Originally created 08/06/02

Fox names starters, plans for preseason



SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Carolina coach John Fox said he plans to play his starters only about one quarter on Saturday night when the Panthers open the exhibition season against the Washington Redskins.

Washington head coach Steve Spurrier angered San Francisco 49ers head coach Steve Mariucci when he kept his starting offensive line in through the third quarter in this past weekend's American Bowl exhibition game, which the Redskins won 38-7.

Fox said on Monday that he has no plans on doing the same.

However, Fox said, the starters will play the entire first half in the Aug. 17 game against the Dallas Cowboys, and then play them nearly three quarters against the New England Patriots on Aug. 23. He'll back off in the Aug. 30 preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns, with the starters only playing about one series.

"What you've got to accomplish in the preseason games is getting your starters ready to play, and evaluating the other players so you keep the right 53 when you pick the team," Fox said.

The only position still up in the air is right guard where Fox hasn't decided between Jeno James or Kevin Donnalley.

The rest of this week's starting offense looks like this: quarterback Chris Weinke, running back Lamar Smith, fullback Brad Hoover, wide receivers Muhsin Muhammad and Isaac Byrd, tight end Wesley Walls, left tackle Todd Steussie, center Jeff Mitchell, right guard Jamar Nesbit, right tackle Chris Terry.

The starting defense is as follows: left defensive end Julius Peppers, left defensive tackle Sean Gilbert, right defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, right defensive end Mike Rucker, weakside linebacker Hannibal Navies, middle linebacker Dan Morgan, strongside linebacker Mark Fields, left cornerback Terry Cousin and right cornerback DeRon Jenkins, strong safety Mike Minter and free safety Deon Grant.

After missing two practices with a headache, Peppers returned to practice on Monday. Peppers, the second overall pick in the NFL draft, was limited in practice and is expected to do more as the week progresses and probably will play in Saturday night against the Redskins.