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November 30, 2007

Testaverde saw glimpses of Romo's potential

As this season rolls on, it becomes more clear with each passing game that as Tony Romo goes, so go the Dallas Cowboys. Romo took down Green Bay Thursday night, and that likely wasn’t much of a surprise to Carolina QB Vinny Testaverde. When Vinny was starting for Dallas in 2004, Romo was his backup, and Testaverde was impressed with what he saw in the kid that year.

"There’s a lot of guys that have ability but not all of them make it," Testaverde said. "You have to have some intangibles, you have to have something special about you. The thing about Tony was, he was eager to learn, he just looked like he was hungry for it, just wanted to be successful.

"He was always with me, watching film and studying and asking questions. And obviously his abilities allow him to play the position like very few have."

Testaverde said it varies with different quarterbacks, but on average he believes a young QB needs three years in the league before he’s ready to be an NFL starter. Romo watched for three seasons in Dallas, then took over. Carolina’s Matt Moore, who is likely to back up Vinny on Sunday after David Carr’s recent struggles, is a promising first-year player.

STAN OLSON

Posted by Observer Sports on November 30, 2007 at 04:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (13)

November 29, 2007

Testaverde or ... who?

   John Fox has made it very clear that Vinny Testaverde (if healthy) will be the starting quarterback Sunday against San Francisco. But what if Testaverde's not healthy?

   In typical Fox fashion, he wouldn't divulge if David Carr or Matt Moore would get the nod. After last week's debacle against New Orleans, common sense would say it's no longer a given that Carr is ahead of Moore on the depth chart.

-- Pat Yasinskas

Posted by Observer Sports on November 29, 2007 at 11:32 AM | Permalink | Comments (33)

November 28, 2007

The common good: Rookie LBs

   In what has been a disappointing season for the Panthers and the 49ers, each club has had one similar bright spot. That's the play of their rookie linebackers, Jon Beason for Carolina and Patrick Willis for San Francisco. Both were first-round choices and San Francisco coach Mike Nolan said in a conference call Wednesday that the 49ers considered drafting Beason as he discussed the two rookies.

   "I think they are both very good football players," Nolan said. "We did take a very hard look at Beason and we really liked him.  He is a football player who is from the University of Miami, and, for me personally, I have had a lot of good luck and success with guys from the University of Miami. Whether it was Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, or Frank Gore more recently, and so I always take a good, hard look at those kids because a lot of times they are just football players.  From a comparison standpoint, they are both very good players but they play a little bit of a different style.  I think that both of them do
play physical. I think that Patrick has exceptional speed and quickness.  I think they are both very instinctive players and the game is very important to both guys.  I think both players are outstanding professionals and I just think that they play a little bit different style on the field, but they both get it done and that is what it's all about."

-- Pat Yasinskas

Posted by Observer Sports on November 28, 2007 at 04:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (13)

Delhomme: It's tough to watch team struggle

    Injured Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme chatted with the media today in the Panthers locker room for the first time since he had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow almost six weeks ago. He touched on a number of things, some of which will be in tomorrow's Charlotte Observer.  He's feeling great, his recovery is on schedule and he remains 100 percent behind coach John Fox, he said.

          He also talked about how tough it was to watch what his teammates are going through, as Carolina has stretched it's losing streak to five games.

         "You know what, we were going through some rough times last year," he said. "I know I was; I wasn't playing well. And you feel down for your teammates. To me, that hurts more than anything else, when you don't come through for your teammates. I know that's how I felt.  So you work even harder, if that's possible. You try too much and you don't get results."

         "And it's tough right now. I know in my mind I go back to the '04 season;  we're coming off the Super Bowl and we're expecting big, big things. And we start out 1-7; we couldn't do anything right.  I
couldn't make a throw; we couldn't make a catch."

        At San Francisco (Carolina's opponent again this Sunday), though, it all changed at halftime, after Fox ripped into the team.

    "Foxy lets us have it, and we come out and Moose (Muhsin Muhammad) and I, we hit on a couple passes, and the next thing you know, we get a win, and it's like  "Oh my gosh!" A weight's lifted off our shoulders and we started playing good football then.

          "...Right now, we're in a tough time; we've had some tough games. We want to win, we want to play well. A lot's being made of the  home-field stuff; I promise you guys, we want to win at home. There's nothing better than driving home with your family after a win.

          "We're working; it'll come."

