So when you come to a fork in the road....

So where do we go now?
… becomes time to make a decision. However I as well as you the reader am not driving. We are the folks who are along for the ride…and yes…we will comment as we go along, good or bad. It is what we do. So I have to ask, what am I, as a fan, supposed to look for now? I love my team and will be hanging in there of course but I just have to ask, is my teams Head Coach just marking time? and is he worth the trouble?

First of all I have to point out that I realize that this is just a frustrating week coming off the loss, so let me point out why I ask this question.

1. I think this kind of talk is something Fox will have to clear up.

When asked what that says about Jarrett, Fox said, “We’re looking at different combinations. We have a young group there and I’ll just leave it at that. We’re learning more and more about LaFell and Gettis and we’ll kind of evaluate that as we go.”

Fox said the coaching staff hasn’t lost confidence in Jarrett.

“We had three receivers dressed for the game,” Fox said. “Now if he had been one over there on the sidelines (inactive) I can see how you’d say that. But he was active for the game, and to get a uniform on game day I don’t think that shows a lack of confidence.”

That said, Jarrett only played a handful of plays and wasn’t targeted, even though the Panthers had only three active receivers and threw the ball 29 times.

I am not the first to ask, but when you are going into your second game, home opener against a division rival, looking the first win, is this really and truly the best time to “tinker”? Isn’t this sort of project best done in preseason and training camp?

How about this…..Does doing this sort of thing during the season give us the best chance to win? It does not appear to be the case.

2. Stunningly, the decision to start Clausen came on a Monday morning. That alone is simply stunning. But this is something that will also have to be addressed. There are rumors (and I stress that word RUMOR) that the Panthers may be intrested in a trade for Kevin Kolb.

First of all, how about we see what Clausen is going to do for us first. Alson, if this decision is not an “indictment” of Matt Moore while he “sits and watches”, why is this coming up? And what would you be willing to give away for Kolb, or better put, what do we have left? Would we not be better served with a reciever if we are just coming off of a game where only 3 WR’s were activated? This has got to be a rumor because this would just reek of desperation and would be boneheaded.

3. I keep hearing that John Fox is a Great Coach and when/if he leaves here he will have no problem getting a new job. I have to ask bluntly and with no animosity for the man, how is this so? The quick answer will be “coming in and turning the team around from a 1-15 team to a Super Bowl contender”, but I am looking at a team that was once a 12-4 team that has turned into a team that followed up with 2 seasons starting out 0-2. Are we going to fight and scrap to be mediocre again, in spite of all the talent we do have? Where are the back to back winning seasons?

I do sincerely apologize if I am coming off as hostile because I truly do not mean to be, but I just cannot accept writing off a season for a motive of future season especially when the next season is in doubt and so many great players are looking at being free agents.

To his credit, I think Fox is trying to address the problem quicker than he did in 2009. The sudden change to Clausen coming Monday morning was nothing short of a shock. I am thinking mabye, just maybe, he learned his lesson from last year when a “broken finger” made a difference. But with all the lame duck talk and speculation of marking time this season I am compelled to ask, “Are you trying to win games or just trying to keep up appearances?”

Again I am sorry if I sound harsh, but it is what it is!

Although this may be part of post-loss depression, this is the question I think we need to just go out and throw out there. (How’s that for some tinkering?) Prove me wrong. Please. Salvage the season and turn it into a winning one, but you better hurry because it will be gone before you know it.

If not, just go ahead and go so we will know where we stand.

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Tags: Carolina Panthers Jimmy Clausen John Fox Kevin Kolb Matt Moore

  • John

    Of course Fox wasted little time he had no investment in Moore. This isn’t Jake.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think Clausen has the tools to be a better than average QB in this league. But I think we have seen his upside and it isn’t a lot higher. Personally I think Pike has more upside than Clausen. With that said I don’t think Clausen is ready. I think we are taking a real chance with him here. And yes some QBs come in and do well. But I have been watching this game for nearly 40 years and the landscape is littered with busted rookie QBs thrown to the wolves too early. I hope that isn’t the case here.

    As for Fox he is coaching for a job. I think him to NY gets more and more likely daily. That team is on the edge and one of Foxs strengths has been keeping the team together in hard teams. Also they really like him in NY. So I think he will do anything to try to win at this point and I expect more surprise twists as we go.

    I think where the Panthers really let us down this year was in the WR dept. Armanti is a project and Lafell hasn’t shown me much. Gettis showed flashes but is still way green. There were guys to be had and I think we missed chances both in the free agent market and the draft. Until this hole in our offense is repaired we will not be an effective team on offense. I look forward to the change in OC this offseason. I hope for one that will know how to use some of our pieces more creatively.

    • Eric Quackenbush

      Some good points there, John.

      I’m hopeful that Clausen wasn’t put in pre-maturely. I’d rather keep Moore in until Clausen’s learned enough to take over, but since Fox is coaching for a new contract elsewhere, it makes sense to throw caution to the wind and try new things. But it’s a good idea not to make a habit of it, as it could throw up caution flags for other teams.

      I spoke with a Falcons fan last night (shame on me), and he did bring up some good points that owners need to realize how cyclical this league is, and that most people he’s spoken to, believe Fox will be back next year. I’m not so sure about that. I think Fox returning — more like being offered a new contract — hinged on the progress made this season. And the way things are going right now, it’s not looking so good. Granted, it IS only the second week in.

      • John

        I like Fox but I think it’s time. And the reason I don’t think he’ll be back? Not winning consistently. Richardson wants to be an every season contender. We haven’t been able to do that and the talent has been here. That’s on the HC eventually. And it’s on Fox in the front office I think.

        And while people are down on Richardson this teams rep is being generous with players. I do think think fans will see the method behind the madness of this offseason once a labor agreement is reached. I fully expect a hot coordinator from somewhere to be the next head coach. I really believe that would be in line with the way JR has run the team. It’s house cleaning time. A guy that pulled the trigger on his kids isn’t going to find letting this coaching group go. Well except maybe for Meeks but I think he won’t get the HC job as I think JR wants to continue the youth movement and get his Payton.

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  • Lonnie

    Agreed about Fox not returning. I on one hand see Fox as a good coach but the last year and this season is making me question that. How do you even consider dressing 3 receivers? You put players on the field to win ball games. Rosario is a good fill-in option, but he’s still not a receiver. I understand the hesitant approach with Jarrett- who may be gone after this season it looks like- but to not even target him? He says he’s getting it, and in my eyes he looks like he’s turning the corner. Fox would rather start the buttered hands Lafell (though I think will be a good receiver in due time) then the guy who at least catches the balls thrown his way. Maybe I’m suffering from post-loss depression too but this is week three and again we are 0-3. Its just frustrating as you said, how he wants to “tinker” now…rather than actually just trying to win games?