How Much Longer?

July 29, 2010 - Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States - 29July2010: Carolina Panther head coach John Fox signals that it

After starting a consecutive season with an 0-3 record, one must wonder how much longer will this continue? How many more losses will this team suffer before it experiences a win? How much longer before fans see a change in play-calling? How much longer does John Fox and perhaps Jeff Davidson have in Carolina?

From a fan’s perspective, I give head coaches and coaching staff a fair amount of time to adjust when they’re put into new situations or when new coordinators are introduced into the system. Most fans do, as that’s the reasonable and logical way of doing things. Those who expect instant results of success are usually sorrily disappointed.

Going into the season I had some expectations that were within reason. I pegged Carolina at having the potential to finish the season with a winning record and being in the race for a Wild Card berth going into the playoffs. I also felt they could finish as poorly as 7-9. But one can’t gauge how a young team will develop, nor how long it will take. I certainly didn’t envision three losses with the potential for a fourth to start the season.

The saying goes that it is more difficult for a team to go without a win, than it is for a team to go undefeated. Right now, I’m wondering if this statement might hold water for the Carolina Panthers, although the fact that the team hasn’t been able to score more than 13 points in a game has me doubting that it could.

After Sunday’s loss to Cincinnati, John Fox was unsure of who the starting quarterback would be going into the game at New Orleans. Not at all what I want to hear, given that Fox made the change only a week ago, and seemingly prematurely. Fox, in his last season as head coach with the Carolina Panthers, is becoming more of a hindrance to any success this team may have any hope for turning the season around.

It seems as though Fox himself is becoming more of a fan and less a coach with every passing week, while looking for instant success from guys who are in their first year.

How much longer will fans have to wait before something changes? A week? Two weeks? One more loss or two? Whatever the time frame is, hopefully fans won’t have to endure an entire season of this sloppy brand of football. “The youth and inexperience of this team” excuse is not only unfair, but dead. Especially when the coaching staff isn’t doing it’s part in bringing young players up.

Follow Cat Crave on Twitter @THECatCrave.

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Tags: Carolina Panthers Jeff Davidson John Fox NFL

  • John

    He better be sure. You can only play that card once. It starts becoming an every week thing and it is a killer. And if it becomes an every week thing it starts to look like Fox doesn’t know what he’s doing. Make that next job pay a lot less I would bet.

    Yesterday didn’t prove anything to me about Clausen. I still think he has what it takes to be a good QB in this league. I still think he needs more time with the clipboard. What it did prove is it isn’t just the QB. From where I am sitting the foundation of the offense, the line, is in serious need of repair. Jimmy took less sacks but not less hits. Our WRs not named Smith need a little extra time in the pattern and we can’t give normal time to our QBs or make very many significant holes for our RBs. The breakdown begins there and everything else is fruit of the poisoned tree in my opinion. And if Otah is the whole difference we are in real trouble because he is often injured.

  • John

    Just wanted to add that consecutive 0-3 seasons is a big part of why Fox won’t be back. Everyone knows that an 0-3 start practically kills your chances to do anything in the post season. I expect a fairly complete house cleaning personally.

    • Eric Quackenbush

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see most of the coaching staff relieved after this season. Most (if not all) are in the final year of their contracts. Any potential future Fox may have had at being offered a contract extension beyond this year is out the window by now. Out of all of this, I’d hate to see Ron Meeks go.

      • John

        I think Meeks may be safe if he wants to stay. But I don’t think he’ll get the HC job. RB coach is probably safe. Beyond that hard to say.

        • Eric Quackenbush

          As things stand right now, I’d say Meeks and the RB coach is safe. I’m not a fan of Rip Scherer (Browns), Jeff Davidson (Browns), and I’ve just about lost my patience with Fox (soon-to-be Browns HC). See a trend here? Lol.

  • mcap

    I don’t get to see much of the Panthers since I live in Redskin land up here in Virginia. So I really can’t comment on how anyone is playing or who might be a problem. What I do know is that our O-line is basically the same from last year,we have the same rb’s running the ball,the same problem at wr where we STILL DON’T have a legitimate #2. The only drastic change was at qb,where Jake is gone and MM was supposed to take the reins.

    So what is the problem? Even if the defense is stacking the box,as they did last year,we should still be able to pound the rock. But we can’t even do that with any consistency this year. I seriously don’t know what Fox could do,except maybe change the play-calling.

    Fox is definitely gone after this year,and you can see it in the way he is handling the team this year. Who is out there that could come in and get decent results quickly? I have noticed that Bill Cowher rarely if ever comments on Panther games when his posse are analyzing them. I find this a little curious,maybe he is playing nice so that if he gets a call he won’t have to explain his actions?

    • John

      I don’t think it will be Cowher. I expect it to be a current coordinator. Probably youngish. I know Cowher’s legend grows larger every day but when you look at the numbers he isn’t more consistent than Fox overall. And his contract would make Foxs look small. I just don’t see it.

      I think JR looks around his division and sees a talented, relatively young group of guys and he wants one. And I think this will be a very attractive destination for a young coach. The Panthers should be in great shape cap wise so the guy shouldn’t get an empty cupboard and they should have money to make a play for a WR if one is available. The reality is he will likely also have a high first rounder to put to use.

  • Mark

    Do you agree with my assessment that our offense is for the most part intact from last year and should not be struggling to score 7 points a game? I am mystified by this and would like opinions from others as to what the problem is and what the solution is.

    What current coordinator is getting good enough results that it would justify giving him the reins?

    • John

      The failure of the offensive line to open holes and protect the QB which in turn makes it very hard to get defenses out of stacking the box is the reason for the struggles.

      As to Coordinators I would say Sean McDermott and Mike Zimmer from the defensive side. On the offensive maybe Jason Garrett and Brian Schottenheimer.