Tag:Carolina Panthers
Posted on: September 4, 2010 8:55 am
 

Hot Routes 9.4.10 nobody getting cut in this post

Posted by Andy Benoit

How in the world does Ndamukong Suh get fined only a $7,500 for that assault on Jake Delhomme? If you haven’t seen the video yet, click here.

Along these lines, Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson has a brilliant idea: start fining players a percentage of their salary. $7,500 is chump change for Suh. But for an undrafted free agent (like, say, Erin Henderson?), it can be a blow.

Panthers right tackle Jeff Otah is still recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery and won’t be ready for Week 1. In fact, Week 2 might be iffy at this point, as well.

Mike Holmgren and Eric Mangini had a meeting beforehand to discuss how best to use Montario Hardesty in Cleveland’s preseason finale Thursday night. They decided that, because Hardesty had missed so much time, a heavy workload was best. Obviously, if they knew then what they know now, they wouldn’t have given Hardesty any workload that night.

Cardinals rookie quarterback Max Hall was the victim of a small prank in the team’s preseason finale Thursday night.

Jeff Ireland and Dez Bryant shook hands and made amends prior to the Dolphins-Cowboys game Thursday night.

The Washington Redskins apparently gave John Beck the Kellen Clemens treatment. Sounds like he took a pay cut.

Are we really supposed to believe that the Rams still haven’t made a decision about their Opening Day starting quarterback?

Josh Freeman appears to be on target for a Week 1 return.

Titans outside linebacker David Thornton will start the season on PUP. He’s lucky – a few months ago, speculation was he wouldn’t even make the team.

Eagles center Jamaal Jackson says there is a 99.9 percent chance he’ll play in the Season Opener. That’s remarkable. Jackson tore his ACL in Week 16 last year.


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Posted on: September 2, 2010 3:27 pm
 

Podcast: Leinart, Big Ben and QB controversies

Posted by Will Brinson

Podcast time, people. And what else COULD we talk about outside of Matt Leinart?

Well, Ben Roethlisberger, that's who. And Vernon Davis. And Michael Crabtree.

Those are all topics broached -- along with other possible quarterback controversies around the NFL -- when Andy Benoit joins me for the latest installment of our award-winning* audio efforts.

So, go ahead. Click the play button. Got a question you want answered on the show? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or email will.brinson [at] cbs [dot] com

We'll be running out a few of these a week, so there's plenty of time. Oh, and also, be a friend and subscribe either by RSS or iTunes below.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Or, make it easy on yourself and  Subscribe via iTunes .


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Posted on: September 1, 2010 4:25 pm
 

Matt Moore: 'The preseason ... is the preseason'

Posted by Will Brinson

The Carolina Panthers -- specifically Matt Moore -- have caught some flak for their inability to post points during the preseason: they've averaged exactly 10 points a game, converted a not-so-whopping 15/51 third downs, amassed total offensive 776 yards and two whole touchdowns.

So, yeah, the flak is much deserved. Moore, the Panthers starting quarterback, would like to remind us all, though, that the preseason is, in fact, the preseason.

The preseason is just that, the preseason," Moore wrote at MattMooreQB.com . "Everybody has been talking and writing things like it’s December, and it’s still August. Do we have things to improve on? Absolutely. But at this point we’re still 0-0 and looking forward to a good showing in Week 1."

Moore also referred to the preseason as "interesting" and noted that the point of the preseason is to "find your weaknesses and work on them."

The best part, though, is his note that "these sound like excuses and they kind of are, but they're also the facts."

All in all, it's a well-written blog entry discussing a very real point: the preseason doesn't matter. Just ask the Colts.

If Moore is correct in his assessment that the Panthers' offense can exceed the preseason expectations (and provided the defense can keep up their ridiculous pace), this is not a team that should be overlooked.

That might be optimistic, but hey, it's the preseason.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 30, 2010 1:38 pm
 

Hot Routes 8.30.10 decisions decisions decisions

Posted by Andy Benoit

One ESPN writer thinks Shanahan can’t be serious about McNabb sitting out Week 1.

The Lions plan on doing what most teams do when they get overwhelmingly insecure about their linebacking depth: sign Rocky Boiman.

