Let the Debate Begin

When the season is over a lot of things happen.  Players empty their lockers, workout schedules are imminent while coaches and general managers begin going about the business of football.

But when the fans feel that the season ends prematurely even more happens.  Debates begin and rage throughout the off season.  We’re just getting started with what promises to be the most divisive of them – the Jake Delhomme debate.  There’s time remaining to get to all the other debates that are sure to start up in the coming weeks.

We’ll start with Adam Schefter of NFL Network who quotes some numbers for us.

Now the question becomes what will happen to Delhomme, especially considering that he carries a team-high $11 million salary-cap figure for next season. If the Panthers release Delhomme, they would save a whopping $6.325 million against next season’s salary cap — perhaps enough to pursue another quarterback such as Cleveland’s Derek Anderson or even Michael Vick.

Those are not good numbers.  Ouch!  Can anyone honestly say that Jake Delhomme should demand $11 million next season?  I’m no math genius but those numbers just don’t add up.

Here’s the part that disturbs me the most about what Schefter wrote – Derek Anderson or Michael Vick?  I’m sorry, given the choice of Jake Delhomme or Derek Anderson, I take Delhomme.  And I would have to find another team to root for if Michael Vick came to town.  I won’t even discuss that and I can’t understand any fan who would.

Sports Illustrated has this nugget.

Especially with a decent number of quarterbacks available via trade or free agency, and with Delhomme due to earn $5.325 million in 2009. One thing’s certain — there will be plenty of voices in Charlotte calling for the team to bid farewell to Jake. Ever since Delhomme exploded onto the scene in 2003, there has been periodic whispers and concerns that he’s simply not good enough to be a high-end NFL quarterback. If there was any doubt, last night’s performance removed it. And here’s something to keep in mind: At one point in the 2008 offseason, agent Bus Cook was privately saying that Brett Favre wanted to play for the Panthers. That said, some might argue that Favre already was playing for the Panthers last night.

Now, I’m going to be sick.  Please let the talk of Brett Favre stop right there!  He required a private office in New York, rarely spoke to his teammates and made Jake Delhomme look like Dan Marino.  Shoot, down the stretch, Favre made Chris Weinke look like Dan Marino!

Next, our local media weighs in.  Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer summed it up like this.

Delhomme remains the quarterback that took Carolina to the Super Bowl after the 2003 season, the NFC Championship Game two years later and to a 12-4 regular-season record this season.

We all saw what the Panthers looked like without him in 2007.

But we also all know that there is a Good Jake and a Bad Jake – who appeared in the playoffs once before, when Delhomme threw three interceptions at Seattle in the 2005 NFC title game.

And although Bad Jake hasn’t climbed out of his dungeon very often this season, he reappeared Saturday.

And he ruled the night

Steve Reed of the Gaston Gazette had some thoughts.

Don’t expect Saturday night’s miserable performance to cost Jake Delhomme his starting job next season with the Carolina Panthers.

Coach John Fox said despite Delhomme’s six turnovers in Carolina’s 33-13 NFC Divisional Playoff loss to Arizona, he still views him as the team’s starting quarterback heading into the 2009 season.

Fox said “I can promise you” Delhomme’s performance wouldn’t change his commitment to Delhomme in the future.

“I can’t predict what’s going to happen,” Fox said. “I don’t know where anybody is going to be next year for sure. But that’s kind of my thinking, yes. But it’s a little early to be thinking about next year. I want to get through this one first.”

Fox believes Delhomme simply had a bad day.

The debate has just begun.  There is more to come even if it means that it will deafen us all.

Topics: Brett Favre, Carolina Panthers, Derek Anderson, Jake Delhomme, Michael Vick

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  • Tyler

    Jake has had problems all year throwing into coverage. Smith has bailed him out all year with spectacular catches.  It all caught up with Jake last night.  There was NO reason to put this game in Jake’s hands. We’ve had 400 yard games on the ground, even when we were down 14-7 there was no reason to panick.  We panicked and for some reason decided that Jake was strong enough to get into a shoot out with Warner, now that was either on Jake or on Davidson, but someone was calling those plays.

