Monday, March 8, 2010

I'm sorry the "Hoooov" got the ax

The Carolina Panthers have confirmed today that they have released veteran fullback Brad Hoover, one of the team's most well-liked citizens and a heckuva blocking back for the past 10 years.

The "Hoov" had one of the great Panther names in history -- it was so easy to yell "Hoooooooooov!" whenever he got one of his rare carries or ran over somebody on a short pass for a first down. The Western Carolina product and Thomasville native was an undrafted rookie free agent a decade ago and made a great career for himself. Stop me if you've heard this before, though: The Panthers are going to go younger and cheaper at the position.

Panther coach John Fox said last week that football "was a young man's game," and the team seems to have taken that message to heart. They remind me of that old 1960s adage "Never trust anyone over 30" -- the Panthers barely have a player over 30 on the roster anymore.

I will always remember Hoover, 33, for that "Monday Night Football" performance against Green Bay in 2000. As a rookie pressed into duty as a feature back, he rushed for 117 yards in 24 carries on "MNF" and scored a TD. It was a great moment, and for 10 years those 117 yards remained his career high.

Far more often, Hoover did the dirty work -- the "running-into-a-garage-door" 40 times a day that is required of most NFL fullbacks. It's no coincidence that Stephen Davis, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart all had 1,000-yard rushing seasons with Hoover road-grading the way.

I'll miss the "Hoov," and I bet you will, too. He was one of those players who really didn't inspire a pro and con side, like Jake Delhomme and Julius Peppers did.

Hoov was just Hoov. I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone say an unkind word about him, and I'm not about to start now.

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really worry about what this will do to our dominant running game... Tony Fiammetta isn't ready to start at Fullback. Youth on the team is all well and good, but this is getting a little rediculous. Hoover still had some good games in him and he's not breaking any bank.

Anonymous said...

The Panthers just might have lost a large part of their fan base with cutting Hoover. Younger is not always better. Hoover was the best fullback and I worry about next years running game with him absent.

GO Hoov!

Anonymous said...

Why cut Hoover? He was not a bank breaker and played his butt off every game. I for one am really going to miss the 'Hoov"

Brian said...

This is the biggest Bonehead move the Panthers have ever made! The thing that separated our team from others in the NFL was always class! Now, with this move, the front office has proven that they don't have any! Don't have any football brains either.
If you're up to it front office, I'll go out and get 11 of my friends, put on the pads, play us all both ways and beat the hell out of any 11 guys you can now put on the field! I love Steve Smith and Moose but if were them, I'd be very nervous right now! I hope our great running backs don't get sick to their stomachs over losing the best blocking fullback in the NFL and decide to go play elsewhere! No wonder we can't get consistent as a team... there is no football knowledge in the leadership!

Anonymous said...

Surely everyone saw this move coming. I liked Hoover too, but it was time. Now, if Fiametta doesn't produce, then it's a bad move, but Hoover just doesn't seem to have much tread left.

Good luck Hoov, and thanks for everything.

Anonymous said...

hmmm...."unkind" word...Hoov is "disgustingly" admirable.

Anonymous said...

For all those that claim Hoov doesn't have much left. I wonder if we were watching the same player. Two 1,100 yard running backs in one season last year. That my friends says Hoov has some tread left on his tires. Too bad another team will benefit from his experience and abilities not to mention his leadership and character. Younger is not always better. Experience is important, especially at fullback. The unfortunate this is that football is treated as a business and not a game.

Hoover deserved the chance to play the last year on his contract, mentor Fiammetta, and retire as the one of the most loved Panther players in franchise history.

Moves like these hurt the fans and the organization.

steve koontz said...

