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Sunday, September 14, 2008
Panthers out of character in sloppy first half

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Throughout John Fox's tenure, the Panthers have been one of the league's more disciplined teams.

That's why the first half has been so surprising. The Panthers have been penalized eight times and Dan Henning seems to still be calling the plays. Yes, the Panthers have tried the old (and we mean old) draw play on third down twice.

The conservative approach isn't that shocking because that always has been, and always will be, John Fox's approach. But the sloppiness on the offensive line has been stunning. Obviously, that's got to change in the second half.

Fox's teams are always coached in a way that there's not much margin for error. The Panthers still have a chance to start their season 2-0 without Steve Smith, but that's not going to happen if the errors continue.