    You run, you pound and you get yourself back into the game. 2 and 10 and we are throwing into the end zone?  Willams up the middle and the game is 14-7.  But, what do we do, we force a ball into coverage.

    The offense play calling was dumb. Plain and simple.  We have two great backs and we panicked and went to the pass and Jake for no reason.   Something is wrong with Jake, he is not ok? Either his arm is hurting or he has lost a step or has lost his patience.  He “thinks” he can just gun sling us out of trouble and he no longer can.  We got lucky with about 4 games this year that could have went the other way.  Rosario on opening day is one. 

    We need a more level headed leader, one who does not panick and does not get upset on the field.  And, we need an Offensive Coordinator who will utilize all of our weapons.  First drive was great.  Rosario, Hoover, Williams, Stewart. Beautiful. Then we lost our marbles.

    Forcing Jake to throw it up the field with a Tommy John arm is gone.  Our game plan was no mistakes, no turnovers, and run the ball.  Who lost their cool out there? And, what was our Offesive Coordinator thinking?

  • Evan

    OK, we need a voice of an objective carolina fan. YES, That was the absolute worst panthers game ever, it looked like a Raiders game. YES, Jake is 70% to blame, 30% goes to the coaching. A QB change is a must, mentally his reads, pocket awareness and progressions are and have been slow all season. Coach Fox’s philosophy is too simple and lacks the modern complexities of modern football. His run first policy is fine until you get behind. They have virtually no midrange passing game, which kills 3rd downs. The receivers and tight ends simply aren’t either running crisp routes or its just jake.
            
    Here are my suggestions for off season changes: QB, or QB coach – Jake has 1 year left. Next, get a “Wes Welker” like slot receiver or move Smith to the slot on more plays. They desperately need a young 6’3″ or taller receiver, Mus is a great blocking receiver but has lost a step and has age on him. The secondary is the weak link on defense, blitzing is hard, because 1 on 1 coverage is like no coverage on a blitz.
     
    All in all People, the pieces are pretty much all there, O/D Line, Linebackers, Special Teams, 2 backs and go to receiver. As a fan its hard not to notice our deficientcies in the passing game, other than the deep one to Smith. I hold my breath everytime Jake throws the ball, especially on 3rd down. Thats the flaw, no balance, sure its great being a run first team, but the passing game has to be as good if not better. The Giants (with Plax) is coach Fox’s dream!

  • P. SIPE

    Get rid of this rag armed, second string has been. He only plays decent when he is pissed off. If you must keep him then make him second string and when he plays you need to kick him in the balls and call his mama a ho before he goes in. He seems to be in a trance like state or the bookies in Vegas have him paid off. Never the less, get rid of him and get yourself a real first string QB and quit wasting our time George Siefert OPPS i mean John Fox.

  • Carl

        I say we keep jake restructure his contract/resign him with a much lower deal so we can keep both gross and peppers. Let him battle it out with Matt Moore for the starting job let them both have equal time with the starters to show what they can both do.

         In Three games last year Matt Moore hit 9 targets, yes Smith was hit 23 times. In addition he threw to Drew Carter (6), Rosario (5), King, Williams, Foster, Fauria, Robinson and Hoov. That number is Three short of how many guys jake threw to this season the big difference in the ammount of targets we had but the drop off in Receptions is steeper. Jake has thrown to the combo of Smith and Muhammad a total of 143 times (smitty 78 times) the third person on that list was Williams who Caught 22 passes.

       Matt Moore is just a bit more Mobile than Jake and tends to go through his progressions much better. He also has a quicker release and as a rookie showed the poise of Tom Brady or Peyton Manning

    here is just some stats to throw out

    Jake Delhomme this season was 246/414 (59.4%) 3,288 yards 15 TD 12 Ints 84.7 rating

    Matt Moore in 3 games last year (Im not counting his mop up work at all cause that is not an accurate look)
    49/79 564 3 TD 2 Int (I did some of the math but don’t have the completetion % or the rating)

    thats my side of the debate I’ll come up with more stats later. Note I don’t count the preseason work from Matt Moore cause he was stuck working with 2nd and 3rd teamers and not the starters

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    Very informative post. I liked it. Thanks for your posting.