It’s hard to picture the Bucs keeping Michael Clayton in 2010, though the underachieving veteran wideout is confident he’ll remain with the team. Clayton hasn’t played much this preseason, but Raheem Morris tends to sit his veterans in August more than most head coaches.

The Cardinals will apparently consider intangibles when making their quarterback decision – whatever that means.

The Panthers defense has performed well this preseason...does it matter?

How about the Panthers offense scoring zero touchdowns in 42 possessions so far this preseason...does that matter?

There is still plenty of competition for the kick return duties in Dallas.

Who else found themselves kind of wishing that we’d get at least one look at the gash in James Farrior’s head Sunday night? The Steelers linebacker did a good job covering it up (though it was impossible to hide all the excess blood).

New England’s young defensive backs are getting some help from the veterans.

The Broncos weren’t exactly thrilled with James Harrison’s hit on Kyle Orton.

And, even better, James Harrison doesn’t exactly care. According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, Harrison said of Orton, “"He was running his mouth and getting in the way of the train. And the train wasn't coming off the track. (Orton) was popping off down there the first time they were about to score. So you run your mouth, expect to get something. Everything's between the lines, so he got what he had coming."
 

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Posted on: August 29, 2010 11:00 am
Edited on: August 29, 2010 11:19 am
 

Hot Routes 8.29.10: Just a big ole hot mess

Posted by Will Brinson

In hindsight, yes, I'm beyond furious that I didn't use the Jay Cutler - Matt Leinart bro pic for this. Dagnabbit.

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or send an email to will [dot] brinson [at] cbs [dot] com.
  • The headline of the day pretty much has to be this one from Sean Jensen of the Sun-Times on the Bears: 'Saturday night summary: Hot mess." Yes, that makes me giggle. Almost as much as Jay Cutler getting sacked four times, throwing two picks and finishing the night with a QB rating of THIRTY ONE. Bwah. Meanwhile, in Arizona, the quarterback competition is going to come down to "chemistry with the team ." Really.
  • The fellas at The Wayne Fontes Experience make a good point: Willie Young has sacked the quarterback two weeks in a row. I have no earthly idea how he lasted until the SEVENTH round, but he'll be good. Also, guys, I'm the one driving the Jahvid Best bandwagon. You can hitch your wagon by calling 555-BEST. Also, Steve Schroder is right : why aren't they locking Detroit/Cleveland in for Thanksgiving? It's consistently more awesome than whatever else beatdown we're watching.
  • The score of the Panthers - Titans game might lead you to believe that it's the, you know, preseason. It also might lead you to believe that the Panthers defense is pretty good. As Jaxon writes at Cat Scratch Reader , that's not too far off. Offense, Tom Sorensen says at the Charlotte Observer , is "at a premium," which means that the failure/success of this season might actually hinge on the quarterback position for Carolina (once again). NO PRESSURE, Matt Moore.
  • I actually landed C.J. Spiller in a fantasy draft (for the first time) last night. I'm not upset but this news -- he is, as right tackle Cornell Green put it, "something else. " The guys at Buffalo Rumblings think the offense was "efficient and the defense was "lacking" -- if that's the biggest issue facing the Bills heading into the season, I think they take it and run.
  • Mike Tomlin has yet to announce a starting quarterback, but Ryan Wilson of Steelers' Lounge makes an excellent note : the two-headed quarterback monster of Dennis Dixon and Byron Leftwich is probably the smartest move. Or the only move. Whatever.
  • Dave Halprin of Blogging the Boys makes an astute point: this IS the preseason and all, but you still can't "wash away the stink that was the Cowboys on Saturday night." The good news is that Jerry Jones isn't that concerned ; pretty sure t that won't last if the shoddy play continues through into the regular season.
  • Not that anyone actually roots for failure, but it's kind of funny when a New York team stinks, it usually results in fun headline-writing. "Giants still 'a ways' away from being good " and "Nothing goes right for Giants " are two examples. Basically, the point that you should be getting from this is that the Giants are an "at-risk" team for 2010. On the bright side, Joe Flacco is definitely the starter in Baltimore. Which is, um, unsurprising?
Posted on: August 27, 2010 12:43 pm
 

John Fox NOT on hot seat (technicality)

Posted by Andy Benoit

Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer makes a great point about Panthers head coach John Fox. Many are saying that Fox is on the hot seat in Carolina. Sorensen’s response? J. Fox (US Presswire)

I don't know if Fox will coach the Carolina Panthers in 2011. I'll be surprised if he does. But if Fox goes, it's as likely to be his idea as it is the team's. Engines wear out, knees wear out and relationships wear out, too. The relationship between Fox and the Panthers probably is in danger of expiring.

