Monday, September 21, 2009

On Panthers, Peppers and the Cowboys

After going to head coach John Fox's day-after news conference Monday following Carolina's 28-20 loss to Atlanta, here are 3 quick thoughts. I'll address the Panthers more in depth in my column for Tuesday's Charlotte Observer and online here at CharlotteObserver.com:

1. The most positive development Sunday? It had to be Jake Delhomme's play. At least the Panthers don't have to worry quite so much about Delhomme (25-41 for 308 yards) right now -- his Sunday was better than Tom Brady's or a whole lot of other quarterbacks you could name.
Fox said Delhomme played "very well," although ultimately it wasn't enough. The Panthers have so many other problems that if Delhomme implodes this season it'll be all over. But right now, despite the 0-2 record, it's not all over for Carolina.

2) In Texas, the level of distress is at least as high as it is in the Carolinas. That's what happens when the Cowboys lose a game, especially the opener in their new 105,000-seat palace to the New York Giants like they did Sunday night. You think Delhomme is feeling some pressure? Try being Tony Romo this week.

3) As usual, Fox continues to be quite protective of Julius Peppers, the Panthers' million-dollar-per-game man, even when Peppers has a nearly invisible game like Sunday. Said Fox during the press conference when I asked him to evaluate Peppers' play against the Falcons: "Like I did our team's -- good, but not quite good enough."

And, later, Fox said when asked what exactly it was that Peppers did well Sunday: "He executed well enough for us to be in position to win. The reality is we didn't, but I don't know that it is Julius' fault."

Well, no, it's not Julius's fault entirely. But you can't just be a guy when you're getting that kind of money. you have to be THE guy at least several times a game when it matters.

Follow Scott at Twitter.com/scott_fowler

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Peppers is a LB not a DE. So as long as he play DE this will happen more and more

Walter said...

Scott-how come no one has asked Fox (perhaps they have and I missed it) about the clock management at the end of the first half? I feel like we left at least a FG on the board, and went into the half without having used all of our timeouts, something that should never happen in a close game.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of Meeks, get someone who will switch to a 3-4 and put Pep, beason, diggs, davis in as Lb's. This cover2 garbage is so reactive, why dont we impose our will on teams instead of hanging back waiting on a strip/pick or a penalty to kill a drive?!?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

Peppers will play when it suits him. He will have a great game Monday night because he will be getting national TV exposure. Then watch for him to take a few more games off.

Craig said...

When was the last time the Panthers blitzed a linebacker or a defensive back? I can't remember one, certainly not one where they got to the QB.

JW said...

3:31 - Remind us all when Peppers EVER played LB. Please?!?! There shouldn't be a tackle in the NFL that can stop him. PERIOD!!! You would think since he's playing for his future with ANY team that he would leave it all on the field. But did anyone ask Fox what Peppers was doing on the SIDELINE at all during the game. I know players need rest but it's JP. Was that his choice or the coaches?

Bret said...

I have not seen a worse blitzing team in my life! The "new" conservative defensive scheme is as frustrating to watch as the offense...

jeff said...

How about a couple of bad coaching calls?

62nvon said...

@ Walter:

Amen! My husband and I were dumbfounded by that. We rarely manage the clock well, IMHO.

Pete said...

I did not know games are won on one defensive player(JP)!!If they had a good coach or coaches and a good qb that most teams expect,the Panthers might win more games!! They have lost 6 straight games(4 preseason and 2 regular season). And DUMBASSES think it is Peppers fault.Peppers DID NOT ask to play here this year!! He tried to leave!!! I hope he gets a good team nexts year..

Anonymous said...

Peppers is playing not to get hurt not to win games, Carolina should have let him go when he ask but it's not to late to trade him.

Anonymous said...

I wish we could have Capers back at DC

Anonymous said...

I second the Capers idea, or at least someone that will bring a pressure D (i.e., eagles, steelers)...fire Fox and bring in Cowher!!!

Can't blame Peppers for coaches failing to put him into position to make a play..

Anonymous said...

Peppers may not lack cash, but he certainly lacks heart and ability. For $1M plus per game, anything less than 10 tackles, 5 sacks, and one turnover is UNSAT. He's nothing more than panty waste and he'll always be panty waste.

Anonymous said...

You continue to kiss Jakes butt.He threw a int and got lucky that crazy underarm pass wasnt picked off.Abraham had no sacks either.But I guess he didnt try either.Julius wantd to leave.you amaze me how bias you are against Peppers.

Anonymous said...

Pep got double blocked many times, what happen to the other DL? What happen to the Safety who let Gonzales catch everything 5 yards in front of him. What happen to the four players that hit Snelling but didn't wrap up in the inzone? Its a team, it take every one to do there job right to win. Especially this year with this schedule.

Anonymous said...

They act like getting a sack or sacks every game is easy to do in the NFL. Peppers can still have more than 10 sacks this season regardless of how he faired in 2 games. Besides is this not why most players of Peppers size and speed wishes to be an OLB in a 3-4. As DE you can only get so many tackles a game and maybe a sack. As an OLB you can get more tackles, you can line up behind the D-Line or beside of it to confuse blockers, and the possibility for interceptions increase as well. With more of these defensive stats in a 3-4 can a player like Peppers make Hall of Fame. Only a DE can get a few more sacks a season if he has another good D-lineman beside or opposite of him. Brown isnt there yet and whatever sacks he gets he can thank Peppers for the extra attention. Lay off Peppers and go after the root of the problem which is conservative coaching and schemes. We had all the pieces for a better 3-4 team than a 4-3 team at training camp. Instead of getting 3-4 def cord we get a cover-2 which requires 2 good safeties. duhhhh?

