Thursday, December 23, 2010

5 things I didn't like in Panthers' 27-3 loss to Steelers

Lots not to like two days before Christmas in Pittsburgh, but here are my top 5 (and bear in mind, I wasn't at this game, but was watching from home):

1. First-drive punt. OK, so Carolina actually had a bit of momentum. The Panthers are moving the ball, it's 0-0, and they get to Pittsburgh's 32 on the first drive of the game. It's fourth-and-5. I understand it's too far for a field goal, that you just don't hit 50-yard field goals at Heinz Field that often (3-for-15 on the most recent 15 tries, as a good graphic pointed out on NFL Network).

But how do you not go for it there, John Fox? How do you not try for points, knowing how bad your offense is? Instead, Fox stuck to the conservative tendencies that run so deep in his bloodstream, punting. Carolina couldn't down the ball correctly, so Pittsburgh got it at its own 20 (only a 12-yard gain in field position) -- and broke off a 36-yard run on its first play.

Fox seemed to admit this mistake when he faced the very same situation on the next drive -- and then went for it, down only 3-0. That didn't work, either -- but at least at that point, he was trying. By then, though, the Steelers were rolling, and it was already too late.

2. Joe Theismann. Ohmigosh, I had forgotten what it sounded like to hear Theismann for a full game. Does anyone in any TV booth talk more and say less? I liked Matt Millen -- including his line about Jonathan Stewart ("That's a 100 percent USDA man".) I can't remember a thing Theismann said, except he always seemed to be talking and he usually seemed to be apologizing for Jimmy Clausen.

3. Jimmy Clausen. Speaking of Clausen, how inept was he? He had little help, as usual, but his split-second decisions were awful. He kept holding onto the ball and getting sacked, or checking down and not taking shots downfield, or taking an occasional shot but overthrowing it. As I've written before, he simply is not the long-term answer here, and the sooner everyone realizes this, the better.

4. Panthers' pass defense. Ben Roethlisberger had 259 yards passing -- in the first half! He shredded Carolina's defense, most beautifully on that pass to the slot receiver when he caught Carolina in an ill-timed safety blitz for a TD. The Panthers' only good pass defense came when Charles Johnson -- definitely the defensive MVP of this team -- sacked or harassed Big Ben. Otherwise, the ball was going to be complete.

5. Steve Smith. The Panthers actually did try to get him the ball in this game. Smith dropped one 20-yard pass (which would have been called back by an unrelated penalty anyway), caught a couple of short ones and had yet another game without a TD or anything close to it. It's become routine by now.


Anonymous said...

We are really good. Just to watch the grace with which this offense operates...

Anonymous said...

So Jimmy the elite QB (BAHAHAHAHA) didn't run over to give advice to the other QB like he did last week? HE SUCKS hands down and has to go. Come on Luck...Andrew that is. GO PANTHERS

D said...


I wish you would cease with the "Things I liked, Things I Didn't Like" headlines. Enough with putting yourself into the middle of the article.

Please just state your opinions without promoting yourself quite so blatantly.



Sportsdon said...

Theisman really is "mute the sound bad". I remember now how happy I was when he got caned from MNF years ago.

7 Punts in a row before the INT!

The offensive line is almost nonexistent unless they are getting a penalty. How many guys are standing around not blocking on every play?

These are still NFL players that Fox is getting nothing out of each week...who would hire him for this?

Owen D. said...

"5 things I didn't like" has grown to "65 things I haven't liked" over the span of 13 losses.

Like I said before, it's time for a change at the top starting with the ownership.

Richardson is really lucky to have lasted this long since his heart transplant. He needs to sell this team to someone who has the "means" to be competitive on a yearly basis on the NFLlevel.

We all know what Hurney is and how he operates. His drafts aren't what you think they are? Because a draft pick is still with the Panthers doesn't necessarily mean they got that particular player right. The real reason why they traded away those first round picks and a second round pick this year is really a Panther Business Model on how to free up money that your team doesn't has to spend on players.

Coach Fox is an excellent coach that played the hand he was dealt with this season. He is a true professional and that's why his players' never quit on him.

The Panthers Management Team on the other hand did the opposite. They threw Coach Fox to the wolves. They gutted the team and used this season to prepare themselves for the upcoming work stoppage.

The Panthers' need a new vision. They need to bring in a new General Manager, a new head coach, and have fresh ideas if they want to get this ship back on the right course.

John Fox will be the "FALL GUY" for this season but someone needs to take a hard look into Marty Hurney's costly "first day" personnel decisions and blunders and hold him accountable.

Anonymous said...