Hoover WAS the integral part of the Panthers running game....both RB gave full credit to Hoover and his blocking, and Fox was SUPPOSEDLY his biggest supporter....what a crock of crap......the boy from Thomasville represented the city, the state, and the team in the highest regards, and he gets THE SHAFT from a lameduck coach and GM.... his was one, if not, the most popular player, and this is nothing but a smack in his face and a stab in the fans back...he was a consistant stalwart on offense......I DO BELIEVE I HAVE ATTENDED MY LAST PANTHERS GAME, as he and a couple others were the reason I came to the games.....for his career in Charlotte to end like this, a pure $$$ move, by uninformed and blindered coaches and management, smack of sickness..
the fan base will be very vocal about this......no one wants to wait another few years for a return to greatness, and moves like this just alienate the fan base more.....ANOTHER horrible decision by the coaches and GM, two faced they are...
best of luck Brad....if we are lucky, they will re-sign you..

Anonymous said...

@steve koontz - really your last game because the Panthers let a 33 yr old FB that missed more games last year then in his whole career. He did not play FB all year, Sutton played 2 games as FB, and Tony F. played FB.. Then there were the games where Hoover wasn't even hardly in the backfield. Most teams don't even carry a FB anymore, it's not a required position anymore. And we had (3) people playing it last year. Tony F. was the best FB in College 2 yrs ago, and Sutton can be his backup.. And both play Special teams, Hoover does not play Special teams.. Good move, Hoover will be missed in the locker room and by the fans.

Anonymous said...

really your last game because the Panthers let a 33 yr old FB that missed more games last year then in his whole career. He did not play FB all year, Sutton played 2 games as FB, and Tony F. played FB.. Then there were the games where Hoover wasn't even hardly in the backfield. Most teams don't even carry a FB anymore, it's not a required position anymore. And we had (3) people playing it last year. Tony F. was the best FB in College 2 yrs ago, and Sutton can be his backup.. And both play Special teams, Hoover does not play Special teams.. Good move, Hoover will be missed in the locker room and by the fans.

Anonymous said...

They lost me as a fan right now. ClassLESS is what the big Cat has become. This is eerily scary,,,I hope I don't see Vick here!

steve koontz said...

ANONYMOUS, WHICHEVER ONE YOU ARE...
what are you smokin'? Hoover DOES play special teams, and is always there for the tackle...what game/team are you watching ? He has been a mainstay on ST for years....and Fiammetta ? that bewildered 'fullback' that hasnt had a meaningful block since he has been on the team ? come down off your high, you need to get a clue and some facts. Fiametta was a bust, and Sutton, though he had a couple moments, has nowhere near the smarts that Hoover had, much less the RESPECT of his teammates and fans.....this is a big loss for the Cats, and yes, this is possibly the last straw for me, seeing this team dwindle down to basically a shell of its former self, due to asinine and incompetent decisions by coaches and mgmt.....and if you were a decent fan, you 1)would be upset at losing a leader and integral part of the O, and 2) you would know the Panthers players and positions a little better....read up on your Panther knowledge base and post something factual...goodday..

Anonymous said...

As a PSL Holder from the beginning this has to be one of the more STUPID moves I have seen the Panthers make.

You do not have two backs run for 1100+ yards without a great fullback. Is the intent to gut the team to the point that our highest paid person makes the league minimum?

Great Move "NOT"!!! I am so disappointed that I wish I could sell my PSL's and be done with this team. I guess this will be the laat year for Fox. It's hard to keep your job when you finish 1 - 15, or perhaps 2 - 14.

Thank you Brad for all of your hard work and great abilities. Let's see who they find that can block and catch the ball coming out of the backfield like Brad.

Ron said...

Hello, Panther brass. You're losing me as a fan. This is another idiotic move, like when you decided to cut Keyshaun in favor of the inimitable Dwayne Jarrett. How did that go for ya??? Fiametta isn't half the man Hoov is. Do you see what your running backs are saying???? They're "super sad" and probably would like to be even more critical than that. Idiotic.

nohuiam said...

I can't figure one good reason to cut Hoov. He's got another five years left in him and should have a statue out front of the stadium at the end of his career. I think Fox and Hurney are firing back at the fan base saying "this is what you get for bitching about every last thing we've done the past several years." Well, F you right back!

