With Panthers head coach John Fox, who is in the last year of his contract, clearly looking ahead to his next job and being accused of thumbing his nose at his bosses, an observer in Charlotte told PFW a few veteran players are doing what they can to keep the team united. We hear players aren't talking about giving up, publicly or privately. OLT Jordan Gross and WR Steve Smith are two of the players charged with keeping things in order. An encouraging sign came in Week 10, when Smith went out of his way to stick up for a teammate that some people weren't sure he even liked. Smith tried to defend rookie QB Jimmy Clausen, drawing a personal-foul penalty for a late hit on Buccaneers CB Aqib Talib in the fourth quarter. Smith felt like Talib took a cheap shot at Clausen when he drove his helmet into Clausen's as the quarterback was stuffed at the goal line after a sneak attempt.