Wahle calls players-only meeting

Sensing the season might be on the brink of falling apart, Panthers offensive lineman Mike Wahle called a players-only meeting for Wednesday to clear the air. Wahle, who is not a team captain, didn't want to discuss what he planned to say, but it's obvious something needed to be done following last week's debacle against Tampa Bay.

Carolina was dominated at home for the second straight time, losing 20-7 and prompting defensive tackle Kris Jenkins to say the Panthers are a team with "no heart and no passion."

"I think it's a good idea," said offensive tackle Jordan Gross during the open locker-room session a few hours before the players-only meeting. "There has been a lot that has gone on in the last week.

The Panthers travel to New Orleans and Arizona the next two weeks before having a bye and hosting Indianapolis at home.

Cornerback Ken Lucas said now is not the time for the team to become divided.

"We are all trying to put our heads together and make this thing work," Lucas said. "We can't start to point fingers and get our heads down."

The Panthers trail the Bucs by one game in the NFC South.

But it's not the record that is bothering the Panthers as much as it is how they're playing. They seem to be sleepwalking their way through the season and Jenkins seemed right on the money with his comments.

David Carr, who is expected to start this week against the Saints, said there are plenty of positives that can come out of a players-only meeting.

"When you get in there and hear it from a guy's heart and hear what they really feel about what is going on, that's good," Carr said. "I wouldn't say it makes you play better but it definitely makes you accountable to your guys. You want to step it (up) for them. You spend a lot of time with these guys and you don't understand how much it means to other guys that you play well. That is one of the things, be accountable."

"I think we have a good team and good players and now is the time to get on track," Gross said. "I don't think anybody wants to waste any more opportunities."

Tight end Christian Fauria, a 13-year NFL veteran, isn't a big fan of players-only meetings but said they can serve a purpose if players approach it with a team-first mentality.

"It all depends on the team," Fauria said.

"Sometimes it's just people talking just to talk and sometimes people make some good points and everyone is on the same page. Maybe just people want to get out what they're feeling. All I know is you can only have it once. Once you do, you can't keep having team meetings because it loses its credibility."

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