The Brandonian said...

Seriously guys I hate this move as much as the next guy but why is everybody talking about not being a fan anymore? Thats just weak, don't give up on your team. And Koontz, dude, how are you gonna say Fiametta is a bust? You're vastly over-reacting right now to everything and I hope you're able to look back and realize that you sound like a stupid spoiled whiny little baby. Fiametta was a backup to a great FB last year, he didnt get a lot of chances to show anything so its impossible to label him a bust. Its not like he was a first rounder or anything. Guys, be pissed off, I definitly understand. But dont be lame and whine about how youre gonna quit being a fan and not go to anymore games. Though they may piss me off from time to time, Ill always be a Panthers fan.
Sorry Hooooov, ure definitly gonna be missed here.

Anonymous said...

Horrible move. If you think Hoover doesn't have any tread left your an idiot. Tony F isn't ready yet. He should at least get one more year under Brad. 2 RB's with 1,100.

Hoover is making 850,000... That's pocket change in this business.

steve koontz said...

college and pro are different balls of wax.....Fiametta may be the coolest guy on the team, but his performanace on the field, whenever he was on the field, was nothing special at all...missed blocks, no gains, dropped passes...he actually looked lost several times, compared to Hoovers precise blocks--watch the films....sure, he may develop, but the Cats gave away a sure thing in Hoover...he was the gel of the offense IMO, leading the way for the RBs, basically another lineman opening holes, generally a guaranteed 1st down on 3rd and short, always gave his 100% on the field....NO ONE else has done that, and this year will be a bummer...

Anonymous said...

Another brilliant decision made by the genuis front office. Hoover is one of the best selling jersey's at BOA over the past 10 years. Turning next season into a farewell tour on his final year of contract w/memorabillia would have paid for much of his salary, would have been a reason for the media to talk about the Panthers positively, given you leadership on the field and in the locker room and you still would have had one of the best blockers in the NFL playing in front of or as a back-up to Tony. At under $1M a year, Hoov is a BARGAIN in the NFL even at 33 for the remainder of his contract.

I'm kinda hoping he'll land with a rival team, come to BOA and hear everyone chant HOOV when the rival team and Hoover whoops up on the Panthers. (After 5+ years at spending over $2,000 per year at BOA, it would be the ONLY game I would attend next year)

If there was a fan vote to drop Hurney, Fox or Hoover? Everyone knows Hoov would be playing and Hurney and Fox would be out on their butts in a second.

BAD MOVE PANTHERS! Everyone knew Hoover would be gone after his contract was up next year but you've shot yourself in the foot on this one with a NO CLASS move. Oh well, I guess I'll be about $2,000 to the good this fall since my family won't be coming to BOA.

Anonymous said...

I just don't understand the move. Hoover represented the best of the Panthers; he was a class act on and off the field and worked his tail off every game. His salary was no where close to a bank breaker and he was a leader within the organization. I just can't understand how you let him go. I'll miss you HOOOOOV

Anonymous said...

Brandonian, you say people are overracting by saying they are going to drop the team but hey, many of us have given more years to the Panthers than the coach has. Since day 1 I've given my loyalty and LOTS of money to support the Panthers. By the way, you say we're whining but, how much money have YOU invensted? Are you a PSL owner? Just how big of a fan are you? Those of us that have invested thousands of dollars are PO'd man! When you've invested thousands of dollars a year into a team - it makes you crazy when the idiots in the front office do this crap.

The decisions this front office has made over the past couple of years has turned me off. MY PSL'S GONE, GONE, GONE. Everybody has their "last straw moment" the idiot move to drop Hoover with a measly one year under on million left has done it for me after the whiny no good players getting vastly overpaid for years have been kept? I'M DONE MAN!

Anonymous said...

The game isn't about Hoover and is bigger than he. The fan base will be there, but he will not.

Anonymous said...

Just more evidence this front office and coach don't know what the hell they are doing. After decimating our roster, the front office and coach will be gone next year and we will, yes, be starting all over again. Jerry Richardson obviously is late waking up to the fact these clowns don't have a plan.

