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Quick Hits: Definition of 'Being Close', Identity of the Team, Donte Jackson's Status + More

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule met with the media following Wednesday's practice.

Donte Jackson's status

"We probably won't know until later in the week. It might end up being a game-time type of decision."

Plan if Jackson is out

We would start CJ [Henderson] and Jaycee [Horn]. We've been playing Myles [Hartsfield] at the nickel so those guys would go and Keith [Taylor] would just bump up and Stan [Thomas-Oliver] would be ready to go."

Key vs Saints offense

"Jameis is an excellent football player. He has a lot of options on offense right now. [Chris] Olave has come in and provided a real deep threat. Michael Thomas is one of the best receivers in the game. [Alvin] Kamara and [Mark] Ingram two excellent backs. They do an excellent job of utilizing Taysom Hill in the run game, so we have to have a plan for that. There's a lot of different things that we have to plan for. To me, it's really simple. It comes down to if we can take the ball away and if we can protect the ball."

Signing RB Raheem Blackshear

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"I think that's just a guy that we have interest in. Dan [Morgan] and Scott [Fitterer] had scouted him and liked him. Liked what he did in the preseason. We had a spot on the 53. He's a young player that we think has a lot of potential. Where he fits in? As a returner maybe or even as a fourth back, it remains to be seen. But we wanted to take advantage of the spot on the roster."

What "being close" means

"There's a bunch of hungry people here that are dying to win and they work their tails off. Any thought of there is a loser mentality in this building is a falsehood. Because if you're in this building, you want to win. To me the point is, we're close but everybody's close. You've got to make the play down the stretch to go win the game and that's the message. It's not that we're bad or that we're not good enough. That's where we are. It's a tough place to be. It's a frustrating place to be. But at the same time, that's where we are and you've got to fight your way out of it."

Identity of the team

"Until we win, no one wants to hear me talk about that. We want to win. I'm going to leave it at that. We want to play great defense. We want to be balanced on offense. We don't want to beat ourselves. We want to go win a football game. At the end of the day, we know they're going to come down to the end. We want to play great defense and I think we're trending in that direction. We want to play great special teams and I think we're trending in that direction. And on offense, we just have to put some drives together and get into a rhythm."

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