Posted by Andy Benoit
There has been some chatter this week about the letter Panthers owner Jerry Richardson sent to Carolina’s PSL owners. The letter did not mention anything about head coach John Fox. Fox claimed to be unaware of the letter when asked about it by the media. The assumption is that the letter tacitly confirms Fox, in the final year of his contract, will not be back with the club in 2012.
If you’re interested, here is Richardson’s letter (obtained via the Charlotte Observer):
I know how difficult the season has been for you. As the person ultimately responsible for putting a team on the field, I take full responsibility for our shortfalls. It is agonizing that we have not performed at the level we had planned for and expected.
When the season began, we believed there was every opportunity for success. Many of the players were returning from a team that had finished last year very strong. The motivation for this approach was both performance-based and a commitment to the future. Obviously we have fallen short, but our faith and commitment are still the same.
Going forward, our plan of attack is to build through the draft while retaining our core players. We have one of the youngest teams in the League, and a number of those younger players have shown genuine promise in this otherwise disappointing season. We won't give up on them. We also have a solid nucleus of veterans that we will seek to keep intact.
I want all of you to know that we plan to look at every aspect of our organization. What we do in the future will entirely be geared toward putting the best possible team on the field. I am committed to fielding a winning team, and I'm willing to invest the resources necessary to make it happen.
Allow me to raise another personal issue. Much has been made of my reluctance to address the play of the team in the media. Throughout the history of the franchise, I have rarely done in-season interviews. It's just not my style. In my opinion, comments from ownership during the season are a distraction, and I do not want my comments to interfere in any way with the performance on the field.
This year is further complicated with the uncertainty regarding Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Let me be clear: A successful CBA is critical in sustaining the competitive balance of the NFL. We're all in this together, and what is good for football is good for the continued success of each and every team. It's important for us to reach an agreement that benefits the fans, players, and teams. I want the players paid fairly, and I want us to play winning and exciting football.
I understand that in a season like this, words can sound hollow, but, as PSL Owners, you have my commitment to provide you a team that will make you proud. With three NFC championship game appearances, we have come close. I can assure you we will be aggressive in getting there again.
Thank you for your patience and support in a very challenging time.