Richardson needs to sell? What ana idiot. He has male offspring who will assume command when his ticker gives out.

Why dont these azzholez who know everything yet know nothing go fork out a billion of their own loot and buy an NFL team?

What? No billion? No nothing? Then you suck. Sit down and shut the phuck up.

Hasnt Tom Soreheadsen done enuff damages already to pro sports in this city for the past 20 yrs? We dont need another one like him yapping his piehole 24/7.

Anonymous said...

I agree about Theisman; he is the worst, and thinks he knows it all, to boot. @D-Lots of writers use the same formula. Read papers from across the country, and you'll see it's true.

Anonymous said...

I watch the game and don't know who anyone is anymore. I see names of new guys and wondered how could this happen to the team. Who's bright idea was it to have so many new players.

Was it a reckless decision to throw out so many rookies at once. Seems to be an easy way to get hurt and cause harm and injury to the players and knock out any confidence they may have had or hoped to gain.

Anonymous said...

The second fourth-and-five play from the 32 yard line should tell you all you need to know about Clausen. One of the Panthers receivers was behind the Pittsburgh coverage with a clear path to the end zone while Jimmy danced around and took a sack. It's FOURTH DOWN. THROW the ball to the end zone. Completion, incompletion, interception - anything is better than taking a sack in that situation.

Anonymous said...

First things first....PURR DURHAM - the title of the blog is Scott says. It's his opinion on things so if you don't like it don't read.

As for the game, you know it's a bad year when people in the bar are cheering and high fiving a field goal when we are down 27-0! Clausen is a horrible quarterback. Maybe one day he could be serviceable, but he will never be even an above average qb. We need to draft Andrew Luck. If he is half as good as they say he is then we will be fine. We are going to have to try to trade one of Deangelo or JStew to get a first or second round pick(s). Then we look for DL and Ol help and maybe find another veteran WR.

Curtis said...

I have been patient with Jimmy to see how he progresses...and unfortunately, with him it is 1 step forward and 5 steps back. It's just not getting any better folks - any signs of improvement are quickly overshadowed by much of what you saw last night.

And yes, I've heard the comparisons to how awful Aikman and Peyton did their rookie seasons. So for grins, I did a little check on some other rookies to see how they really did.

Manning (1998): 56% comp rate, 3739 yards, 26 TDs, 28 INTs, 42 passes over 20 yards and 8 over 40

Aikman (1989): 52% comp rate, 1749 yards, 9 TDs, 18 INTs...although, Troy did not start any games and he only played in 11

Roethlisberger (2004): 66% comp rate, 2621 yards, 17 TDs, 11 INTs

Matt Ryan (2008): 61% comp rate, 3440 yards, 16 TDs, 11 INTs

And not to ol' Jimmy: 52% comp rate, 1376 yards, 2 TDs, 8 INTs

You can see by comparison, Jimmy is nowhere near the progress of these guys. At best, you might compare his stats to Troy's but even then Troy never started and played in one less game than Jimmy has. Face it Jimmy had some early flashes but has never sustained it. The rookie excuse doesn't hold any longer.

I am officially on the Luck bandwagon.

Anonymous said...


I always look forward to reading your 5 comments so keep it up. I agree 1000% with all of them. Jimmy is not the answer, Fox wasn't aggressive enough and I was saying the same thing, "why don't you go for it Fox, you have nothing to lose at 2-12?" Jimmy looked like a high school football player out there, he was as you said, "inept."

The secondary got eaten up but the front four did a good job over all.

Steve Smith, stop whining and catch the damn ball when it gets thrown to you. And one more thing Smitty, stop your stupid celebrations when you are 2- 12, that looks stupid.



vinny_57 said...

This game is an exact indication of just what the leadership (from the top down) of this team has done to it!
Jerry Richardson has embarressed himself in the eyes of the other owners, the other teams and the fans of the Panthers! This is what WE as fans call an inexcusable, unexceptable excuse of a team and season. After watching the first half I turned it off because 1. the outcome was already known. 2. I couldn't stand to watch as this sorry version of the Panthers got their noses wiped and their butts kicked. I feel sorry for Beason and a few others. They came here hoping that this team would be good enough to make it to the playoffs year-in and year-out, but instead they haven't made them year-in and year-out. GOOD BYE FOX and staff. Now if only the owner could see that Marty H. needs to go as well, then maybe this team can start to heal itself.

Anonymous said...

We all knew Clausen was terrible but Smith dropped 4 passes ????????????

No wonder he never got a free ticket in high school except to Santa Monica Jr College and then to powerhouse Utah.

The REAL SS is back since his rookie year he was Mr Fumble in the NFL as a special teams reciever.

