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March 26, 2009

Fox likes backup QBs, but change possible

   Here are more comments from coach John Fox’s Wednesday morning interview with reporters, including the Observer’s Charles Chandler, at the league owners’ meetings in Dana Point, Calif. Some questions and answers are edited for clarity and brevity:

   Q: Though you have expressed a strong commitment to Jake Delhomme as your starting quarterback, is it time to identify or go about acquiring his eventual replacement?

   A: I think we’ve got two good young quarterbacks right now, Josh McCown and Matty (Moore), who started late in the season two years ago. I think we’ve got too good young developmental guys. And what we do from there, I mean, things could even change from that. But I don’t think it’s like we’ve got a bunch of old veteran guys behind (Delhomme).

   Q: How has it been for you this year not being active in free agency due to your tight salary cap, plus also not having a first-round draft pick?

   A: We got our first-rounder last year (by trading the ’09 first-rounder to acquire tackle) Jeffrey Otah. As far as cap-wise, I don’t know that we’ve ever been really big players in free agency to begin with. I think we’ve got a good young core for a football team. We’re comfortable working through the draft, and always have been.

   Q: Are ’08 draft picks Mackenzy Bernadeau and Geoff Schwartz ready to step up and be primary backups on the offensive line?

   A: That’s a hard question to answer. At some point, I wasn’t sure if (recently departed unrestricted free agents) Geoff Hangartner and Frank Omiyale were going to be ready – I’m talking about years ago. That’s the exciting part about coaching. That’s the exciting part about being a young player coming into this league. If you go about your business right, you get rewarded. We’re in that process of getting ready to do it again.

   Q: Is Richard Marshall ready to start at cornerback?

   A: I hope so. I like Richard. I like his competitiveness. I think he’s done terrific. We’ve got some young guys we think are ready to step up. … He’s a second-round draft pick we’re hoping is ready to start.


   Q: Marshall has been such a good No. 3 cornerback for you, and that’s an important position. Who is the third cornerback now, and is he even on the roster yet?

   A: That’s hard to predict. Obviously, we wouldn’t have (released starter Ken Lucas) if we didn’t think so.

    (There’s) C.J. (Wilson). Dante (Wesley). And we haven’t had a draft yet. We’re not done with the selection process. It’s really too hard to predict yet. But with the guys we have, obviously we have a comfort zone with those guys.

Posted by Observer Sports on March 26, 2009 at 08:54 AM | Permalink


this guy fox is delusional. we have no starting corner,a def end that doesnt want to be here,no depth on either lines and a q,b that leads the league in batted passes, fumbles and choking in recent playoff games, ohh ,i almost forgot, and no cap space, again. i feel like im being set up again for an excuse for a 6-10 year.

Posted by: ray | Mar 26, 2009 10:29:02 AM

More non-answers from Fox. When asked about not having a 1st round pick this yr, he says "We got our 1st rounder last yr."

Soooooo typical. Dump him asap!

Posted by: LR | Mar 26, 2009 10:40:19 AM

WOW Ray, Maybe you should be the coach. It sounds like you know more than anyone. And WOW again you can even see the future.

Posted by: scoot | Mar 26, 2009 10:40:43 AM

Ray, go **** yourself.

Posted by: ThoseWhoHateJakeAreA**holes | Mar 26, 2009 10:45:06 AM

LR- not sure what you mean. The comment: "We got our 1st rounder last yr." is an answer and a correct one at that. Had the Panthers not made the move last year to get OTAH, do you feel that they would be able to get a player of his caliber, with a year of experience picking in the late 20's of this draft?

Posted by: PD | Mar 26, 2009 10:58:00 AM

Like i'll continue to say, we need an open quarterback competition. We've got about as much out of Jake as we're ever gonna get. Its time for him to start mentoring. We blew the chance to groom Matt Moore when Jake was out for the season.

I like Fox and stand behind him but the guy is famous for tapdancing around questions. You dont wanna put all your business in the streets but damn, you can answer 1 or 2 questions without being political.

Posted by: Reggie | Mar 26, 2009 11:26:03 AM

"Q: Marshall has been such a good No. 3 cornerback for you" ??? Seriously ? Its like Jim Cramer interviewing Ken Thompson here. You comment on the vanilla answers he always gives, but yet you lob kickballs at him. Never calling BS in the face of facts. Maybe you do and just don't print it, but I doubt it. I guess its more important that he like you.

Its pretty obvious with the defensive exodus from Jenkins, Peppers and the coaches that there are real problems with his style or something, but dang if he ever gets pressed on that. Ask in a unoffensive tone, let him answer, move on. Lovely.