The NFL, however, thinks more highly of Fox than fans of the Panthers do. I can easily see him coaching the New York Giants or Cleveland next season.

Fox, in the final year of his contract, is in an unusual position. If he succeeds in grand style this season, he’ll likely leave Carolina for greener (green as in money) pastures. If he fails in grand style, he’ll likely be the equivalent of fired (owner Jerry Richardson won’t offer him a new contract).

The Panthers gave Fox permission to seek a new job this past offseason, but nothing transpired. Thus, we have the unusual circumstance of a coach in his prime entering what is essentially known to be his final year with the organization.

Sorensen sums it up best by saying, “So is Fox on Carolina's hot seat or is Carolina on Fox's? In this case, the term doesn't apply.”

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 23, 2010 10:49 am
 

What to do about Carolina's QBs?

M. Moore and the rest of Carolina's quarterbacks have struggled in the preseason (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

So far this preseason, the Carolina quartet of quarterbacks has been unimpressive.

Matt Moore was the expected starter coming into the season – we thought he would have to be absolutely terrible to get passed on the depth chart – followed by some combination of Hunter Cantwell and rookie Jimmy Clausen. Then, the fourth-stringer was Tony Pike, and it wasn’t out of the question that the Panthers would try to keep all four quarterbacks.

Now, the Panthers would settle for just one quarterback who can play productively.

As Steve Reed of PanthersGrowl.com asks, is it time to panic yet?

It may be, because this preseason is beginning to look remarkably similar to last year’s preseason.

And that’s not good.

The Panthers managed just one touchdown pass during a winless 2009 preseason and the problems in the passing game carried over into the regular season resulting in three straight losses to open the season. The Panthers never recovered and finished the season 8-8 and out of the playoffs one year after winning the NFC South.


So far, the quarterback ratings of Moore and Clausen are pathetically tiny, stuck in the mid-30s. Coach John Fox doesn’t seem concerned, but Moore understands that there’s still plenty of aspects of their game that need to be fixed.

“We need to keep working,” Moore said. “There are plays there that need to be made and we’re capable of making them. We’re just going to keep grinding it out and keep working on it and take these next two preseason games and keep learning and be ready to go in Week One.”

Moore, who went 4-1 last year after replacing Jake Delhomme, was expected to hold down the starting job until Clausen was sufficiently ready – maybe not this year, but probably next season. It’s still the preseason, but if Moore doesn’t improve, it might not be a terrible idea to start Cantwell.

Actually, that wouldn’t be a very good idea at all, but at this point, that’s probably a better option than throwing Clausen into the mix so early in his career.

In reality, Moore, even if he continues to struggle, will start, and the Panther will just have to see how it goes.

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Posted on: August 19, 2010 3:23 pm
 

Training camp away from home outdated?

Posted by Andy Benoit

Several training camps are closing down today, and players are returning home. Ten years ago, this would have been somewhat noteworthy. But these days, as Ken Sorenson of the Charlotte Observer points out, a majority of teams hold camp in their home city. The colloquial concept of bunking in a college dorm is dying. Sorenson calls the concept “archaic”.

In the olden, pre-Twitter, days players would pack up at the end of the season and unpack when camp began. When they saw each other it was like a reunion. Now, with summer camp and Organized Team Activities and year-round conditioning, often at the team gym, they’re entwined.

The Panthers are one of the 15 teams that hold true to the old-fashioned tradition. They host camp in Spartanburg, SC, which is 90 from Charlotte.

For three weeks they subsist on football. They don’t mow the lawn, walk the dog, drive the kids to soccer practice or pick up dry cleaning, 2 percent milk or aspirin.

“If we were at home, we’d go our separate ways after practice,” says defensive end Everette Brown. “You should see the video games and card games everybody plays. There’s good bonding here in Spartanburg.”


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