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February 01, 2008

New Falcons coach meets with media

PHOENIX -- The Panthers' NFC South rivalry with Atlanta could intensify if new Falcons' coach Mike Smith is successful in building the kind of team he desires.

Smith met Friday with a few reporters covering the Super Bowl and described a blueprint similar to that of Carolina's John Fox.

"We'll be a very physical football team," said Smith. "We want to be able to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. If you can run the football and stop the run in this league, you're going to be successful."

Smith was the defensive coordinator in Jacksonville under coach Jack Del Rio, who was Fox's first defensive chief in Carolina in 2002.

Smith said one of his similarities to Del Rio is his passion for the game.

Beyond strategy, Smith will have to gain the trust and confidence of Falcons' players, who were spurned when coach Bobby Petrino abruptly left with three games remaining to take the college job at Arkansas.

Petrino's exit brought a numbing conclusion to a season wrecked by quarterback Michael Vick's legal troubles and eventual conviction on federal dog-fighting charges.

Smith said he's been meeting with Atlanta players, including controversial cornerback DeAngelo Hall, and described the discussions as positive. He said he let them know he'll run a disciplined program that will hold players accountable for their actions.

"I think they're excited," Smith of his players. "There's going to be a feeling-out process anytime there's a change. But they'll know where we're coming from."

Of the Panthers, Smith said: "The Panthers are a very physical football team. They had some quarterback issues with injuries and such, but they've been at the top over the past five or six years."

Posted by Observer Sports on February 1, 2008 at 07:13 PM | Permalink


He must of meant the NFC SOUTH. The Panthers have had 3 records of 7-9, & 1 of 8-8 the last six years. It is funny how the playoff years the records were 11-5.

I guess thats what they need to shoot for in 08' to reach the playoffs.

The Panthers could of used SMITH in Charlotte & replaced TURG. Emotion is something the Panthers DC has lacked for a while.

Posted by: CEREBRUM | Feb 1, 2008 7:30:38 PM

Amen Cerebrum, another year of Turgovac means another year of overpaid underachieving defense. Perhaps when Jenkins is gone nobody will be left to call Turg out, except maybe the fans, but who listens to them.

Posted by: rick | Feb 1, 2008 9:22:47 PM

Why hasn't there been a blog devoted to the Chad Johnson issue, why are you ignoring it?

Posted by: mattdaddy | Feb 1, 2008 9:46:22 PM

Because there isn't a Chad Johnson issue Mattdaddy. He isn't coming here period.

Posted by: Rob | Feb 1, 2008 11:43:25 PM

this paper is possibly one of the worst....the herald has more updates than the observer....the editor should be ashamed and then fired.

Are the reporters part time? What the heck do they even do...? Fowler does nothing, Sorenson at least writes a few articles....Yasinskas was good but he has found a better place....Chandler is back and still has written nothing....Olson tries so i will at least give him credit.

I am not sure why we even pay money for this publication....And they say Charlotte has aspirations of being a REAL city...that will never happen.

Posted by: dave | Feb 1, 2008 11:50:46 PM

Darin Gantt and even Steve Reed dig deeper and keep readers much, much more informed than anyone on the Observer staff. I don't understand how Rock Hill and Gastonia writers are more in tune with Panther football than Charlotte writers. I'm not criticizing Observer writers ability to write well - just the lack of depth and knowledge in the content . It should be an embarrassment to the Observer that hungry readers to go Gantt and Reed and other boards to get their information. Apparently, however, it isn't.

Posted by: Keith | Feb 2, 2008 7:28:33 AM

If you want to see ownership, watch the interview with Robert Kraft that currenly runs on channel 34 and compare it with Panthers ownership. Night and day, and it all starts at the top.

Posted by: Willy | Feb 2, 2008 9:10:38 AM

Isn't this column Inside the Panthers

Posted by: sam | Feb 2, 2008 1:46:20 PM

Rob, yes it is an issue, when one of the best wide receivers in the NFL comes out and says he wants to come play here and here, it is an issue. And to have our beat writers offer up a blog on the most irrelevant team in the NFL as opposed to a huge story involving our team is disturbing and nearly unprofessional. No he probably wont end up here, but it still is a huge issue, when the buzz around Arizona among players is if C.J. is coming to Charlotte, I'd say it warrants at least a mention.

Posted by: mattdaddy | Feb 2, 2008 6:56:05 PM

That's the same wide receiver who told every radio station at the Super Bowl that there was no team for him but theirs. This piece above was a totally irrelevant bit, but we don't need Johnson, and I, for one, don't want that egomaniacal jackass on my team.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 3, 2008 2:00:25 AM

At one time Steve Smith was an egomaniacal jackass, costing this team. Smitty changed under the guidance of Fox and the panthers, who is to say Johnsons cannot do the same. And no, Johnson did not go around to EVERY team to plead his case, he may have showed intrest in some teams, and the fact that one of those teams was the panthers coupled with is history with Steve Smith and our desperate need for another playmaker on offense certainly makes this story newsworthy...every other local outlet reported on this, why not the Observer?

Posted by: mattdaddy | Feb 3, 2008 9:07:21 AM

Steve Smith was a 22-year-old player in his second year when the Anthony Bright incident happened. Chad Johnson is a 29-year-old, and his latest proof that he's a clown is that he's now threatening to sit the season out (IN VIOLATION OF HIS SIGNED CONTRACT) if he doesn't get traded. Keep the divas away from the Panthers.

Kelli Johnson was covering the Madden Bowl in Phoenix and Chad Johnson picked the Skins. She asked if there was anything to his pick, and he just replied "Dan [Snyder], call me."

During an episode of NFL Live the other night, as they were going off the air, you could hear Chad say, "Oakland, call me."

Reporter: "Are you going to be wearing orange and black next season?"
Chad Johnson: "Maybe [I'll be wearing] aqua, teal, and white. Parcells call me, stop playin' around man..."

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 3, 2008 2:00:54 PM

M.P. you just made one of my points, I said, "he may have showed intrest in some teams" which he did, as your research illustrates. I'm glad it was you not me who looked the quotes up.

Like I said before, the fact he DID show intrest (regardless of how true or serious he was) makes this a worthy topic for the fans and should be presented in the local media, which it has except for the observer staff, but thats really no suprise coming from a 2nd rate publication.

Posted by: mattdaddy | Feb 3, 2008 4:18:18 PM

He said this to EVERY radio station and team willing to listen. Who cares? What success has he ever brought to his team? One wild card loss? One winning season? If you really think that's worth keeping around as the fourth highest wideout in football on a RUNNING team, you've got a lot to learn about the way the NFL works.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 3, 2008 5:40:09 PM

for this past season, the Panthers ran the ball 451 times....they passed the ball 505 times.

for 2006, the Panthers ran the ball 423 times....they passed the ball 539 times.

Based on recent history, this my friend, appears to be a PASSING football team.

Posted by: mattdaddy | Feb 4, 2008 8:19:14 AM

coach i think that we need to pick up qb matt ryan from boston college because our qb is not in the game right now and maybe we need a rookie to come in the falcons team and he would be great for our team and i hope we have a better season unlike last year

Posted by: donte # 1 falcons fan | Feb 7, 2008 10:59:08 AM

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