Posted by: Realism | Mar 26, 2009 11:26:11 AM

Hey, Ray what was Fox supposed to say? "Yeah, we're screwed. We don't have a chance this year because we fired a CB who got burnt to a crisp last year and a DE who wants out because we won't change our Defense to a 3-4. Oh and by the way, we know Jake's a loser, but he's cool. So, we're gonna keep him around until Matty is ready. So, basically, we don't have a chance this year. We have 21 of 22 starters from last year's 12-4 team, but because we fired Lucas, won't fire Jake, and are paying to keep Peppers around, we'll be lucky to win a game next year."

Is that really what you guys want John Fox to say? C'mon. You're an idiot! Things change in this league. I think John Fox is a brilliant coach. If you ask me he's easily a top 5 coach in the NFL. If you don't think so, then answer this. How long do you think he'd be unemployed if Mr. Richardson fired him? Probably about 5 minutes, that's how long.

Just because he doesn't tell these local yokel reporters everything about his team in order to avoid giving away possible strategy tip offs to other teams, you people think he's just stubborn or "delusional". The fact is, he's a great coach with a hard edge that most "fans" don't see. Ask the players. I've never heard of any player saying anything negative about him, even after they leave and play with another team.

Posted by: Tarheel Soldier | Mar 26, 2009 11:27:22 AM

6-10 ray? we got like 20 starters comin back. panther fans are the delusional ones and extremly un loyal. ppl like ray give us loyal fans a bad name. and richard marshall will be an upgrade over lucas and we will add lost depth through draft. thats were teams are built.and we got a beast right tackle for years after last years draft. u would rather not have otah and have like the 26th or whatever pick this year?? so ya quit whining cuz we flamed out in the playoffs it left a bitter taste in everyones mouth. everyone once a championship and next year all these haters will all be like go panthers !!!! once were 6-2. and peppers will be here and i love it just so ppl like ray have to think its the end of the world until he gets some sacks and watch all these ppl will be cheerin for him again. garbage fan base as hole i'm ashamed to say....

Posted by: yer | Mar 26, 2009 11:41:27 AM

I am so glad that this is Fox's last year w/carolina the way he reguards the QB position is so 70's-ish :attention Fox THE QB is the most important position on the team HELLO this is 2009.

Posted by: hellfish | Mar 26, 2009 12:11:53 PM

To Yer ,YOU ARE DILLUISIONAL if you think we are goin to be better than 8-8 with our coaching and schedule this is BOZO'S last chance and he will FAIL. Fox has never made it to the post-season 2yrs in a row.

Posted by: hellfish | Mar 26, 2009 12:15:19 PM

Well Yer and Tarheel Soldier said it all. I agree with yoiu guys 100%.

Posted by: cboss | Mar 26, 2009 12:30:47 PM

You better make sure that when you replace Fox that you have someone waiting who will take us to a super bowl and two nfc championship games in five years. i would guess there are a number of teams that would trade thier last five years with ours. we did win 13 games last year!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Bryan | Mar 26, 2009 12:33:27 PM

It doesn't matter de QB, if we win last year is because the runnig play was excellent and this year it would be better

Posted by: math | Mar 26, 2009 12:35:41 PM

It is rediculous how much negative drivel shows up after Fox gives an interview. Of course he doesn't show his hand and of course he isn't negative about the situation at the club. Can any of you imagine what would happen if the head coach of a team begins to be divisive. That is a gauranteed losing season and a sure fire way for a coach to end up on the unemployment line. Have you ever known any of the even mediocre coaches to spill their guts in the paper? Let Fox make his case where he does it best... on the friggen field.

Secondly, those of you who keep clamoring for him, Jake and Peppers to be run out of here on the first thing smoking are a bunch of retards. True Jake is a rollercoaster QB, and Fox is too conservative for his own good, and peppers is a talented but unmotivated SOB... But would you really like to see what the post seifert years would have been like without them?!? At the end of the day, Jake went pass for pass in the superbowl with one of the most highly regarded QBs playing the game today, Peppers is merely playing the game and trying to get better (as all people should) and Fox for all his faults has been a more consistently successful Coach than anyone in the NFC with the only exceptions I can think of being Andy Reid and Tom Caughlin.

Stop being a bunch of naysayers, let the process work and we'll see just how smart, or not, all of the offseason activity really was when the boys hit the field in August.

Posted by: Seriously? | Mar 26, 2009 1:06:06 PM

Go Tarheel soldier that was awesome

Posted by: randy | Mar 26, 2009 1:12:41 PM

To all Fox lovers :You sound like a bunch of his relatives or friends. LET ME REPEAT FOX HAS NEVER BEEN TO THE PLAY-OFFS 2YRS IN A ROW AND NEVER WON THE BIG GAME(S)quit drinking the koolaid ,you sound like next season is gonna be roses we have lost tallent and have not gained any.We are cap strapped with your beloved underachieving Pep and Jake.(To Seriously) the superbowl Jake was good in was 6yrs ago not 6mos.JAKE IS 34 not 27/28 he is not the same QB and Fox is unfortunately the SAME coach.