JR pays this guy 7.5 million a year for WHAT ?

And they were comparing him to Jerry Rice?????????? pleaseeeeee

Thats like comparing Superman to Clark Kent

Anonymous said...

Yeah, let's get another rookie in here, that's a great idea!!! Whoo Another guy who after 5 or 6 games will be run out of town Whoo! We need a veteran who can calm this QB situation down and get some wins and confidence back.

Anonymous said...

The Clausen defenders need to wake up. I'm guessing you're a Notre Dame alum or your last name is Clausen. Stevie Wonder can see that he sucks out loud...

Curtis said...

Actually anon at 10:05, it is not just about "bringing in another rookie". It's about bringing in the RIGHT rookie. Look at Matt Ryan's rookie stats...and look where the Falcons are today (top in the NFC). You can't chalk everything up to a guy just being a rookie (especially after 14 games in the league). At some point, the light not only has to come on but there has to be a light to turn on to begin with. Luck apparently has the light. Clausen does not.

Anonymous said...

I saw the exact opposite of what you said about Clausen. It seemed to me that Jimmy was stepping up in the pocket versus rolling right when the pocket collapsed. Problem was Farrior is evidently a bull rusher versus an edge rusher so he was waiting when Jimmy stepped up. Also check down every time? He threw way more deep passes last night than he has done. I even saw him try to force a 20 yard pass to Steve Smith when the dump off man was wide open and right in front of him. Bottom line, I think he has made adjustments almost to a fault. There where times when he should have rolled right and chuncked it over the bench. The way we pass block perhaps that should be the default route. I like Mike Goodson when he has the ball in his hands but diving a Farrior's feet is a poor excuse for a block and pretty much useless. Our line can run block but they can't pass block as well as my son's high school team (who runs the spread). All these years under Fox leave me wondering how the new person will be able to throw the ball either. We almost need a pop warner pass blocking fundamentals practice.

I'm not a ND fan or from the left coast, but I don't see how we get an indication on Jimmy with this team. There is absolutely no one on the coaching staff who knows how to pass the ball effectively and the people we have drafted have all been run oriented folks. People say Gross is the pass blocker while Otah is the run blocker. I call BS, Gross holds or gets beat everytime we pass. no pass oriented players or coaches anywhere in the fold.

Anonymous said...

December 24, 2010 7:01 AM
"Richardson needs to sell? What ana idiot. He has male offspring who will assume command when his ticker gives out."

Hey Mr. Negative Blogger,

Panther's News Flash!! Richardson "FIRED" his two sons over a year ago! Get out from under your rock and wake up!

Anonymous said...

Keep Moore. He could possibly maybe work out.

Vet WRs up for grabs in 2011 as free agents.

(**Steve Smith trade even for Steve Smith)**????

***Miles Austin, DAL
***Sidney Rice, MIN
***Vincent Jackson, SD
***Steve Smith, NYG
***Santonio Holmes, NYJ
***Donald Driver, GB
***Mike Sims-Walker, JAC
***Braylon Edwards, NYJ
***Steve Breaston, ARI
***Davone Bess, MIA
***James Jones, GB

Other Free Agent WRs in 2011:
Early Doucet, ARI (R)
Brian Finneran, ATL
Mark Clayton, BAL
Donte’ Stallworth, BAL
Dwayne Jarrett, CAR
Rashied Davis, CHI
Chansi Stuckey, CLE
Brandon Stokley, DEN
Dennis Northcut, DET
Troy Williamson, JAC
Torry Holt, NE
Derek Hagan, NYG
Brad Smith, NYJ
David Clowney, NYJ
Johnnie Lee Higgins, OAK
Hank Baskett, PHI
Legedu Naanee, SD
Laurent Robinson, STL
Keenan Burton, STL
Maurice Stovall, TB
Santana Moss, WAS

Anonymous said...

JR with a used heart could become incapacited or expire at any time and if he did his 2 genetic offspring would automatically by law either control or inherit his assets that include the Panthers as his Power Of Attorney unless his wife objected and thats doubtful.

Check with your local attorney ...

Anonymous said...

Hurney is too ignorant to know that we need a franchise qb like our competition in then division. His personnel decisions have always been questionnable. Unfortunately, Richardson seems to think he's adequate. So here's the team making our next decisions....Danny Morrison who is an infant to the NFL, Hurney who is locked on Russ Grimm, who seems to be another Jeff Davisdon, and JR who doesn't really seem to care anymore about the team and fans.

CYA Later Charlotte said...