-- Stan Olson

Posted by Observer Sports on November 28, 2007 at 04:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (21)

November 27, 2007

Beuerlein comment causes a stir

   Former Panthers quarterback Steve Beuerlein caused a stir with a comment he made during the CBS broadcast of Sunday's game between the Titans and Bengals. Beuerlein thought a commercial break was going on, but his comment, in which he called Titans running back LenDale White a "USC thug," made it on the air. Here's a link to the story:

Beuerlein comment

Posted by Observer Sports on November 27, 2007 at 01:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (39)

November 26, 2007

Fox: Report about decision to sign Carr not true

John Fox disputed a statement made by Fox television’s Brian Baldinger during Sunday’s game that signing quarterback David Carr was not the coach’s decision and that it was force on him by management.

"That’s not true," Fox said Monday. "It wasn’t said by me. Basically, we do every personnel decision around here with a process and I’m part of that process. So that’s not true."

In the same news conference, Fox also said Vinny Testaverde will be the starting quarterback Sunday against San Francisco, if he’s healthy enough to get on the field.

PAT YASINSKAS

Posted by Observer Sports on November 26, 2007 at 01:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (48)

QB excuse doesn't fly ...

As we’ve mentioned before, some members of the Panthers organization quietly have been spreading the word about how hard it is to win when you don’t have your starting quarterback. Sorry, but we’re not going to buy that. Especially not after what happened around the rest of the league Sunday.

Oakland’s Daunte Culpepper, San Francisco’s Trent Dilfer and Cleveland’s Derek Anderson, none of who were supposed to be their team’s starting quarterback at the beginning of the season, each led their teams to victory.

Oh, and this just in: A.J. Feeley, a journeyman backup, played well enough to keep the Philadelphia Eagles, a team that hasn’t been very good all season, in a very close game against the New England Patriots, who a lot of people have been calling the best team ever.

Meantime, David Carr, who the Panthers scouted the heck out of and gave a big contract to, couldn’t throw for 100 yards against a New Orleans defense that is very ordinary.

Posted by Observer Sports on November 26, 2007 at 01:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (23)

November 25, 2007

Panthers' report card

Here’s the report card from the Panthers' loss to New Orleans:

Quarterbacks: Some folks within the organization have been talking a lot about how hard it is to win without your starting quarterback. As I type this, I’m watching the Cardinals and 49ers. Trent Dilfer, Kurt Warner and Tim Rattay have been playing. A lot of points have been put up and somebody’s going to win this game. You can’t say that when David Carr’s on the field. Grade: F

Running backs: Stat of the game? DeShaun Foster, nine carries for minus-5 yards. That’s nearly a -0.6 average. Grade: F

Receivers: At least the Panthers made an effort to get the ball to Steve Smith on occasion. Grade: D

Offensive line: This group plowed the way for 43 yards on the ground. Grade: F

Defensive line: Drew Brees wasn’t sacked. He barely was touched. Grade: F

Linebackers: Jon Beason had another strong game, recording 10 tackles. Grade: D

Defensive backs: Richard Marshall got the start and had 13 tackles. But Marshall and the secondary wore down as Brees threw three touchdown passes in the third quarter. Grade: D-

Special teams: Maybe the only bright spot of the day was the fact the Panthers didn’t use the pooch punt. Grade: D

Coaching: When you’re playing against a bad team in your own stadium, shouldn’t you at least be able to come up with a game plan that will at least keep things close? Grade: F

-- Pat Yasinskas

Posted by Observer Sports on November 25, 2007 at 08:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (46)

Carr was primary target early on

On the Fox broadcast, Brian Baldinger said bringing in quarterback David Carr wasn’t coach John Fox’s idea. Hmmm, that’s pretty interesting and it sounds like somebody might be trying to pass the buck. Back at the NFL’s annual meeting in Phoenix in March, ownership, the coaching staff and the front office sure sounded like they were unanimously enthusiastic about pursuing Carr. It was made pretty clear that the opinion of everybody was that Carr was the "plum" quarterback in free agency with Joey Harrington as the only thing close to a legitimate alternative. So if it’s true that Fox didn’t want Carr, who did he want as Jake Delhomme’s backup? Chris Weinke?

-- Pat Yasinskas

Posted by Observer Sports on November 25, 2007 at 07:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (17)

Moore warms up

   Well, it looks like John Fox is finally going to put Matt Moore in. Moore just warmed up on the sidelines and has his helmet on. Looks like he'll be coming in, if the defense can get the Saints off the field. -- PAT YASINSKAS

Posted by Observer Sports on November 25, 2007 at 03:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (24)

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