Weinke happy to be back as a starter

After six weeks of being the back-up QB Chris Weinke can't wait for Sunday and his first start of the season.

Charlotte, NC – It has been over six weeks since Chris Weinke was benched in favor of quarterback Rodney Peete. But now Weinke is back as the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, for at least three weeks while Peete is out and maybe the rest of the season.

The Panthers won't speculate on what will happen when Peete is back healthy, and one reason is the Panthers want to see how Weinke performs these next three weeks.

"He's prepared hard," coach John Fox said. "I've been impressed with the way Chris has handled himself the whole season."

Weinke was upset with him getting benched and for a while early in the season he wouldn't talk to the media.

"It was about 24 hours of me pretty much being (angry), like any competitor. But eventually I sat back and realized why that decision was made. I needed to get better. The only way to go about that was to continue to work, and I feel like I've done that. I'll continue to work now that I'm starting again, and hopefully things will fall into place," said Weinke.

Weinke has been preparing as if he was the started these past six weeks and he thinks that is one reason that he is comfortable as the starter going in to this weekend's game against the Falcons.

"My preparation is going to continue to be the same. The one difference will be that I'll get a lot more reps during the course of the week in practice. That will help me in terms of making some throws and actually going through the practice mentally," said Weinke.  

Weinke was frustrated and wasn't happy as a back-up after being the starter for all of last year but he thinks that what went on the past six weeks has helped him.

"I had to focus on myself and find out what I needed to do to get better. I think the past six weeks I've done that. There are still a lot of things I need to work on, but I've prepared myself in the right manner and carried myself in a professional way that I think reflects the way I'm ready to play now when I'm called upon," said Weinke.  

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