Panthers: Fox won’t put Vick issue to rest

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 13, 2009

Associated Press
SPARTANBURG, S.C. ó Carolina Panthers coach John Fox takes pride in avoiding direct answers to most questions, providing little information on injuries, depth chart issues and personnel moves.
It’s left the Panthers in the Michael Vick discussion ó even though the team has had no discussions about bringing in the former Atlanta quarterback.
“As I’ve said before, you always keep all options open,” Fox said Wednesday. “I can’t say that’s something that we’re heavily involved in at this point. I hate ruling out really anything.”
The rigid philosophy has left the Panthers on the short list of teams that haven’t officially ruled out signing Vick, who is attempting a comeback after completing a prison sentence for his role in a dogfighting operation.
It doesn’t matter that owner Jerry Richardson is a stickler for having character players and is still stinging from former receiver Rae Carruth’s murder conspiracy conviction. It doesn’t matter that the Panthers are happy with quarterback Jake Delhomme.
Fox wasn’t budging under a barrage of questions Wednesday, and apparently wasn’t concerned about the television debates on the merits of Carolina signing Vick.
“I don’t think we should be high on the radar, but I don’t like to limit anything,” Fox said.
Fox then declined to say where he’d play Vick ó before acknowledging it’s been almost four years since he last spoke to him.
“I haven’t seen Michael Vick probably since the ’05 Pro Bowl,” Fox said. “I don’t know what kind of shape he’s in or anything. Those are things you’d have to ask him and the people who have worked them out.”
Players seemed amused with the Vick-to-Carolina talk.
“We’ve got way more things to worry about than what Vick is doing,” tackle Jordan Gross said.