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NFC South Whispers

Fox hasn't lost Panthers players despite rough start

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By PFW staff

We've heard the following whispers around the NFC South lately:

• The Panthers are 0-4 and frustration is mounting, but we're told the infighting and finger pointing that sometimes plague a team during a rough stretch haven't begun in Charlotte. Some players are said to be less than pleased with the play-calling of offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson. One source pointed out that the play execution has been a bigger problem. Despite the difficulties, a source on the scene said head coach John Fox hasn't lost the locker room.

• Saints rookie CB Patrick Robinson's role will expand while CB Tracy Porter recovers from arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a lateral meniscus tear. Porter is expected to miss close to a month. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was critical of Robinson before the season, but we hear the first-round pick has shown improvement since training camp and has earned more trust with his performance on defense and on special teams.

• The Buccaneers are frustrated with their offensive line, particularly when it comes to run blocking. They're employing a variety of strategies to jolt the ground game, including getting some of the running backs behind Cadillac Williams on the depth chart more involved. Yet, some of the blame for the problems is being directed toward O-line coach Pete Mangurian, who has been preaching to his troops about the importance of consistency.

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