Monday, December 28, 2009

Bring back Fox -- yes, I'm serious

I know this won't win me any popularity contests, but my column today advocates bringing back John Fox as the coach of the Panthers for the 2010 season.

I know Fox has made some errors -- not switching quarterbacks early enough this year, for instance -- but all in all I think the good outweighs the bad. I won't go into my reasoning here, as I did so in the column and you can read it there if you like, but I will tell you I've been debating this topic internally for some time and finally have come to this conclusion. See what you think.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

If Fox stays, the GM has to go. Fox needs a boss that will challenge his dumb decisions like keeping Delhomme as the starter and making no upgrades in the offseason. Another thing that needs to happen is a couple of assistants need to be replaced. Danny Crossman and Richard Williamson are consistent underachievers.

Anonymous said...

Take a valium. Its too early for that stuff. You will change your mind 50 times before JR makes up his. Just 2 weeks ago it was the end of the world and the team hanging by a thread but now everythings wonderful.

Welcome to the wide world of sports with the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

Smith is done. A broken arm can heal but leave a player gun-shy and never effective as he once was even after a bad year.

This team is highly eratic unpredicatable and a long long way away from another Super Bowl or even the playoffs.

Wait'll next year ...

Anonymous said...

I totally disagree with you. I think Fox and Hurney need to go. This team has flashes of brilliance, but they are not consistent. They are becoming the Atlanta Falcons, great season once, next season not. The Panthers have never been able to put together back to back winning seasons. This means that the talent is not that good, in which case we need some people that can evaluate talent or the playing is inconsistent, which means lack of coaching. The only advantage to bringing Fox back is because the Panthers have to suck up his contract any way.

Anonymous said...

"Smith is done. A broken arm can heal but leave a player gun-shy and never effective as he once was even after a bad year."

Uh, maybe for a player that isn't Steve Smith. Steve Smith broke his arm and forced his way through a tackle with his broken arm. He got tacked and landed on it, only to get up and beat his chest as he jogged off the field. You realize Steve Smith broke his leg in 2004, and then had 1500+ yards receiving in 2005 (his best year) right? Steve Smith will be fine.

Newsinz said...

One thing I can definitely agree with is that Danny Crossman has to go. Our special teams have been flat and turnover prone all year, and I shouldn't be thrilled with punt returns for no gain simply because we didn't miff the catch.

Anonymous said...

Although your blog is an "editorial," just like most of your journalism, I think your logic isn't much past 3rd-Grade level. We win, you think Fox should stay...we lose, you think he should go. Come on, how difficult is that. We have a chance to be .500 in a year with 11 players in key positions on IR. This may be Fox's best coaching year, given the challenges. I say fire the club-level fans and the other fans that so consistently abandon the team when things go south, thereby negating home-field advantage that should exist on defensive 3rd downs. Or how about those fans who allow their tickets to end up in the hands of those guys along 4th street on Sundays with 100 tickets for sale. Nobody wants to write a single word about that! Fox is a good coach when they are 12-4 but 1 year later not good enough when they are 7-9 or 8-8 during a season with an un-heard-of amount of key injuries and setbacks? Come on! How about writing something insightful for once.

Tom in SC said...

Scott, I commend your bravery, especially in the face of the misguided thoughts that you are surely receiving, as evidenced by some of the comments already.

You make a great case for keeping him. First and foremost, I don't know that there is a better option out there. Cowher and Gruden are talked about frequently. But Fox is nearly as accomplished. Two points in my mind that lead me to believe you are right.

I think Fox and his coaches are learning to be a little less conservative. Granted, it's probably a little easier to loosen the reins when you are mathematically eliminated. But instead of the dreaded draw on 3rd and long, he's also allowed some quick hitting passes. He's left Matt Moore open up a little more. It seems he's giving Moore a little more leeway than even Delhomme. Bash Delhomme if you like, but that's not a decision Fox would have made early in the year, in my opinion. Without a doubt, if Fox stays, I hope we see more high percentage passes that give you an opportunity to keep a drive alive. Likewise, on defense, as the year has progressed, I've seen well-timed blitzing. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but like players, I think coaches can grow as well.

