Monday, February 8, 2010

What Panthers can learn from Saints

I'm writing a column on this topic that will be posted soon (UPDATE: here's the full column posted on our website), but here's a preview of the first couple of paragraphs:

The New Orleans Saints provided a blueprint Sunday for the way you win a Super Bowl as an underdog against one of the best quarterbacks in history – something the Carolina Panthers couldn’t quite do six years before.

Namely, you take risks. When one fails, you take some more. If you go down, you go down utterly spent.

Before we go any further, answer me this: Can you imagine Panther coach John Fox calling for an onside kick to open the second half in a big game with his team down, 10-6?

If you can, your imagination is better than mine. Fox just doesn’t do things like that.
But he should. Every now and then, he should.


This part isn't in the column, but is interesting to me: Six years ago, Carolina also faced a favored team from the AFC with a great QB (New England and Tom Brady). Much like in the Saints-Colts game, Carolina got a late field goal just before halftime and went into the locker room down four (14-10 -- it was 10-6, Indy, in Sunday night's game).

New Orleans coach Sean Payton came out and called for an onside kick on the first play of the second half.

John Fox, of course, didn't do that in the same situation. And I'm not saying he should have -- Carolina then quickly held New England to a 3-and-out on the first series of the third quarter and almost won that Super Bowl (losing 32-29). I'm just saying he never would have thought about such a thing, such a risk, such a wild, bold play. And that, to me, is one of his failings as a coach. There's a lot to like there, too, but he's not going to think outside the box for you like that.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

If the Panthers can play their defense like like games 14-16 in '09and the offense no holds barred, they just might be something in '10.

Ed said...

What do you mean Fox doesn't take chances? The Panthers ran a flea flicker this. That's pretty radical for him.

David I said...

Had that on-side kick worked out with Indy getting the ball at their own 40, this opinion would be vastly different. It's very easy to sit back and make statements after the fact. It's called hindsight.

An no, what the Saints did last night is most certainly not a blueprint on how to beat a team in the SB with an incredibly gifted QB. Way to reach there, Scott.

Anonymous said...

The John Kasy kick out of bounds cost us that game. John is such a nice guy nobody wants to approach the situation.

Anonymous said...

The Saints won without a $20 million dollar defensive end and they have a more accurate passer, that's a good formula. We might have a more accurate passer with Matt Moore or maybe we can draft, Colt Colby-QB Texas.

Anonymous said...

Yeah this is a ridiculous article/blog. It was absolutely a stupid decision to kick an onsides kick. They just happened to get lucky and get the call. The Colts player recovered the ball before everyone piled on. If the ball does not change hands under there, Peyton Manning scores in 4 plays. Then Coach Payton gets run out of town for such a bone-headed move, when his defense held the Colts to only 6 offensive plays in the 2nd quarter. Come on Scott...you are better than this crappy article/blog.

Star said...

Let me break it down for you people.
If you never take any real chances you become predictable.
When you are predictable you lose your edge.
If you don't have an edge then your opponent has the edge.
This means a lesser team will beat you every time.

Now let me sum it up for you.
John Fox needs to go!
He has lost his edge.
This spills over into the team.
Just think about it...

If Carolina wants to be more than just mediocre they need to be hungry. That feeling needs to be inspired from the coach. They had it in '03 with Fox.
Let's hope Fox finds what he needs to inpsire his team or he gets replaced with someone who can.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with taking chances, we can start with going more for it on 4th downs. More reverses, more screens and trickery. Not the kind where you throw it across the field though. (Remember that one?)

I like Chucky, now if Fox could be a little more like Chucky then it would be a start. You play to win the game, you play to win the game, YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME! Bottom line, sometimes we are reactive rather than proactive, we play prevent defense and that's wrong! Meeks has us going in the right direction, now we need to do that on offense. You play till the last second is off the clock at both half time and 4th quarter. Every second is an opportunity for three more points and if Fox thought more like that, we'd have won a few more games over the years. Please John, get rid of the Dom Capers syndrome!

