Carolina Panthers

Beason gets chance to show offensive moves

CHARLOTTE -- Jon Beason still looked winded and weary, and this was nearly an hour after his big play.

The Carolina Panthers linebacker got a chance to show some of his old offensive moves after a fourth-quarter interception, the turnover that stopped Arizona's last good chance to stay in the 27-23 loss.

It came on the eighth snap of the drive and after the Cardinals had driven 63 yards. But when the Kurt Warner pass skidded off the fingers of receiver Early Doucet and into Beason's palms, he had room to run. The best move came on Warner, who was juked to the ground effortlessly during Beason's 44-yard return.

Wide receiver Steve Smith was asked who had better open-field moves, him or the linebacker. He couldn't help but laugh.

"I'm not even going to respond to that question," Smith said, before sarcastically adding: "Beason, how about that."

"You know what, I told Steve, the first dude's going to get it," Beason said. "After that man, ... I wish I could get one early in a series so I'm not gassed. You tell Steve, let him play some defense and I'll give him the one-two step real quick."

• BACK TO THE WELL: The Panthers went back to an old play Sunday, unearthing the direct snap to running back DeAngelo Williams. They've done it sparingly this season, but this was the most they've used it. He took four snaps, gaining 23 yards on those plays.

Afterward, both he and quarterback Jake Delhomme were joking about their new roles, with Delhomme insinuating he's a pass-catching threat and Williams campaigning for a chance to throw.

"I've been studying the Joe Montana tapes," Williams said, unable to deliver the line with a straight face.

Williams had an impressive game, finishing with 17 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown.

• CATCHING UP: Delhomme said he had a chance before the game to visit with Warner, who he backed up for the Amsterdam Admirals in 1998.

Beason's interception was the lone hiccup in a sterling day for Warner, who completed 35 of 49 passes for 381 yards and two touchdowns.

"I didn't get to talk to him after," Delhomme said. "I would have probably asked him for his autograph, to see him throw the football the way he does. It's hard for me to watch our defense play because we're going over (offensive plans), but I caught myself watching him today.

"I'm proud of him. He's a heck of a football player. It's very impressive. I have so much respect for him. I respect a pro, and he's a true pro."

• SPECIAL STUFF: In addition to a botched extra point, the Panthers were the beneficiaries of other screw-ups by the Cardinals' special teams.

After coach John Fox gave them a second chance at a field goal (when he snuck his ice-the-kicker timeout in just before Neil Rackers missed a 39-yarder on his own), the Cardinals tried a fake. Holder Dirk Johnson passed to tight end Jerame Tuman, but he was stopped short of a conversion by Panthers safety Charles Godfrey.

• EXTRA POINTS: Panthers kicker John Kasay hit a pair of field goals (including a 50-yarder), to push his streak to 21 makes, tying the longest of his career. ...

The Panthers improved to 5-0 at home, and they're doing it impressively by putting opponents away late. They're now outscoring opponents 82-20 in the second halves of home games this year. ...

Backup defensive tackle Darwin Walker was inactive for Sunday's game after being involved in a minor car accident Saturday. Team officials said he was fine, but was a little sore from the incident, so they decided to go with reserve Gary Gibson in his place. ...

Also inactive were right tackle Jeff Otah for the fourth straight game and center Ryan Kalil for the third. Both could be back when the Panthers return to action Nov. 9 at Oakland after the bye week.