Posted by: hellfish | Mar 26, 2009 1:23:25 PM

Question: Before Fox/Delhomme, who was the last coach (or QB) to take the Panthers to the playoffs in multiple seasons?

I'll go grab a High Life while one of you Nancy Negatives comes up with the answer.

Posted by: dogear | Mar 26, 2009 1:59:16 PM

Even better question, I would like any you bandwaggoners to tell me the names of the coaches who have been to or won the "big game" in the past ten years. Once you have done that tell me what their playoff record has been since that time and whether or not they still have a job and why.

If you actually take the time to do all of that then I wont have to sit down and hand feed you football knowledge to the point where you understand that Fox's success here is not only anomolous for the Panthers and the NFC South, but also for the NFL as a whole.

I can only think of two or three coaches who have even been to the superbowl more than once in the past ten years and the vast majority of coaches cannot even pull that off.

So hellfish you are absolutely correct, Fox is the same coach as he was back when he took us to the "big game" and I am very glad of it because that means we havev a chance of making it back.

Posted by: Seriously? | Mar 26, 2009 2:09:14 PM

Since Fox has never been to the playoffs 2 years in a row I guess that means we shouldn't even roll our team out onto the field this year? The same team that is returning 21-22 starters? That is one of the dumber statements a "fan" can make. Our fans are really unloyal and really stupid by and large. So much so that it is embarrassing. I also love the never won the big game argument with Fox too. Only 16 teams have hoisted the Lombardi trophy out of 32 teams. So I guess all of the teams that have never won "the big game" shouldn't even play any games this year either? The facts are really simple. The Panthers finished 12-4 last year. That is tied for the best record this team has ever had. How many fanbases around this country would be clammoring for their coach to get fired after going 12-4? Think about that for a minute before you reply. As far as Jake goes he is mediocre. The problem is the only guys we can replace him with are bad. In most cases really bad. I will take mediocre over horrible any day of the week. Unfortunately those are our QB options.

Posted by: Eric | Mar 26, 2009 2:14:54 PM

Hopefully the Panthers can get a trade for Peppers and use some of that compensation to select a QB of the future.
My preference would be to put together a package as they did for Otah and move up and get a quality rather than a later round QB prospect. Josh Freeman anyone?

Posted by: GooseCreek | Mar 26, 2009 3:00:26 PM

It is funny to me that all of the Fox lovers see only good when we have a good year and boy how you pour the Koolaid on the ground when were bad. dogear you can't compile a list of relivance over 3 coaches in 12yrs but you can say non consistant for all of them. seriously : no serious if he can make it to the playoffs this year he keeps his job ,if not he is gone like it or not. Eric :yeah we return 21/22 starters ,but we are losing KEY back-ups and STeamers that we can't replace in the draft or FA because of the way Hurnia/Fox has got us in salary-cap-asitus.If they want to get better this year trade Pep for Cutler = cap room and QB issue solved for 10+yrs then we can sign depth and draft a DE to replace the oncoming distracting Pep and would be free of skakey jake and draft or sign a DT to help out up front not to mention a capable CB better than Marshall. So you see little Koolaiders we are not going to be better in our current state we are gonna be worse with the schedule we got next year and the loss of key players and the addition of NONE...KEEP DRINKING THAT KOOLAID it might just numb the pain of another mediocre year with coach Fox at the controls.

Posted by: hellfish | Mar 26, 2009 4:21:43 PM

I know more about football than the rest of you girls combined. I used to be a cheerleader.

Posted by: ray | Mar 26, 2009 4:39:52 PM

Fox has never had 2 winning seasons in a row, never mind going to playoffs 2 yrs in a row.

And for you guys that trot out the same old line about he'd have a job tomorrow, GOOD!
Let him go!

He has had more excuses for poor seasons than anyone save for the isiot in San Diego who's name escapes me.
Richardson wants to be able to say his coach has more tenure than anyone else in the NFL so we are stuck with the very mediocre Fox (and Hurney) who completely and utterly screwed up the salary cap, hence they not only got stuck over-paying Peppers, but also for Gross. On top of that, they have lost any and all depth on the O line because they painted themselves into a corner with Peppers and Gross.
You pollyanna's out there need to get your head out of the sand and realize what is happeneing around your football team.

As for the moron who see's nothing wrong with Fox saying we had our 1st round draft pick last yr.....are you really that phreakign dumb??? If Otah was last yr's #1, who is this year's? And who will be next yr's??? This yr's number 2?


Posted by: LR | Mar 26, 2009 4:41:23 PM

It's amazing how many locals don't know how to be a fan. Sit back, shut up and let the professionals do their job. If you don't like how they perform, don't watch them. They don't need your type of help or criticism. A fan is going to pull for them to be successful no matter what.

Posted by: scoot | Mar 26, 2009 4:50:57 PM

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