49 yards rushing combined.

"The defenses are committing some people to stopping it," Fox said as he tried to defend his RB corps. "It's not one of those areas where you can put blame on one thing - the backs, the tight ends, the fullback or the offensive line. If you run every play like it's diagrammed in the playbook, it will be a touchdown. The reality is the other team practices, too. It only takes one error technically or assignment-wise or them committing an extra guy to the run box (to stop a run). It's not just one area."

When one reporter suggested that it was Foster's absence that caused the deficiency, Fox was quick to spread the blame around. "Not really," said Fox. "Personnel-wise, we lost Kris Mangum, who replaced Brad Hoover at fullback. Running without a fullback sometimes is a little bit tougher. From a personnel standpoint, that was probably the biggest blow. Not that we didn't miss DeShaun. We'd rather have him out there. But that wasn't the reason we struggled."

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