James D. Hogan said...

Brad Hoover is a class act who represented the Panthers, Charlotte, and his good ol' alma mater Western Carolina incredibly well. I've always been proud of him, and I'm going to sorely miss following his successes in Carolina.

HOOOOOOV!!!! (I feel like we need a designated hour or something for everyone in Charlotte to lean out of their office windows and give a big Hoov! in tribute!)

Anonymous said...

I think what Brad Hoover said about being cut is true. The Panthers and other NFL teams
appear to be putting all the
veterans on the street in anticipation of the labor action that's likely to come next year. If players like Hoover don't sign for significantly less money this year they'll have to sit two seasons, not one, should a lockout occur. Even if they sign a veteran minimum or similarly small contract, it's still not going to add much to whatever lockout funds they've saved up. This puts the onus on them to support themselves and their families and as such makes them and the player's association more tractable to a deal that favors what the owners want, which appears to be a major rollback in player compensation and freedom of movement.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said that Hoover is not bigger than the game and the fans will still be there but Hoov will not.

Brad Hoover is probably the last player in the league who would ever think of himself as bigger than the team. Clearly, one of the more important reasons the Panthers should have kept him for his last year of contract to balance the youth coming in. Yes, some fans will be there. I, a PSL owner for 10 years, will NOT. This is not a decision made due to the Hoover cut all in itself but due to many BAD decisions over the years. Hoover getting cut is the last straw though!

Anonymous said...

I say fire Fox, keep Hoov. He'd probably be a better coach than Fox anyway.

Or, fire Hurney and keep Hoov. Panthers might actually make the playoffs next year.

Fire Fox and Hurney and keep Hoov. Any of the above works for me!

Anonymous said...

Rhys Lloyd would've made more than Hoover this year even with his roster bonus?

You cut a 10 year player doing all the dirty work, being a leader on and off the field, being a positive light on the program, one of the best blockers in the leage making under a million a year who never complains with only one year left on contract?


OK, let's all say DUMBA$$E$ in unison.

Anonymous said...

WARNING! PANTHER FRONT OFFICE IS OFF THEIR MEDICATIONS AGAIN!

Anonymous said...

This decision shows why the Panthers will never win the Superbowl. Boneheads running the front office:

These guys will pay for new front door on the house when the old one is a little worn but solid. At the same time, they won't patch the roof when it's pouring rain and there is a gaping 12 foot hole in it!

You have paid millions to keep a guy who vocally told the press that he didn't want to be there and was desperate to play elsewhere. You'll pay over twelve million this season to a quarterback that will probably spend all fall and winter on a beach somewhere. But, you cut a proven leader who still has it who never complains and gives your organization positive press at every turn who is making nickels compared to the ones listed above. Brilliant, just brilliant.

Way to go front office - you've screwed up YET AGAIN!

Hoover - ups to you and yours. What a class act. ANY team will be lucky to get you... wish the boneheads at the Panther office could see that.

Anonymous said...

GOT HOOV?

NO?

You won't have my money next season either Panthers! Have fun in the lower half of the conference.

Anonymous said...

Hoooooooooooov!!!

I'm considering calling Hurney's office repeatedly and yelling that into the phone until he comes to his senses.

Hoover = Class
Hurney = Idiot

Nuff said!

Anonymous said...

Anybody got any idea how much Hurney is getting paid?

Whatever it is, if it is over a buck a year, it's 99 cents too much!

Anonymous said...

time to get rid of smith and beason now. clean house.

moose? he went to chicago 2 yrs and their famed tradition? what a joke. break out the 350 a bottle bubbly.

kasay getting too old too right? out the door too? ...

john fox is next according to the idiot curly head dumbo on local fox sports who need to take a hike himself.

Andy said...

FIRE HURNEY!!!

