Panthers’ Frank Reich says Carolina ‘practiced silent count’ in preparation of Cowboys fans en masse - Garrett Podell, CBS Sports
Carolina may not have a home-field advantage this Sunday.
The Dallas Cowboys have the NFL’s largest fanbase — their average home attendance of 93,548 leads the NFL this season — and the Carolina Panthers are preparing for the fans of ”America’s Team” to descend on Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, en masse for their Week 11 showdown on Sunday.
So much so that Panthers head coach Frank Reich has his team preparing to use a silent snap count against the Cowboys. It is a practice utilized in raucous, road environments when opposing fans are so loud that the visiting offense uses it to avoid miscommunication. Rare is it that a home team has to employ such this practice.
“I think everyone knows how well Dallas travels,” Reich said Friday, via ESPN. “We have a great city that other teams’ fans like to come to. We’re prepared, we practiced silent count this week if we have to use it. We’re prepared either way.”
On the field, the Cowboys are looking to cut down on their NFL-worst nine penalties per game on the road this season. Perhaps an environment where Dallas fans are the most vocal, like they could be on Sunday, is what the Cowboys need to improve upon their road-game discipline.
Brown plans to have a “grown man” approach to Frank Reich taking back play-calling.
Like head coach Frank Reich before him, Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Thomas Brown cut right to the chase to begin his press conference this week—even if it wasn’t the easiest thing to do.
Brown spoke with reporters early this afternoon, a day after Reich reclaimed the team’s offensive play-calling duties from him. The first-year coordinator started his media availability with a statement that sounded like it was from a 20th-year coach.
“This is a grown man’s business, and I’ma handle this the same way I will every situation moving forward—and that’s as a grown man,” Brown said. “When you talk about true leadership, the role of a leader is to make people in situations better. So, I’ve been that way, committed to that my entire career before being here, since being here and continue to do that moving forward.
“One thing a leader does not do is tuck his tail between his legs and find ways to run and hide from conflict or adversity. To me, it’s the exact opposite. Stand tall, keep choppin’ wood, you’ll find ways to fix problems and help people. That’s what it’s about. And so, here we are moving forward. Focus on the Cowboys.
“I’m sure there’ll be a bunch of questions. It’s not about me, not about Frank. I have a job to do, I’m committed to that job, always been committed to that job. And the focus is on tryna help our team by being in the best spot to win football games.”
Panthers players, and DC Ejiro Evero, know to always be ready, as injuries are just a part of the game.
CHARLOTTE — Perhaps you’ve noticed, the Panthers have had to deal with some injury problems this year, particularly on defense. The fact they’ve still played at a reasonably high level has kept them competitive, but it’s also remarkable considering the number of replacements they’re dealing with.
They had high hopes on defense this year, based largely on guys such as Brian Burns and Jaycee Horn and Shaq Thompson, along with new safety Vonn Bell coming in to lead the way. But last week against the Bears, those first three spots were filled by rookie pass-rusher DJ Johnson, a cornerback originally signed to the practice squad after the Chiefs cut him in Dicaprio Bootle, and a journeyman linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill. who came here to be a backup. And two weeks ago against the Colts, it was Alex Cook, an undrafted rookie who was recently signed off the Giants practice squad, starting in Bell’s spot.
Among others. It’s been that kind of year.
“So like, ‘next man up’ is almost a way of life,” Johnson said with a grin because it has had to be for the Panthers this season. “It’s something that you don’t just prepare for, something that you’re constantly preparing for.”
“It’s so much about the nature of the NFL; people are going to get hurt, and everybody needs to understand that, players and coaches. And if you’re not coaching the bottom part of your roster as much as the top part of it, you’re going to get burned,” Evero said. “We try to preach that message, and we try to get the guys to buy into it that, hey, even if you’re not playing a lot and your playing time is not meeting your expectations, you’ve got to stay ready because the last thing you want to do is you get your opportunity, and you’re not ready.”
The Panthers’ final injury report.
The Panthers listed four players as out for Sunday’s game against theCowboys on the final injury report of the week.
That group includes outside linebacker Marquis Haynes Sr. (back), who returned to play his first game of the season last Thursday but needs more time.
His absence is at least balanced out by the fact Brian Burns (concussion) cleared the protocol this week and had no game status listed after practicing fully the last two days.
Cornerback Jaycee Horn has also been ruled out, though he hasn’t been activated to the 53-man roster yet. He’s practiced on a limited basis this week, his first work on the field since his Week 1 hamstring injury.
Four players, all of whom practiced fully on Friday, are listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.
Here is the Cowboys’ final injury report for Week 11.