March 24, 2010
Fox discusses who'll kick off, says there's no need for moves at RG, DT positions
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Panthers coach John Fox said punter Jason Baker is getting prepared to kick off next season if necessary, but that the team still might bring in a kickoff specialist to replace the departed Rhys Lloyd.
"Jason has done it before," said Fox, referring to the fact that Baker kicked off in a combined 26 games in 2003 and '04 for Kansas City, Indianapolis and Denver.
"He is a viable candidate. We have him training for that now as we speak."
But the Panthers also are open to bringing in a new kicker to compete for the kickoff job.
John Kasay, at age 40, remains one of the league's top field goal and extra point kickers, but likely won't be called upon to kick off anymore.
"We're always looking for somebody else," Fox said this morning at a media breakfast with NFC head coaches at the league meetings.
The Panthers decided not to give Lloyd a tender offer as a restricted free agent. The minimum offer they could make was $1.101 million.
However, Fox indicated that the reasons for letting go of Lloyd, who has signed with Minnesota, went beyond financial considerations.
"We just thought it was time to move," said Fox. "He had an excellent year the year before (in 2008). He's still very capable. We just felt it was time to go in a different direction."
Lloyd led the NFL with 30 touchbacks (kickoffs into the end zone that weren't returned) in '08, most in the NFL since the introduction of the K-Ball for kickoffs in 1999. His total was eight more than any other player.
Last season, Lloyd tied for sixth in the league with 21 touchbacks, eight behind Dallas' Michael Buehler.
For said the Panthers aren't in the market to sign a new right guard despite the fact that the starter for the past two seasons, Keydrick Vincent, remains an unsigned unrestricted free agent. He also said the team isn't looking to make moves at defensive tackle even though Maake Kemoeatu and Damione Lewis were released.
"Right now -- of course, we haven't played a down yet -- I think those are areas that might be (two) of our more solid areas, our O-line and defensive tackle," said Fox. "That's not to say we wouldn't move or look or change ot try to create new people there, but that's not high on the priority list right now."
Fox wouldn't identify a favorite to start at right guard, but said the candidates include Mackenzy Bernadeau, Geoff Schwartz and Duke Robinson.
At defensive tackle, the Panthers are expected to start Louis Leonard and Tank Tyler, both restricted free agents who were acquired last year via trades. The reserves include former Colts starter Ed Johnson, '09 third-round pick Corvey Irvin, Nick Hayden and Derek Landri.
-- Charles Chandler
Posted by Observer Sports on March 24, 2010 at 01:06 PM | Permalink
I hope that Keydrick Vincent is brought back but given his versatility and the fact that he started 31 games over the past two seasons it's unlikely.
Posted by: Jimcat | Mar 24, 2010 1:30:29 PM
I'd like to see them bring back Hollis Thomas, for the right price. As a situational player, he can help train the younger guys and help stop the run on first down.
Posted by: Ghoul | Mar 24, 2010 2:08:48 PM
I love and respect Kasay I really do,but enough is enough.
They try to force Hoover into retiring,then just out right release him,but all the while Kasay has Handicapped this team and coach Fox with having to use a roster spot on a kickoff specialist.
John is a awsome guy Ive had a couple conversation's with him @ practice and Training Camp,but he should look into hanging them up,and/if the Panthers make the post season or nfc Championship again the Panthers could sign him for a couple weeks like the Aints did with Duece Mcalister this past season.
But enough with wasting a extra roster spot on another kicker.
Posted by: GhostOfSparta | Mar 24, 2010 2:18:47 PM
Now that Jake is gone, do you think it would be much trouble to TAKE DOWN THE JAKE DELHOMME SLIDE SHOW ???
Posted by: nasty704 | Mar 24, 2010 2:24:15 PM
Posted by: Brian | Mar 24, 2010 2:36:25 PM
The panthers first of all needs: WR and LB.
Second Priorities are: CB-S-DE-QB as a bakcups.
Posted by: Rock | Mar 24, 2010 2:59:05 PM
He still kicked into the endzone but teams ran it back more because they knew that our players did not want to play special teams. Tell the truth Mr. "Jake gives us the best chance to win" Fox. 1 more year and counting.
Posted by: JAY | Mar 24, 2010 3:22:55 PM
What make you think we need LBs? I didnt even think about CBs
Posted by: MBPantfan | Mar 24, 2010 3:40:47 PM
I'm really sorry to see Lloyd go. He's really good at what he does and I think we'll end up missing him. Not only did he kick the ball deep but he covered well for a kicker.
Posted by: Ed | Mar 24, 2010 5:39:59 PM
The panthers only have at LBs: Beason, Davis, Anderson, Connor, Ivy? we need backups!!
Maybe CBs not, but depends on Marshall situation.
In my opinion, is crazy that the panthers thinking to trade one of our RBs, but in your opinion; what would be a good deal?
Here my proposal, Again..I think that is crazy but maybe they will do it.
Trade our 1st Round of 2011 for a 1st round 2010 draft.
Develop in 2010, one of our backups RBs (Goodson, Sutton), if one of those show us potential, we can trade Stewart or DeAngelo in 2011 in order to recover our 1st round draft.
Posted by: Rock | Mar 24, 2010 5:59:40 PM
Just love all the experts. This looks like a retooling to a youger squad situation to me. With a potential lockout, it makes sense.
Posted by: Steve Gilmore | Mar 24, 2010 6:09:11 PM
Yo Rock,you do know that after this season (2010) that DLO is a free agent,this is the last year of his rookie contract.
AND THATS THE BOTTOM LINE BECAUSE THE GHOST OF SPARTA SAID SO!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: GhostOfSparta | Mar 24, 2010 6:21:42 PM
Of course when you have done nothing in free agency and have as many holes as the Panthers do The Only position we have 2 star players at will come into trade talks......
Posted by: Tripp Mcneill | Mar 24, 2010 6:24:04 PM
The Panthers need depth a LB not quality starters. They can find that depth in the later rounds. WR and DE are the most immediate pressing needs as we don't have a No. 2 WR to start opposite Smith and the Everette Brown/Charles Johnson package is unproven.
Posted by: Jimcat | Mar 25, 2010 10:57:06 AM
lloyd was 6th in touchbacks last year.not good enough to waste a roster spot.vincent is the week link on our line,bernadeau and scwartz would be upgrades.i hope they bring hollis back.he would be a good veteran presence and he played well.the only hole i see is at #2 wideout.if jarret wakes up and we can sqeeze another year out of moose we might be o.k. but i would like them to draft a w.r at #2 and get a f.a or 2 in here.
Posted by: raydaz | Mar 25, 2010 1:25:35 PM
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