"JR with a used heart could become incapacited or expire at any time and if he did his 2 genetic offspring would automatically by law either control or inherit his assets that include the Panthers as his Power Of Attorney unless his wife objected and thats doubtful."

Excellent research! That maybe the Law but that wouldn't be his true intentions. if they were he wouldn't of fired his two sons in the first place.

Just another example on how dysfunctional this ownership has become. Sell the team to the Los Angeles group and don't look back.

FYI said...


Richardson actually has three kids. He has two sons and a daugther. He also has a grandson that works in the Panther personnel department who is actually being groomed to replace Marty Hurney in time.

Jack said...

I’m not asking Clausen play at a high level or win games here, just do something to show that he is competent at some point during the season. We have had plenty of other players step up in spite of our overall poor performances so I can’t see why we should give Clausen a free pass. He made a few terrible throws even when he had time. I’m looking at most of our other rookies & young players showing flashes of their potential and then there’s Clausen just being Clausen. He’s statistically the worst QB in the league with no less than 14 passes per game and you cannot convince me that the other 31 teams in the league have picture perfect conditions for their QB. He’s 31st in completion percentage with a league-worst 5.4 yards per attempt. There’s just something wrong with that, in my honest opinion. I’m not willing to concede 2011 to bad QB play from Jimmy Clausen if he just isn’t up to it. Five years from now he may be a great player but, right now and in our immediate future, he shows me nothing that says he can lead us to the ultimate goal, a super bowl victory.

Anonymous said...


I think it’s going to be a LOT more fun being a Panther fan next year.

Bobby said...

Not only was that our only nationally televised game this season, it was internationally televised.

Jimmy dropped a turd on a plate in front of the world and only the Notre Dame fans can't see it for what it really is.

I'm not going to apologize for Smith, he was awful. But Rosario is what? 6'6"? You have to throw it higher than two inches off the ground for him to have a shot at it, Pickles. Amazing how Rosario is serviceable with Jake and Matt yet non-existent with Jimmy.

I like when he scrambles too, it's tectonic. Baker is faster for heaven's sake.

Keyza Soulsay said...

So, when Luck turns out to be a bust next season, what will be the long-term answer then? No rookie QB is going to be able to develop behind a porous line and a rag-tag recieving crew.

Anonymous said...

Must be nice to "Anonymous"ly be able to say any stupid thing you want in these forums, but what beef could you possibly have with Tom Sorensen? Charlotte lucked out when he came to town. He is an excellent writer with a funny, educated perspective and I have enjoyed every single column of his that I have read. One more great thing about him, he signs his actual name to his columns every week, unlike you, you "Anonymous" puke. - Howard Liss

Anonymous said...

Five things I didn't like in the Panthers 27-3 loss to Steelers

1. Clausen, Scott
2. Clausen, Scott
3. Clausen, Scott
4. Clausen, Scott
5. Clausen, Scott

Anonymous said...

I think what we should try and do is trade clausen for a vetren QB.Draft Luck and ket him sit a year or two...hopefully our vetren QB doesnt get hurt. Then address our OL and maybe a good WR. Any thought on this idea??

Kenneth said...

Clausen is just no the answer. At best he may develop into another game manager. This type of quarterback just doesn't take his team that far in the post season these days. But as a Panthers fan I am intrigued about what a guy like Cam Newton could bring to this offense considering the running game we'll have when the o-line and running backs are healthy next year. Luck is okay. But I don't think he is the can't miss project that alot of fans think he is. We have to finally learn from our mistakes when it comes to these players with slightly checkered pasts. We also have to be smart enough to see past these traditional pocket passers. Newton will be a scrambler who can avoid the pass rush and still make all the NFL throws. He has a great arm.

Anonymous said...

Both Newtons are trouble and the FBI investigation will take at least another 6 months even though daddy is selling to anybody with 5 million. Auburn will be damaged stripped if it wins it all.
Cheats and liars bringing down NFL to even lower levels like so many others of this ilk on the take at all costs.
Stay away from the Newtons.
Quality and integrity only needed.

Anonymous said...

"December 24, 2010 3:11 PM"

Tom Soreheadsen gets paid to sign his name.

Whos the Darin Gantt idiot writing the John Fox obituary everytime he pecks on his keyboard like a chicken?

JOHN FOX BEWARE. These sorryazz sports writer snakes are writing your Panther funeral script. They SUCK the BIG ONE.

Anonymous said...

Marty Hurney is a friggin IDIOT!

Anonymous said...

The worst sports writer is Green jr NOT Sorenston. Get it right ... agree Fox has to go...

Anonymous said...

its a tie

Anonymous said...

this guy is a spitting image of herman munster