Anonymous said...

at 1m per game julius is making over $300,000 per tackle since he has only 6.5 on the year.

Russ said...

Peckers couldn't get a sack if it was full of groceries. He has no heart and gives no effort. That is why he was pulled yesterday.

Anonymous said...

~ Fire Fox ~

Anonymous said...

Meeks will not fit well in carolina because we don't have an offense that can pull the defense's as* out of the fire every week. In Indy Meeks had a prolific offense.

Anonymous said...

Antwan Bolden has 7 sacks.

Jewels has 6.5 total tackles.

Thomas Davis has 28 total tackles.

Anonymous said...

Scott, I completely agree with you in suggesting that John Fox completely downplayed that Peppers was non existent on Sunday. However, why weren't you so adamant when Fox did the same think after Jake's 4 turnovers the week before?

Jennifer said...

I am sooo happy that the only two players we have to talk about this year are Julius and Jake...

Lets go on line and get the nick names like Smash and Dash did ....Go J&J..

All these people especially you Mr. Scott keep saying Pep should play the price they pay him...Dance puppet dance because "WE" made sure you were put under this "HUGE" microscope this year...

He didnt ask for the million a game, he asked for them to let him go..."THEY" chose to keep Pep at that price, so let them get out there and earn the money they have hanging over him...

I went to school with Julius and cheered for him in football and basketball, I know him as a person, a SNSH Firebird can take the hate, and still smile all the way to the bank....

People say his heart isnt in it....Then blame the ones that kept him there, when WE all knew he was ready to go....

Until then keep I guess we will continue to read about J&J every week !!!!

Ah but there is a good and bad Jake ....now thats what I call bias...

Just wondering Mr. Scott did you in fact grill Coach Fox about Jake's shi@@y performace last week?

Anonymous said...

Typical from you. Another weekly bash Peppers article/blog post. But you're so quick to play Captain Save-a-Jake when he plays horrible. Maybe you should report on how when the Falcons ran the ball or moved the pocket for Ryan, they went away from Peppers' side. No, you rather continue to hammer point how much he makes. We get it. He makes $1 million a game. He was franchised tagged which gives him the average for the top-5 players at his position. I hope Peppers walks after this year, because he'll never be appreciated here. Most of these fans expect him to be superhuman, but it's fine for Jake to play "okay" because we set the bar for him so low now.

Anonymous said...

What Peppers gets paid is a PANTHER ORGANIZATION decision. Not a Peppers decision. He wanted out, we wanted to prove to the world how stupid we are by keeping him. Then to add to that stupidity, we proved the world that "dumber" does exist in the face of "dumb" by franchise tagging him. Paying a player the ultimate allowed in football for a player that doesn't want to be here.

we = Fox and Hurney.

Adam said...

Obviously a 3-4 defense should be looked at. We are consistently losing d tackles so why not put Lewis at nose and have two lineman. then you could put pep at lb with beason, davis, and digs. meeks is rediculous. he blitzed the least amount of any team last year. I mean--c'mon!! what is it gonna take to see some results, the league is adapting and our conservative coaching system just doesn't cut it anymore. fox is a good old school coach but look it just ain't winning games. Same as Jake. It's hard to hate the guy because he a nice guy that likes to shoulder the blame. But he is NOT a great quarterback. Richardson needs to grow a pair and take control of this team. Fire Fox, if we are gonna suck this season, at least give matt moore the chance to get experience. This is beginning to feel like a George Bush type thing where the next coach is gonna have a plate of sh*t to deal with.

John Donaldson said...

I don't by any stretch of the imagination blame Peppers for this loss. I do fault him that we couldn't pressure Ryan for a whole game. Then again I may be putting to much pressure on him. He only made $500,000 a tackle on Sunday. Maybe if he were to get a raise he'd perform better.

Anonymous said...

maybe if D-Williams didn't fumble and Baker didn't take 10 seconds to try to get a punt off (blocked) we would have won this game. It's easy to blame a loss on 1 or 2 players, but losing is a team effort.

Anonymous said...

Peppers has never played LB in his college or professional career. He's always been a DE

Anonymous said...

Adam, why are you bringing politics into this, are you really that stupid? youre just another sap trying to act like you know something when as i said in the beginning of this sentence, youre just another sap.

KEN said...

big shout out to the tar heel fan who can't see that Peppers is simply lazy and unworthy of the contract he signed just because you happened to attend school with him. hey pal this week when a tackle is made near the line of scrimmage check out the tall figure with the clean uniform standing above the pile.

brownieboy1987 said...

The knock on Peppers from the moment he declared for the NFL draft was that he was a great player with amazing talent, but tended to disappear in games sometimes. Why is this news so new to everyone? As far as Delhomme is concerned; I think fans should be more concerned about the defense than the offense. Two games in and we have yet to limit a team to under 300 yards of total offense.

Jennifer said...

Ken take your argument up with the powers that be, that kept him in Carolina, after he repeatedly made it clear he was ready to go...

And if Pep not making any tackles makes him lazy, what does interception after interception make Jake???

oh and another thing Pal...I will sit here with bells on, making sure I scrutinize every single spot on his uniform...Sure hope the he!! they wear white, make it so much easier for me, when they pan to the big 90 ...

Gotta love ignorance when they cant seem to place the blame, where you claim the unworthy paycheck is coming from...