Monday, November 17, 2008

Is Jake Delhomme hurt?

Is Jake hurt?

That's the question I keep getting today as nervous fans dissect the Panthers' second straight "not-as-impressive-as-it-could-have-been" win over a bad team -- this one over Detroit, 31-22.

For the second straight game, QB Jake Delhomme threw for less than 100 yards Sunday. This time, at least, Delhomme had zero interceptions and completed slightly more than 50 percent of his throws (10 for 19 for 98 yards and one TD). The Raiders game was much, much worse -- he was 7 for 27 with 4 interceptions, and that was undoubtedly the worst game he's ever had here. Carolina (8-2) still won both games.

So is Delhomme hurt? I don't know for sure. But I can tell you this. If he is -- if all those overthrows are the byproduct of overcompensating for a tired arm, or a sore arm, or because he can't get the best grip on the ball or something -- he's not going to tell us.

Jake would be a great neighbor, as I tell groups when I speak to them. He's down to earth, he's got a great family and he's about as close to an open book as you'll get in most respects -- but not in every one. He turns into Coach John (I Will Tell You Nothing And You Will Like It) Fox on just one subject: he downplays or doesn't mention his own injuries.

-For instance, when Delhomme had to have Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow after only 3 games during the 2007 season, he said after the fact it was something of a blessing because his throwing arm had had something wrong with it for years and had been bothering him a lot.

And all of us who cover the Panthers regularly were like, "Huh???" Delhomme had never mentioned that before. Why? He obviously thought it would put him at a competitive disadvantage (and this is common among QBs -- Peyton Manning is among those who practice this sort of gamesmanship, and he's another straight shooter on just about everything else).

So this only my educated guess after being around Delhomme throughout his tenure here, in good times and bad: I think Delhomme is not hurt, at least not seriously. I would be surprised if his arm feels as good as it did in September, but that's normal. A starting pitcher usually won't feel as good in October as he does in April because of normal wear and tear.

Delhomme has thrown the ball too high on occasion for years -- when he misses, that's usually where he misses. I think he's just had one terrible game and another where he made a couple of bad throws, but also was victimized by a couple of drops, and the stats ended up looking worse than they should because all No.17 had to do to beat Detroit was to hand off.

I could be wrong, but that's my guess. Delhomme, of course, will say this week he's not hurt, but that won't mean I'm right. Delhomme will say that until the very day he undergoes another arm operation, when and if that happens. It's just the way he is.

15 comments:

Jason said...

I think it's much more likely that the 5 days off they had for the bye week, being the first total rest his arm has had since January, probably stiffened it up a little. It looked like he got it back on track in the 2nd quarter on Sunday. Ironically, the defense seems to have taken a step back from the layoff as well.

Daniel said...

You mentioned that Jake tends to miss high, which is true because he's always had a receiver who likes him to throw the ball up there for him to make a play on it. I'd ask this instead, "has Steve Smith lost a little bit in his leaping ability?" Nothing wrong with it, but there was a time when Steve Smith would catch the dang thing no matter where Jake put it. I'm more concered about how many drops Moose has had of late, includung several big 3rd downs where he was wide open, (not to mention at least two easy TDs). Steve has been dropping some as well as Rosario. The most consistant and productive receiver on the field these days seems to be Jeff King who is catching everything...and where is Jarret? He was becoming a nice 3rd down threat, Hackett has done nothing for us this year.

Woodlandites said...
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Woodlandites said...

Scott, i think you're probably right using the pitching metaphor, but rather than a pitcher who is worn down, what about a pitcher in May who is going through a 'dead arm' period? I follow baseball fairly closely and when a pitcher recovers from TJ surgery, they usually need 18 months to fully recover. So maybe Jake's got some 'dead arm' and that's normal? If so, don't consider it a setback, just part of the recovery. Hopefully he'll regain the arm strength before January.

Michael said...

Jarrett's made fewer catches at a lower YPC with more drops, and has a harder time runnign routes properly to get open. He's no more a "third down threat" than anybody else.

paulbunyan89 said...
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paulbunyan89 said...

I think Jake is fine. Besides a sore arm which every NFL qb will have. He has a a couple bad games but we won those games. Everyone is so concerned about stats. Go be a fan of Drew Bress and watch him throw for 400 yards and lose the game. I dont care anything about stats as long as we win. Jake will get it going again. I do think he should lay off some of the long passes and hit the TE a little more in the middle. Just my opinion.....

alan said...

Finally got to watch game in BA stadium,,, Fantastic ..although, a little disturbed by the ugly comments from a fatso (w/ 3 yr old on his lap) behind me directed at Jake in the 1st qtr..yes a low throw...not intercepted.
Sunday's sports writer questions "fans" comments on the overthrow to S.S. in the 3rd, he went in instead of up where the ball was thrown...I didn't hear too many comments when the premier recievers dropped balls or had defenders on their backs.
Wonder what these "fans" were saying last year when J was out..hummm
Wish some of these "fans" were Saints fans for 30 years,,,ha,,,then they could have ugly comments.
Geaux Panthers

Carl said...

Have you ever noticed that Delhome & the Panthers as a team play usually very well against good teams but let them play a terrible team & they look like they are worse. Why is that?

Carl said...

Jake could be hurt, could be just off track. But if you look at his over all stats, he's not that far below his career averages. I think he's doing the best we could have hoped for coming off his surgery. But my worry is that Fox, being as stubborn as he is will stick with Jake until the bitter end, if it becomes obvious that Jake is hurting the team. Bottom line is Jake is an average QB and he is living up to his stats. But he is winning games.

bootspur said...

The most overrated rag armed, whiney quarterback in the NFL, or Arena 1, 2, or 3, but I can't tell you with one word how to solve the problems with Jake's arm! Retirement!

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