Monday, October 26, 2009

Jake, Fox and the new QB mystery

I just came from John Fox's Monday afternoon press conference, in which he said he "hadn't decided" who will start at QB Sunday for Carolina at Arizona.

This signified a major shift for Fox, who on most Mondays after Panther losses simply declares his confidence in Delhomme, gives some variation on the "Jake is my guy" theme and moves along to the next question.

Not this time. Fox said he might decide Wednesday, or Friday and even left open the option that he may not even announce a starter this week at all -- that whomever trots out on the field Sunday for the first series will be the starter.

But in reading the tea leaves, it sounds to me like a change is coming and that Fox, for competitive reasons, simply doesn't want to say what it is yet.

Matt Moore would be the likeliest candidate, since A.J. Feeley has barely been a Panther at all, but it's hard to tell which way Fox is going as yet. (It will become more apparent Wednesday, when whichever QB is getting the most snaps with the first-string offense will unofficially have the inside track).

Fox is obviously having trouble pulling the trigger on benching Jake. The coach is famously loyal, and Jake has been the QB for almost every big win here in Fox's tenure. But Fox has to do something. The Panthers are 2-4 and Fox, in one of his most honest statements Monday, said the team was "lucky to be 2-4" given that their current turnover ratio is minus-14. And of course Fox's own job is in question here, too.

Delhomme has thrown an NFL-high 13 interceptions in six games this year. He has looked lost for much of the season and, after throwing three of those picks in Sunday's 20-9 loss to Buffalo, he sounded somewhat lost, too.

As I've written before -- both in Monday's newspaper and back on Sept.29 after Delhomme had such a bad game against Dallas -- the Panthers need to bench Delhomme. He's the same great guy off the field, but he's a different, not-nearly-as-great-in-fact-verging-toward-awful QB on the field this season.

I'd go with Moore, and let Jake be the No.2 QB and come in if Moore struggles. I know Delhomme would want to exorcise some demons against Arizona -- which started the Jake freefall by making him turn it over six times in January.

But Fox owes it to his team (especially a defense that deserved better Sunday) to give some other QB a chance.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I completely agree. We dont have any strong option at QB, and that likely isnt going to change, but Jake is unable to make the throws necessary to win against a quality team. Benching him isnt the same as cutting him, he will be available as the second best option against ARZ. Give Moore a chance.

Mike said...

Scott, your last sentence sas it all, and is why I think players probably are starting to have issues with Delhomme and Fox... Guys g out and do a respectable job on defense, and it is literally thrown away by Delhomme. Sure other guys had problems yesterday too, but the recurring Delhomme issues must be addressed for the good of the team. As for Fox / Hurney, I hope they (and eventually the entire coaching staff) are let go by Mr. Richardson BEFORE the end of the season. Let a new coach / GM get in here and try some things when this year is lost anyway. Start rebuilding now for next year.

Leonard said...

"Mike" you do not change coaches and GM's in mid season because it just will do no good and you would have to elevate someone already on the staff to interim head coach because no head coach will take over mid season.

Anonymous said...

Delhomme has shown a steady trend of decline over the last seven played games. Usually a trend stays true and is a reliable source for making much needed decisions. Two phases of this team is either barely or non functional; Special Teams and Passing Offense with the latter mentioned being the greatest disparity operation wise. The common denominator in all of our loses is unequivocally and without a doubt, "Jake Delhomme"!

Anonymous said...

Hey Scott - what are Coaches Scherer and Williamson doing to address the problems in the passing game? Can any of Jake's struggles be attributed to the new QB coach?

Curtis said...

I've fought the Jake haters for a while...probably for the same reason Fox hasn't wanted to bench Jake. It isn't just loyalty, but frankly when your best option is to "put a guy in there and see what he can do because he can't be any worse than what you have", well, that pretty much means the season is a loss.

And I still think what has been done so far is the right decision...everyone yelling for Jake to be benched after the first game had it wrong. Same for the first few games...a sure sign of a team in deperation mode is yanking a starting QB to bring in a backup/unknown. Probably, from a coaches perspective, not the best move to make 4 games into a season.

Now is the perfect time to make that decision however. Sorry Jake - despite what many would have you believe (i.e. he is the worst QB in the league since he got here, he is nothing more than a back up, etc.) none of that is true. I know this is a league of "what have you done for me lately", but how can anyone forget Jake's play in the run to the Super Bowl (and how well he played in the Super Bowl). And before you complain that he can't get the ball to his receivers, let's not forget who was throwing the ball to Smitty when he lead the league in receptions, yards, and TDs. Or when Moose had an outstading season the year before he left for Chicago. Before this year, it would have been hard to argue he wasn't a top 10 QB in this league. That was former Jake...and so you aren't confused, you don't just get lucky tossing it up for grabs and have receivers with those kind of numbers. But the past is the past - so before you wonder why Fox didn't just immmediately throw Jake under the bus, remember all those things he did for the team and show a little appreciation. Sure, you might argue it is a game too late...but of course, there is no guarantee that if Moore was in the game yesterday that the outcome would have been any better. Who knows? Now is the time to find out though.