But most importantly to me... I think coaching changes should happen and need to happen when they've lost the team. Yes, they were meaningless games. But this team could have easily laid down and mailed it in. To defeat two quality teams in the manner that they did, clearly Fox still has the ability to motivate this team. And in their actions and words, the team wants Fox here. Yes, changes must occur and will occur, but I do agree. Fox deserves another year before committing to another contract.

Many can and will blame Fox for this year. And injuries are only an excuse. But I really question how many coaches (past and present) could deal with injuries to your starting QB, RB, WR, LT, RT, countless DT's, MLB, OLB, FS, SS... did I miss any?

Curtis said...

Interestingly enough, here is a comment I made on the '5 Things' post (before I read this one about keeping Fox):

Also, it is a shame it took injury to Jake to bring Moore in - I don't think anyone can argue that was a bad coaching decision. But that's the way it happens sometimes - Brady wasn't starting in NE, it took an injury to Bledsoe for him to get his shot (granted, I know - different players and different circumstances). But I still think Fox is a good coach overall.

I keep hearing Cowher talk here...and I think he's a good coach. But, I would ask all of those folks to keep in mind a few things (and yes, we already know it took him 15 seasons to win the big one and Fox has only been here for 8). After 8 seasons in Pittsburgh, Cowher had won 1 AFC Championship (much like us having 1 NFC Championship) and went to 2 Championship games (like us). Cowher in his 8t season went 6 - 10 (think folks were crying for him to be fired?). The next year? 9 - 7. A couple of good seasons then they went 6 - 10 again.

Point is...I don't see why everyone sees Cowher as a "savior". This team has never had double digit loses under Fox. And while I'd say he's made some bad decisions (like sticking with Jake), I don't think they fire him this year.

Anonymous said...

Tampa insiders are saying the Bucs want either Bill Cowher or John Fox as their HC for 2010 and both have been contacted but are denying it of course.
The Bucs Morris is obv a disaster and will be fired in the next couple weeks according to reports.

One other scenario is Cowher takes the Panther job and Fox goes to Tampa. Everything is highly secretive right now.

Anonymous said...

To quote John McEnroe: "You can't be serious". No, you're not serious, you're just stirring the pot getting readers. To mis-quote John McEnroe: "Please, just be serious".

Anonymous said...

Smitty came back from a badly broken leg then he sure can a broken forearm.

Leave the team alone and coaches--its working so be that.

Anonymous said...

Fox was, is, and will continue to be a very good coach. Haters were are and will continue to be idiots who know nothing about football.

Anonymous said...

Steve Smith days in the NFL are unfortunately at an end with such a serious critical break probably requiring surgical pins. Regardless he is damaged goods and will be released by management. Career ending injuries are never uncommon in the NFL.

Anonymous said...

Fire the fans. Charlotte has the worst sports fan in the country. I think Fox can lead us back to the Super Bowl faster than anyone else...especially if Jake stays out of the way!

Anonymous said...

It was great to see the GIANTS end their play at GIANTS stadium the way it did. I live in richmond. VA surrounded by Redskins, Ravens, Cowboys and alot of Giant fans. It was abso - freakin' - remarkable...
We definitely have the REAL Steve Smith...

Panther Fan from Deep Down

Jennifer said...

Anonymous said...

Fire the fans. Charlotte has the worst sports fan in the country. I think Fox can lead us back to the Super Bowl faster than anyone else...especially if Jake stays out of the way!
December 28, 2009 3:18 PM


Wasnt it obvious to most, that Fox didnt WANT Jake out of the way???

And if some dont like Fox, they arent true fans, yet it seems you dont like the QB....what does that make you?

Airman said...

Scott, I couldn't agreee with you more. Take any other club in the NFL and put 12 starters on IR and see what you get. The really good news is that people who were supposed to step up, did step up. Next year, many will be on the bench, replace by people who are now on IR. Makes one feel good about the team and it's depth. Anyone who can keep a squad together through what the Panthers have endured this year deserves to have another year to work his magic.

