I enjoyed Charles Chandler's story today on the Panthers' passing game problems, which provided a thorough look at why Carolina only has one TD pass to its wide receivers in the first half of the season.
I also got a laugh out of Steve Smith's comment about how the coaches can get him the ball more: "I'm not dipping up in that can of chili." That should be a new catch-phrase for the Panthers -- it's a much more colorful way to say "no comment."
I thought the most telling quote in the story, however, came from veteran wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad. "Maybe we're trying to play with too much caution," Moose said, and that's exactly it.
Now Moose is part of this problem. He can't get open deep anymore, he's not winning as many jump-ball battles as he used to and he hasn't scored all year. Nevertheless, I think he nailed it here. The Panthers' offense looks like it is always navigating a treacherous road with "Caution" signs all over the place.
Run on first down. Run on second down. Short throw -- or draw play -- on third down. Rinse and repeat.
That's an oversimplication, and it's true this offense has also provided Carolina with an upset of Arizona and a near-upset of New Orleans. And Jake Delhomme hasn't thrown an interception the past 2 games, either.
But you can't hide your quarterback in the NFL. If Delhomme is going to play, as I've written before, let him play. The Panthers are playing offense right now like a boxer who has one hand tied behind his back -- they can occasionally score a surprise knockout, but they are never going to be that good unless they at least try to utilize all their weapons.
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