If, for some reason Fox decides not to do it now...then you'll hear some serious discontent from me. But as it is, I think he made his best choice considering his options.

Curtis said...

No way Mike...like Leonard says, you don't just fire your coach and GM mid-season. Not in this situation at least. It would only make things worse. Like it or not, you're going to have to ride this one out with the rest of us!!

Pattie said...

Fox not only owes it to his team, he also owes it to every Panther fan out there!
How bad is it when you see your starting QB go to throw the ball, and your butt clenches (!), and you think to yourself "OH GOD, NO!! HE'S TRYING TO THROW THE BALL AGAIN!!! SOMEBODY PLEASE STOP HIM!!!" I've always loved Jake, but CLEARLY his best days are behind him in Carolina. It's time to move forward....with someone else!
Panther fans are despondent and depressed. This season is a total loss at this point. At best, we'll have a 3-13 season this year (and that's only IF we beat the Bucs again!!!) We WILL lose the rest of our games! Some MAJOR changes need to happen in the Panther organization......NOW!!!

Anonymous said...

Delhomme has sucked for years. All the delovers out there, get over it. He's never been a top qb. He was an overachieving backup at best. I'm glad his garbage play can't be disguised anymore.

Anonymous said...

I THINK JAKE,FOX BOTH NEED YO GO.
IF JERRY RICHARDSON HAS ANY GUTS HE,LL GET ID OF FOX. THIS TEAM IS A DISGRACE TO NC.
FOX HAS STUCK WITH JAKE TO LONG THATS WHY PANTHERS ARE IN THE SHAPE THEY ARE.
I BET IF FANS STOP GOING TO GAMES
JERRY WILL DO SOMETHING.

Lorenzo said...

Well not only does Jake needs to be benched, so does Fox..For some reason Im starting to believe that Jake and John have some personal thing going on. I would have benched Jakes a** after that terrible performance last year against Arizona, then the first game of the season he picks up right where he left off..John Fox just kills me the way he brushes the questions off whenever asked about the Q.B. situation, when its the most obvious concern (along with special teams & no other big play receiver)Fox needs to man up & do whats best for the franchise or either Mr. Richardson is going to have some explaining to do...At the end of the day, Matt's going to be our guy!

Anonymous said...

If you want to get rid of the real problems then bench or trade Smith, Moose, and Beason. Tech Moose is the better of the 3.

Jake is trying to stupidly absorb all the heat and take these the slackies off the hook so they try to dodge the bullet.

Fox and Jake are not the blame and never have been. Fox would be stupid as hell to cave in to some whinyazz fans and change QB. He has nothing at backup anyway.

Kasey had a bad day and Moore killed the momentum and lost the game with his lack of experience and crucial mistake. Get him off spec team runbacks. He could run WR and sit Smith but if he dosent cut it needs to be axed. The Cats dont have time to train a rookie just because hes a local yocal homeboy.

Jake just neds to work harder suck it up and tell the whiny jerks to stick it up their azz and hopefully Fox gets him taller recievers. There is no more dedicated QB in the NFL.

Let Smith run back punts and kickoffs and def not Moore. Stewart needs to get lower to the ground when he runs. He is big but can never run over NFL linebackers like he did in college.
Scatty Deangelo is good because he goes low.

Lorenzo said...

WOW! ARE YOU SERIOUS! I AGREE WITH YOU, JAKE IS NOT THE BLAME FOR EVERY SINGLE MISTAKE MADE, BUT HAVE YOU ACTUALLY TAKEN A LOOK AT HIM LATELY ? EVERY TIME HE THROWS AN INT. HE'S BACK THERE CRYING LIKE A BABY...BE A MAN AND SUCK IT UP...STEVE SMITH IS NOT THE RECEIVER HE WAS AND MOOSE IS JUST TOO OLD, JEFF KING NEEDS TO GET MORE TOUCHES AND I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY MOORE IS BACK THERE RECEIVING PUNTS ANYWAYS...JON BEASON? MY GOD...ABSOLUTE STUD...THE DEFENSE ISNT THE PROBLEM (IT WOULDNT HURT FOR THEM TO BE BETTER THOUGH) BUT JAKE IS KILLING US...WE NEED TO AT LEAST GIVE MATT A SHOT...IM A HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL COACH & ALL I KNOW IS IF MY Q.B. HAD 4 TD'S AND 13 INTS IN 7 GAMES I WOULDNT HAVE THINK TWICE ABOUT PULLING HIM..NOT TRYING TO BASH JAKE, BUT THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING, HIS BEST DAYS ARE BEHIND HIM MAN, ADMIT IT..