Kenneth said...

I simply can't believe that as Panthers fans we would have even one fan that would question Steve Smith's ability to come back after any injury at this point. Have you been watching the same incredibly tough, never give up guy that I have? This guy just can't be replaced. Have you seen how valuable he is to our running game and total offense when the quarterback can actually get him the ball? He is a deep threat. He is a threat in the slot. He is a threat over the middle. He along with Moose are two of the best blocking receivers to have ever played in the NFL. He gives astonishing effort every play. He is a tremendous competitor who plays to win. You have got to be kidding me!

psw1151 said...

I also believe Coach Fox should stick around. I believe that Mr Richardson has read Scott Fowler's latest check of the wind direction, and has decided to follow Professor Fowler's expertise. "Scott says keep Coach Fox, so it must be what I should do."
Scott, once you decide to take a position, be man enough to hang on to it. As I have said before, you and Mac Attack have the same journalistic skills...see if you can find a job with the jr high school newspaper. Anyone can put their finger in the wind to see which way it blows.

Curtis said...

Peter King called Smitty the toughest receiver - and possibly player - in the NFL in his MMQB column.

He also said "What took Fox so long to replace Delhomme with this wunderkind (referencing Moore)?"

Finally, he ranked us 13 in his fine 15.

In other words, he likes what our team has to offer - when they are playing at their best.

Anonymous said...

I don't much care for the coaching staff, but if Fox does stay, the only way I can see this team changing is to rid itself of Hurney the clueless talent scout, and Davidson, the moron of offensive playlessness.

Anonymous said...

Peter King? LOL What an azzoholio idiot he is. There is no worst sports writer in the history of America than this piece of trash who knows nothing but purports to know it all whose connections keeps him a job only because secretly most insiders despise the guy. What a joke he is and he is rarely invited to the annual sports writers conference. Anyone who climbs in the sack with King is either a total moron or a no nothing.

J said...

As I've said in other spots on this site, Fox has to go because he has no ability to remove personnel who are failing in their performance. Fox thinks he & Jake, since they got us to a Super Bowl one time, have lifetime exemptions from performance reviews. Jake had the awful playoff game, 4 awful preseason games, and 3 awful games to start the season - that's 8 straight awful games. He should have been benched after the Dallas game. If Jake hadn't got hurt, he'd still be starting and we'd be 4-11. With that kind of decison-making, plus never having 2 straight winning seasons, means Fox should go.

I would consult with Tony Dungy and hire Jerry Gray or one of Dungy's other mentees who is young and ready to be a head coach.

Anonymous said...

Jake is one of the best QBs in the NFL plus has more heart and soul than any of the rest giving you 100% 100% of the time without question. He just had some bad recievers this year.

These morons who continue to down Jake or Fox for that matter are completely ignorant.

One thing about Jake is he did the hard way and didnt have that pedigree or other sweet connections to get him through. Same for his boy Warner who make himself a similar success.

Moore cant hold a candle to Jake but we know the whinyazz fans always get their way.

The imates run the asylum as usual ...

Curtis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Curtis said...

So, anon @ 7:27 am...since you don't seem to know the difference, when you have knowledge of something you spell it KNOW, as in 'know nothing'...not NO. A guy with the nerve to call someone the "worst sports writer in the history of America" probably ought to get that one right.

That aside, I'm curious...since you profess to have the inside scoop - who are these "connections" keeping King employed? Which "insiders" do you know despise the guy and what have they actually said about them? Because, clearly someone as connected as you to all these NFL insiders must have some groundbreaking info, right?

Moron says what?

Anonymous said...

I can't believe some are calling Hurney a poor talent scout. . . Peppers, Witherspoon, Wesley, Manning Jr, Gross, Gamble, Wharton, Thomas Davis, D. Williams, Marshall, James Anderson, Jeff King, Beason, Kalil, Charles Johnson, Rosario, Stewart, Otah, Godfrey, Dan Connor, Schwartz & Bernadeau (filling in nicely), Munnerlyn (shows Promise), Sherrod Martin, and Everette Brown (has been spotted around the quarterback with increasing frequency). All drafted under Hurney, all talented. While other teams are typically scrambling around in free agency the panthers consistently have talented players who THEY'VE DEVELOPED and FIT IN THEIR SYSTEM. We may have lost a couple due to FA but that's b/c of business not lack of recognition.

