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A Realistic Look at the John Fox Situation.

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 03: Head coach John Fox of the Carolina Panthers watches on against the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Okay, I am going to go ahead and be premature, and bring this up. Premature though it is, it is still something to think about going into this season. With all the talk about “rebuilding” and “Youth Movement” this is truly a topic for consideration and how it will impact this coming season. So I briefly want to contemplate some “what if” scenarios.

“Lame Duck” seems to be the popular phrase when referring to John Fox these days so I am just trying to lay down a few thoughts on the situation and even propose a “what if” scenario. (It is the off season and right now topics are dry, I know)

So what will it take to see Fox out the door. Keep in mind that this is just my own humble opinion.

First of all, the name of the game is winning. I think a 7-9 season or less at this point will finish him. Now I know there is the conventional wisdom that this is hardly a team that is that good, but I do think this is a better team than that, barring more disastrous injuries. We are indeed in a “Win Now” mode. (Ever heard that phrase before?)

Secondly, if there is some sort of personnel collapse. Example, some big conflict with a player, or some sort of “issue”. Anything resembling Dom Capers back in the day. One thing that has held true with Fox over the years is the players loyalty to him has always been one of his qualities so to speak. Considering all the new young players in the fold, this is something that will test him this year.

If there is a “collapse” towards the end of the season. For instance, last season started off horribly, yet we finished out strong. If the inverse happens this coming year, look for a January firing on “Black Monday”.

So what if he does leave? Does Cowher come in to take over? Maybe Gruden? I doubt it. Think about it. The Big Cat just is not spending a great deal of money. I would look more for the “Up and Coming” Coordinator. Personally, If the “Cowher to Carolina” noise persists, how bout a spot like “The Big Tuna” landed in Miami? That seems more realistic to me. And yes, I think Gruden would a fine fit as an exec making decisions.

And what about Meeks or Davidson? Is there a possibility that either one may or may not be moved up if the situation presents itself?

Although this article was somewhat brief this week, I think this is an underplayed topic going into this season, with all that has happened, and the CBA issue still to be determined. So I guess you could call this another thing to look out for this season.

Topics: Bill Cowher, Carolina Panthers, Jeff Davidson, John Fox, Jon Gruden, Lame Duck Coaches, NFL, Ron Meeks

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  • http://www.catcrave.com Evan Leekley

    We are in agreement when it comes to John Fox, gk. I hope that he is retained as HC. If 7-9 is the floor with Fox, we could certainly do a lot worse.

    • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/blitzradio Eric Quackenbush

      I have to say, also in agreement with Evan, if Fox is not re-signed, this team will definitely be looking at two or three more years of losing seasons. Right now, who (not named Bill Cowher) is available that you feel confident could take this team over and do the same or better than John Fox? It’s a question I encourage anyone who is interested in the topic, to think about and research.

  • John

    People kill me with the Cowher thing. They all seem to forget the losing seasons. Like the 3 year stretch where he won 22 games on his way to losing 26. That’s an average of roughly 7-9 3 years in a row. People here would be calling for his head at the end of season 2 and god help him at the end of season 3. Foxs record has never been worse than 7-9 and he has never lost 10 games in a season but Cowher has, twice. Also despite the lack of a ring Fox has a better wining percentage in the post season than Cowher. So how is Cowher this huge upgrade? He isn’t. Personally I don’t think he’s one bit better than what we got.

    And I don’t want Chucky the QB collector anywhere near personnel decisions. Hurney has done a fine job with what he has been given. He may not be Parcells but not many are. I mean here we have cleaned out all these vets and should be enduring the reality of the dreaded rebuilding season but this really looks more like a reload. I know we are young but I don’t think lack of talent is going to be an issue on gameday. Lack of expereince maybe but not ability. And to do that with a lock on the checkbook isn’t easy.

    So I hope Fox does well this season and stays. I don’t see anyone I would rather have really. And if he does go I hope they give Meeks a look as he is definitely ready for the next level I think.

    • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/blitzradio Eric Quackenbush

      I definitely don’t see the front office pursuing Cowher very hard if at all, should Fox not be extended. And Chucky would much rather stay in the booth with Jowls (ironically, a former QB). At least I hope, as he at least brings some sense to the discussion.

      • John

        I don’t think Cowher will pursue the Panthers either. I think he is holding out for a big market and a huge check. If the rumors of his demands are to be believed a really huge check.

        • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/blitzradio Eric Quackenbush

          And it makes you — or at least me — wonder, how long do you realistically think Cowher will return to the NFL and to a completely different team? The guy’s 52, and to start a career in a new city with a new team, could take until he’s 57 or older that it really starts heading in the direction that everyone believes Cowher will take it. I just don’t see Cowher returning to the sidelines, but if he does, it will be for a few years and he’ll realize he was better off in retirement.

  • J. Gore

    agreed, cowher will not be our next head coach. right now we need to pull it together and cheer for the one we’ve got. fox is one of the marquis head coaches in the league today. tired of hearing all the cowher/gruden drama. if they were so great they’d still be coaching now. it took cowher 15 years to get his ring in PA and chuck came in to lead a team that already had the key personnel in pllace to win with the exception of qb. our run first mentality would fit cowhers style but the defense would be completely overhauled again. grudens problem is his infatuation with qb’s and he’d do the same thing here he done in tampa. we’d have a different starter every two weeks at qb until all of our talent at the position would be ruined. he’s to busy looking for the next #4 to get a team prepared week in and week out to play their opponents. he needs to go back to being a qb coach or an o.c. that way the bulk of decision making is not on his shoulders. and cowher just needs to stay on with cbs or nbc or whoever he’s with before there’s another seifert incident for some poor team. if the coaching position does become available i vote to promote from within or bring marty ball to charlotte. until then GO PANTHERS!!

    • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/blitzradio Eric Quackenbush

      Playing Devil’s Advocate — though it could be fact — for a moment, at the end of the season, in the event that Fox is not offered an extension, I think the chances of seeing Cowher interview for the job in Charlotte are far greater than ever seeing Gruden get called into the front office in Carolina. And I firmly believe that Cowher will walk back out the front door too, because his contract demands will be far greater than ownership is willing to pay (which I don’t blame Jerry Richardson, when it’s going to take minimum, five years for Cowher or any coach to get the team the way they want it).

      I too would rather see promotion from within, or for Fox to keep his job. If this franchise really wants to model itself after the Steelers, then it will retain Fox (if Fox wants to remain in Carolina), and keep a low rate of turnover, like Pittsburgh. This team is on it’s third head coach in team history, the Steelers are on their third or fourth.

      You always know what you have, you never know what you’ll get.

      Thanks for the read and comment, J (even though it’s not my piece, lol).

  • John

    Yeah I’d like to see Fox stay at this point. Barring that my first choice would be Meeks.

    I agree Cowher will get a call and a photo op if there is an opening but I would be shocked if they could make a deal. This despite that fact that the Panthers are probably the closest thing to a ready to achieve Pittsburgh style team Cowher would find. Strong running game. Play action passing style offense built on that. Fast D that has some hitters. I don’t think this team is 5 years from anything he would want to do with it really. But I don’t think Jerry is going to write that check.

    • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/blitzradio Eric Quackenbush

      I’d be extremely surprised if Jerry did write the check, however, the contract would certainly be negotiated upon. I don’t think he’d initially agree to Cowher’s demands.

      I used five years as an outset — a bit of an over-estimate, to also allow for any potential coaches who are first-timers or anyone who looked really good going in, but turned out to be a rotten egg.