Kenneth said...

There was a pitbull with a sign in Bank of America stadium Sunday. The sign read, JAKE MAKES ME SICK. WE SHOULD HAVE SIGNED VICK.

Anonymous said...

I am so sad they are thinking about benching Jake with Arizona upcoming. Those were his favorite receivers to throw to. I know he could of set some kind of new records. I would rather watch Moore throw 10 interceptions than watch one more from Jake.

Glitchh said...

Something happened in Jake's head as a result of his playoff loss in January and now and forever more he is a head case. It's probably too late in his career to get past it all since every game he plays seems to make it worse, even going to a new team as a backup seems unlikely to fix the problem, not that anyone would have him at this point. His big new contract extension was likely an attempt to show confidence in him so that he could have it in himself, unfortunately that whole gambit didn't work. Jake has always been more lucky than good but now the luck is gone, the confidence is gone and hopefully he too will soon be gone with Fox to soon follow.

picks nfl said...

Unfortunately, Feely probably isn't too much of an upgrade from Delhomme. Wasn't the best sign, but it cant hurt to change it up, maybe Delhomme refocuses after a benching.

MrBernz said...

I have never seen such stupidity. ! stupid post said get rid of Smith, Beason, lol all their good players, then a dumb@$$ after him agreed with it. Glitchh, they gave him the long contract to free up some salary cap, his extension cleared i think 2+ mil up for this season, he would have got 11+ mil for this year had they not signed him to a longer contract. So the 20 mil guaranteed only really added 9 mil, maybe it was worth 9 mil later to clear up 2 mil this season i don tknow. Also the 20 mil guaranteed may be structured over more time, im not sure on that. As for Fox being let go before the end of this season, are yall kidding me? He has another year after this 1 on his contract, you think theyre gonna just tell him go ahead & take a paid 1 & 1/2 year vacation? they may get rid of him after this season, but i doubt that will happen , he may get a contract extension if he does well with a new qb. Patti you said 3-13? are you on drugs? Even the worst teams can beat the best teams at times so you have no idea what their final stat will be.

Anonymous said...

They had the entire off season to address the QB situation. The fact they did nothing shows how clueless they are in evaluating the QB position in general. Obviously they thought Jake was ok, which means that when they do decide to get another one they better consult with someone who can evauluate a little better than themselves.

Anonymous said...

Pretty simple throw an average of 2or so picks a game and you sit. Dubious honor of having most picks in league is disgusting.

Anonymous said...

i was in the stands for the first time ever,i have to watch at home due to distance and funds.The coach is the problem cause he has the ability to change players.Btw the way i was screaming at the television on draft day when he gave up next years #1 draft to move up one position to get Brown,I knew jake didn't deserve second chance this year and wtf was they thinking.

Crohnkiller said...

I am so sick of hearing how good he played in the Superbowl..He still lost and that was a long time ago, what like 6 years ago??? GET OVER IT!! Like many had said, he is an average QB at best that has been repeatedly saved by Steve Smith. Well, Steve Smith hasn't been bailing him out as his play has dropped off. He isn't the spring chicken anymore either. He is a garbage QB and people need to see this. 13 INT with 4 TD???!!! WOW!! And for those who don't see this season as a wash need to wake up..Look at the schedule and tell me, which game will they win. Buffalo was a chance at a win. Now I think they may not win another..Good luck with hoping to make it to 8-8

Crohnkiller said...

Just think about how good this team is making the 49ers...

Anonymous said...

I have been saying bench Jake for some time now. However most of your readers have been ripping my heart out for my comments. The move should have occurred after the second game of the season. Our 2010 first round draft selection is gone and I can see at least 2 years of bad news for the Panthers. I also believe whoever decided to give away our 1st round pick should also get a ticket out of town. I love my Carolina Panthers and it hurts to see such promise go to waste. The defense is really playing their hearts out.

panfan1 said...

Anonymous 7:04 PM. Can I have whatever your drinking!!!That about as stupid as it gets!!!

For those that think Fox shouldn't be fired in the middle of season then think of this. If you want to see how your younger players or QB Moore can do then you better want Fox fired. As long as he stays coach & due to his stubborness you may not get a chance to see those young players come into the games this year & develope. Game 16 Foxy will still think he has a chance to win & get to the playoffs with a losing record!!

Diana said...

Everyone seems to now agree with Mr. Fox his and Mr. Hurney's opinion of the back ups they recruited. They lack something Jake has which makes them unfit to replace him. It makes you wonder why the Panthers hired them for a job Mr. Fox does not believe they can do. But wait Mr. Fox thinks Jake can and we all see what his performnace is.