Anonymous said...

I think it's time to stop defending Jake. To the guy who said it was bad recievers: I didn't realize we got an all new recieving corp in the time that Jake's been gone and Matty Mo's been throwin touchdown passes without interceptions. It's crazy that they all have the same names as those we had before.

MrBernz said...

Someone actually said Smith is done because of a broken arm. Lmao, what a ridiculous comment. Smith is the 1 that already came back from a broken leg & dominated. Smith is the PLAYMAKER, end of debate.

Kenneth said...

Anonymous 12:14 pm,

I just read your post and the next thing I knew my sons were coming in to help me up. I literally fell out of my computer chair. Are you serious? I just don't get it. How can you say that "Shaky Jake" is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL? Are you from Breaux Bridge yourself? You must have been looking at this guy through Louisiana colored glasses.

As for Coach Fox, I actually still and always have liked him as a coach. Even if he is the most predictable, boring, and stubborn coach in the world. I have no problem with him being the coach next year if he wants to come back. In fact there is some talk among some of the former Panthers players that maybe Jerry Richardson has been the person who has wanted Jake to remain the starter this year all along. Whether that is the case or not I think and hope that Richardson, Hurney, and Fox all finally have seen that it's time to go in another direction at quarterback. Even if you Jake lovers don't want to accept it.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Keep Fox. There is no doubt his decision regarding QB this year was wrong but he is still a great coach.

Anonymous said...

If the Panthers lose the last game and Moore screws up there will be a 180 degree shift by these fickleheaded idiots and they will be calling for Foxs head again plus bench Moore and replace him.
Jake haters will always be around but we know Smith can never be the blame even with a terrible year and now a broken arm. These idiots are even in denial on the broken arm comparing with some imaginary broken leg. What a laugh. The Panthers are huring their draft chances by winning.

When did Smith break his leg for those who have amnesia? Year place time and game? Was it a real break or a hairline only?

Anonymous said...

Smith had a non-serious hairline fracture of the left fibula 9/14/04which is a small thin bone in front of the tibula on the lower leg connected to the ankle. These kind of injuries almost always have a 100% recovery unlike a displaced or splintered break that requires titanium rods and screws.
Michael Vick had the same injury and recovered fully.

Curtis said...

Actually, it was a broken fibula...not a hairline fracture. That is why they had to have surgery on it.

Regardless...broken fibula, broken neck vertebrae, and now a broken arm...so what? Smitty has recovered before - so to even question if he'll come back is just plain stupid. Cite me one example - ONE TRUE EXAMPLE - of a receiver that broke a forearm and never returned to play football. Whereas I can show you plenty of players with broken bones who come back (and in case you didn't know, bones heal stronger after breaking). But you can't name one who never came back because of a broken forearm.

Anonymous said...

hairline fractures and breaks medical terminology are the same thing and players return after full healing.

displacements and splintering are worse and require rods and screws and players dont return and have permanent problems for life such as premature arthritis.

Matt said...

Let's review who led the team before Fox arrived in 2002... George Seifert... Dom Capers. Capers got the team to one NFC Championship berth before Kerry Collins gave up on the team and the inevitable implosion that followed. While Fox is no Bill Belichick, he does have the NFL's 9th best overall record this decade, three NFC Championship berths, and one Super Bowl appearance. Yes, he hung his hat on Jake Delhomme's arm for too long. However, the team has come to life (particularly the defense) and I'd like to see what a full season under Matt Moore brings.

It should also be noted that there's a pending lockout coming in 2011 depending on what happens (or doesn't) with the CBA. It's just business that the Big Cat would not sign an extension for Fox - or anyone else - until the picture for the 2011 season becomes clearer. The fact that Fox's contract expires in 2010 actually works to Jerry Richardson's advantage, at least from a money standpoint.