Anonymous said...

Jake Delhomme imploded, John Fox kept playing him and we didn't make the playoffs. Where is the suprise?

I assume John Fox learned his lesson.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you forget the 2pt he went for, which ended up really hurting them at the end of the game.

Brad's Blog said...

I wish Fox would take a chance on a new quarterback - which may still happen. Did they ever try to aquire Brees or Farve when they were available? Do you think they could have taken the Panthers further than last year's results?

Anonymous said...

No risks in Super Bowl, He went for a 2 pt conversion, granted it might have cost them the game when factoring the other miss and NE conversion.

Anonymous said...

Kasey lost that SB game for us..lets face it and I cannot believe they extended his contract. Kasey plays like Jake. Ya just never know where that ball will go. I think the powers that be plays favorites with the players.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous who thinks Kasey is unreliable....have you ever watched the Panthers play?? EVER? Kasey won at least 4 or 5 games that season on long field goals...without him we never would've even been there. Was the kick out of bounds a bad play? Sure it was. But saying he is a choke artist makes you look pretty ridiculous. We've been very lucky to have such a teriffic kicker and team leader.

Anonymous said...

Clearly we now know the NFL is no better than WWE and will rig not only regular season games but also playoff and incredibly Super Bowl games.
Now we know that an upset Manning was clueless about Caldwell being instructed by the NFL brass to forget a perfect season and to remove all his starters to lose the NY game to snap the mentality.
We know more clearly why Favre was roughed up no less than 10 flagrant late hits that never resulted in expulsion. McCrarys was the worst and he could have been fined 50k easily but wasnt. In hind sight even the roughing up of Favre was contrived and neither Favre or the Viks never seemed distraught about losing so maybe they agreed to the deal in advance. Maybe there were millions in payoffs too and the refs actions were clearly biased.

Clearly Manning was spared any late hits and treated like fine China plus intentionally threw the Super Bowl and seal the deal with a lackluster performance and fully onboard to lose and allow his hometown Saints to win their first ever against all odds even throwing the interception to ice the cake. Daddy Archie was a Saint for life and he grew up blocks from the Dome.

Everything worked out perfectly for the Big EZ and Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras to begin 2 days later notwithstanding the perfect timing of the Haiti quake sympathy factored in with the Katrina disaster putting New Orleans back in power as a city again even with a new mayor. The Vegas odds spread wasnt that terribly bad so noone really lost out either.

NFL = WWE Its rigged but maybe for the betterment of humanity. They got their 15 minutes of fame. Nomore freebies.

Anonymous said...

The interception sealed the game and it was all over. We can do that. But I won't rain on the Saints parade. They won and they deserved it.

J said...

If we're going to re-hash our Super Bowl, that will add to Scott's assertion that Fox never takes chances. Every coach has that stupid chart that tells you whether to go for 1 or 2 depending on what the lead/deficit is. It should never be used until 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter. But Fox used it early, we didn't convert, then we had to try it again, then New England went for 2 as the chart dictated, and the game ended up tied when NE got the ball last. If we had never gone for 2 those first 2 times, that would have eliminated NE going for 2 on their last TD, and the kick with 3 seconds left would have tied the game at 31. So it was not Kasay who lost us the game, it was the coach who always goes by the book/percentages/tradition and never thinks with innovation.

That's not going to change. Tradition says you can't lose your job while you're injured. Conventional wisdom says always go with what worked before. Both of those lines of thinking will lead Fox to declare Jake to be the unquestioned starter. Then we'll start the year 1-4 and then - hopefully - he will be let go.

Anonymous said...

Maybe QC and Carolinas piedmont area need a big tragedy so that one day the NFL powers will rig a big Super Bowl win for it too since like NO that may be the only way it will ever happen. American taxpayers also spent 200 billion fixing up The Big Easy for free too after Katrina. Must be nice to be in a big flood zone on the coast to get your cake and eat it too when the big one hits.