In yesterday’s online edition of the Rock Hill Herald, I found an interesting take on the Carolina Panthers’ search for a second wide receiver to take some pressure off of Steve Smith.
Jake Delhomme made some statements about Dwayne Jarrett that are very interesting…
"“I truly believe Dwayne Jarrett’s going to be a big help to us this year,” Delhomme said. “He’s got the ability, that’s easy to see, and last year was honestly a redshirt year for him. He’s still young, and he’s still learning and getting better.“He’s going to know I’m expecting big things from him, and I have no doubt he’s going to come to play this year, to show what he can do.”"
When I read this I had a lot of things running through my head : Did Jake say this publically to get Jarrett’s attention? Does he really believe what he’s saying? What had Delhomme seen in Jarrett that the rest of us haven’t seen? And has Jake taken a lump to the head during his rehab?
Jake, I want to make sure you know this – I love the way you play the game. You’re a gutsy quarterback. And I’m sure you know that the fans love you. But these statements make me wonder what you know that the rest of us don’t.
Remember, this is the same player we’re talking about here who was inactive for 9 of 16 games last season. This is the same guy who managed only 6 catches for 73 yards in his rookie season. Sure, coach John Fox admitted that Dwayne was a rookie and that he was really in the NFL sooner than he should have been but I’m really just not so sure.
It’s difficult to fathom a rookie making such a small impact after being taken in the second round of the draft. The guy had trouble learning the offense and had only 13 passes thrown to him. This doesn’t sound like a guy ready to make a major impact and take the heat off of Steve Smith to me.
Jake goes on in the article to say that the team may be interested in adding a playmaker to the offense but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a receiver.
"“It just has to be another playmaker somehwere, it doesn’t have to be a receiver,” Delhomme said. “It could be a running back, a tight end, whatever. The key is just getting Steve some help.“Everybody in the league knows what Steve can do, he’s one of the most dangerous players out there. And they’re going to do everything they can to take him away. So we have to have more guys out there with him who can do things.”"
I just hope our Louisana-born QB knows what he’s talking about. I’m hoping that he has seen something in practice or in the hallways of the team’s facilities to give him this kind of confidence in Jarrett.
Besides, let’s be honest, the offense was not very good last year. They’ve had much less production at tight end than they would like since Wesley Walls left town seven years ago. That makes me think that they might need a playmaker not only at WR but also at TE and maybe even running back. Plus, a running back is less likely to take the pressure off of Smith but a TE or especially a talented second WR would really help him out.
I don’t think that this offense needs to be overhauled. On that I can agree with Jake. I think there are enough players on the roster to get the job done provided another weapon can be added. I’m just not so sure I share Jake’s optimism on Jarrett.
Jake, I’ll tell ya what, you get healthy, stay healthy next season, and get Jarrett the ball and prove me wrong, okay? Then all of us can have the same confidence in this kid that you have. I hope you’re right!