Part of my wonders, if Mr. Richardson brought Fox and Hurney back for one more year to disassemble the team and cut salary. That way the new coach/gm won't start out alienating the fan base by getting rid of guys like Hoover, the new coach/gm will have plenty of $$$ to spend on free agents, and the new coach/gm won't have a guaranteed terrible season to start out with. I think whatever moves they make over the next few weeks will tell us if that is the case.

Michael Bacon said...

In case anyone hasn't realized this by now (and many apparently haven't), the Panthers are not planning for 2010 right now. They're planning for 2010-2012, which is a good thing.

We had a core that took us to three NFC championship games and won one of those. Last year the Panthers tried to bring in some guys to kick us over the line, and we melted down. Hoover isn't getting cut because Hurney thinks he can't play next year, because obviously he can. Hoover's getting cut because he probably won't be able to play at this level in three years.

My guess is that the Panthers are fixing to flood training camp with blue collar free agents in their mid 20's, and are clearing out the vets to see what the young guys can do. When Fox first came in, they did a similar clearing out of older guys then tried to engender competition at every position. The result was the mostly-good run we had over the last seven years, and we found guys that could play Super Bowl-quality football and guys who needed to be cut.

The decision has been made -- our Super Bowl window closed. They're trying to open a new one, and it probably won't be this year.

Anonymous said...

I have lived in NC all my life and Never Liked the panthers but Loved watching Hoover play Class Act on and off the field. He has been that way since I played with him at WCU and I know for a fact he isnt done, If anything they made him mad. Heck the Saints need a FB. Sorry Panther Fans your Owners and Head office Made a Big Mistake in my Book.

He is a Hall of Famer in my Book

dubf24 said...

I don't mind cutting a great guy if he no longer is an asset to the team (jake d) but this is not the case with Hoover keep him one more year and give him option after that of staying with team in some other capacity if he doesnt produce. The running game is even more important now because though i like his potential Moore doesnt scare other teams yet

Anonymous said...

fake fake fake - All that crying and boo hooing last week from Jake was nothing but acting. If you noticed he put his hands up to his face to cover it and squirted fake water in his eyes and face.

Seriously Jake the fake needs to head to Hollywood and try acting next with phony drama like that or maybe talk to WWE. He really had a lot of idiots going though. Jake is laughing all the way to the bank.

Anonymous said...

Stupid is as stupid does. The Panthers front office has just proven they are royal idiots! I fully understand that Hoover is over 30 however, he's a BARGAIN priced player, he produces as much or more than many guys 5-7 years younger than him. Some team is going to get a heck of a FB. Does everyone know that a few years ago just before the Patriots won the Superbowl, they offered Hoover MORE money than Carolina? Yeah, Hoov could have had a Superbowl win/ring under his belt but no,Hoover stayed because he felt he owed it to Carolina for giving him a shot and he wanted to finish his career here. I hope another team in the NFC picks him up and pays him what he is truly worth which is a lot more than Carolina paid him. Hopefully, he'll come back and he and his new team will blow Carolina out of the water.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, let's be smart and put a new quarterback in and at the same time, take the best blocking fullback we've ever had out and park him. Brilliant Hurney. Just brilliant. You're a JOKE!

Anonymous said...

Maybe not on ESPN but for the local fans (you know, the ones of us that actually spend our hard earned money to go to games, buy merchandise, and even stay during the losing seasons) Hoover IS THE FACE OF THE FRANCHISE. Which one of you genius' decided you couldn't spend the 2% of salary cap to keep Hoover for the last year of his contract? Hoover not only is one of the best players you have, he is THE best for the money spent. Geez, think of the press you could have gotten on a farewell tour and gear? MORONS!!

Anonymous said...

Someone please tell me..who is making these decisions?

They sign on Kasey and Jake last year with a long contract. Jake who "chokes" anytime anywhere but finally settles for interceptions and wobbly balls. Kasey who cost us the SB and cannot do an onside kick. So we keep old men and throw away a great kicker as Rhys. Brillant! Now we got rid of Hoover. Too old..heck better in his positon than Kasey in his position. Something is wrong with some one brain!

