Interesting story on the Panthers posted today in "Pro Football Weekly,"which is not nearly as high-profile a publication as Sports Illustrated or ESPN but has some good journalists who work hard at their craft.
I know, as I used to be a freelance team correspondent for PFW a number of years ago (they employ one in each NFL city, usually from the hometown newspaper of that team). I haven't done that for a number of years now, but I know several of the folks at PFW, and I can assure you they don't just make things up.
In any event, today's story in PFW absolutely rips the Panthers with such quotes as an unnamed NFL general manager saying: "They are turning the football over way too much. They are getting outcoached. They are getting outplayed. The issue right now is that the little things are not getting done."
And from an unnamed league exec:
"The Panthers have enough talent to be competitive. They have a bad coaching staff. I don't know how good Fox is at evaluating. I think he is a good head coach — he knows how to coach and motivate a team, but there's a lot more to the job than that nowadays.
"If you look at their roster, probably 75 percent of it is (comprised of) draft picks. They have a young roster, and if you are going to play young, you better have a strong coaching staff that is invested. Their coaching staff is working on the last year of their deals. They don't know where they will be after this year. They are more worried about their next jobs than they are about coaching this football team."
There's more negative stuff besides that, but you get the idea.
Now it's easy to rip a winless team, and even more so anonymously. Take all of this with a grain of salt, as if the Panthers were winning, you'd find plenty of "league execs" and "unnamed GMs" praising the team to the high heavens.
Still, it's interesting.
4 weeks ago