Peete named starter by Carolina

Sept. 2, 2003 at 3:17 PM
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CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 2 (UPI) -- The Carolina Panthers have named ageless Rodney Peete their starting quarterback heading into the new season.

Peete, 39, will enter his 15th NFL campaign Sunday when the Panthers host Jacksonville in the 2003 regular season opener. He will lead an offense that ranked 31st in the league last season.

He thinks things improved in the preseason.

"Some of the things ... we wanted to emphasize, like the running game and being more efficient in that area, we have improved," Peete said. "We'd like to score 20 points a game. We felt like if we had scored 20 points a game last year we would have been in the playoffs. With our defense and the way they play, we've got a great chance to be very, very successful."

Peete also has played for Detroit, Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington, and Oakland. In his career, he has gone 1,339-of-2,335 for 16,361 yards with 76 touchdown passes and 92 interceptions.

He beat out Jake Delhomme and Chris Weinke, and said the team likely will be motivated by the recent news about the illnesses of Mark Fields and former player Sam Mills. Fields has Hodgkin's disease, and Mills has cancer.

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