Anonymous said...

I've heard it was Richardson not Hurney or Fox that made the final decision to cut Hoover. Hard to believe that the big man would pull this. Hmmmm, maybe I need to sell my PSL's after all. Cannot support this kind of decision from the big man.

Anonymous said...

I heard other teams are calling Hoover already. He's too good to quit right now. He'll wind up somewhere. Probably somewhere better than Carolina. Good for him. Hope Carolina regrets that decision for a long time to come.

Anonymous said...

If heart wins superbowls, a team with 56 Brad Hovers would be a shoo-in every year. Alas, Pro football is a business the youth movement is a no lose situation for Charlotte. If next year is a lousy year, which it will no doubt be, the Panthers will get a bunch of 1st round pick for the follwing year and a whole lot of money to buy with. I really feel sorry for the new quarterback.

r

Anonymous said...

It's interesting. Most people I've talked with (a lot of Panther fans who have PSL's and attend games)are of the opinion that Jake's cut was overdue. The same people feel that Brad's cut was stupid.

Took Richardson a year to long too cut Jake and it will take him another year to realize that cutting Brad was a stupid mistake.

Wonder who the Hoov will end up with. I want to make sure I've got him on my Fantasy team next year. I doubt anyone on Carolina will be on my fantasy roster. Their running game without the Hoov will suffer!

Anonymous said...

A man who looked like Superman and blocked like him. A real class guy who always had time for the fans. I will miss seeing him at training camp.

Anonymous said...

Here's what's happening...
It sure seems like Fox knows he's gone after next year and he is simply destroying a potential opponent when he goes to the Giants or other team.

John W. said...

Everyone is fine about cutting players, making moves and "getting younger" until it's not Jake Delhomme who's being let go.

Some of us fans begged for what was (before this) the most reactionary, stubborn and content-with-standing-pat management team to shake things up.

Now that they finally are, we're complaining about that too.

It's hard out here for an NFL coach, huh?

Anonymous said...

I will continue to only wear my Hoover jersey! What a great guy on on the field and off! I hope Hoov reads the comments on all of his articles because no one has anything bad to say about the guy! Good luck Hoov I'll still yell your name!

Anonymous said...

from Isaiah:
check your stats guys (nfl.com/players) shows Hoover missed 5 games last year. And had only 1 tackle, so NO he did not play special teams (too slow) and made one tackle after an interception.
I'm also sure Panthers know his medical history and back issues better than us and anticpated more of same - where he was mr reliable, he missed a third of games last year and we drafted 'Fiam" to replace and got bonuse with Sutton - we can't keep 6 backs (Williams, Stewart, Goodson, Sutton, Fiammetta).
Hoover is a great story, 1AA to multi year starter, but it is time to say good-bye. We'll miss ya, visit my PSL anytime.

Anonymous said...

Even playing less games Hoov more than EARNED every penny the cats paid him. Even if they kept him as a back-up for one year to mentor Tony as he plays more they should have kept him at $860,000 for the last year of contract. His leadership to the cats with all the young players next year would be priceless. STUPID MOVE RICHARDSON!

Anonymous said...

Stat sheets don't always show true value. You had two RB's with 1,000+ yard seasons last year. Hoover was a huge part of that. Fiamatta will be okay but, he's no Hoover. When the chips were down over the past 10 years, many of the players will tell you that Hoover was one of the major players keeping his head screwed on straight and keeping others reeled in and focused. A coach in uniform on the field and in the locker room is hard to put a price on. Carolina will sorely regret losing Hoover. I see him moving to another team and making an immediate impact.

Anonymous said...

For the guy that said Hoover didn't play special teams this year, I have video evidence he did. Maybe he wasn't in position for tackles, but he was on special teams at least for some of the games I checked on my copies from this past year.

God knows the Panthers have paid a lot of players over the years that got injured. You can't predict injuries, they can happen to a rookie just as fast as a veteran.