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Jake Delhomme Interview

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On looking at the Jets as a 2-6 team?
Absolutely not. After watching four games yesterday one thing you do notice is how extremely fast their defense is. You can certainly talk about (John) Abraham and (Shaun) Ellis and their LB, and I have the utmost respect for someone like Ty Law. I guess we can relate, sort of, to this team because they’ve had so many injuries and they’re 2-6. Where as last year we had all these injuries and we were 1-7 and we felt we were a better team. They’re a dangerous team. I know their defense, they’re loaded.

On if the Panthers are starting to get the swagger back that they had a couple of years ago?
I don’t know if we had a swagger, I think we played confident football. I think we’re starting to do that. We’ve played a couple of decent games after the bye week and we’re just going to keep on trying to do what we’ve been doing. We practice and prepare for it, we just have to play a little bit better. It comes from work and preparation and getting it done on Sunday. Now we have another big task in front of us this Sunday.

On Steve Smith and how he has recovered so quickly?
Absolutely. Steve is 26 years old, he’s a young guy. We saw a couple of years ago how good we thought he could be. That was really his third year playing receiver and learning the position. I saw him all training camp last year and he had an ankle injury, a broken ankle, but he came back. What he is doing this season is what he?s done all pre season. He comes to work every day, he works hard, he’s making plays for us. He is our go-to guy.

On the low point when they were 1-7 last year and how they were able to turn that around?
I think the low point, especially for me, was when we played PHI and we were 1-3 or 1-4 at the time and we just got absolutely destroyed. We just had to keep fighting, keep going because it was one of those deals. No one is going to feel sorry for you. We just had to keep working and that?s what we did. Nobody pointed fingers, that was the great thing about it. Our coach stayed upbeat, stayed positive. The coaches, it wasn’t their fault we weren’t playing well, we just weren?t getting it done on Sunday. That was a big issue with us. We just kind of stayed at it and found a turn over in SF and kind of went on a role from there.

On almost becoming a Jet a few years ago?
I would have signed if I was offered a contract. This was in 1999. I didn’t have a job at the time. I went in for a workout and I think they had a bunch of injuries at that time too at the QB position I recall. It was just one of those deals where I came in for a workout, thought it went well, but I’m not sure what the whole deal was there, then I ended up signing back with the Saints a few weeks after that.

On the Panthers cheerleader situation and how the players are responding?
Between me and you and everyone else on this phone, it is 1:15 pm right now and we’ve been here well before 7:00 a.m. and I haven’t heard one thing spoke of it and I’ve been in our locker room. There’s nothing been said about it.

On how the Panthers defense has been a help to the offensive side of the ball?
Certainly they’ve done a good job for us, but that was expected. We really believe as an organization, Coach Fox, if you have a strong defense they can keep you in every game. We feel we have a very good defense and offensively we’ve done some good things. I’m proud of the fact we’re putting up some points so far this year, that’s always been nice. It’s a three-way prong: it’s special teams, offense and defense. When one end doesn’t hold up there end of the bargain we lose as a team. And that’s the way this team is, people won’t point fingers and go with it from there.

On the running game?
I think we’ve run the ball pretty well when we’ve had to. Last week it was 24-7 before we got back on the field in the second half and we kind of ran the ball a good bit and Tampa knew we were going to run the football. Our defense was playing extremely well and that kind of made the numbers look a little more miniscule than maybe we thought they should have been. But, certainly we’re trying to improve running and throwing and we’re starting to come together a little bit, and hopefully we can keep it going.

On running well in the red zone?
That’s been a big plus for us this year, we have scored in the red zone. Last week though we were down there on the one yard line, we had three chances and we couldn’t get it in. It was extremely, extremely disappointing from our end. There is a lot of work to be done.

On if Travelle Wharton will play this week?
I would assume.

On Wayne Chrebet and concussions?
I didn’t see the hit, but I did hear he had another concussion. A couple of weeks ago, my deal with DET, I came back within five minutes. I kind of knew what was going on and it never really got classified as a concussion because of all the tests they ran. I just got knocked silly for a little while. It certainly is something that I hope I never have to worry about. You certainly hope nobody has to go through that. It?s a scary situation, but I’m not educated enough to really speak much more about it. That will be up to the doctors and that individual and how they feel.

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