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September 26, 2010

No excuses for Panthers' poor offense

The ball was wet.

They’re the NFL’s youngest team.

Sir Purr ate their game plan.

There were plenty of excuses the Carolina Panthers could have trotted out after their latest loss – a 20-7 decision to Cincinnati. But the players – at least those who met with the media – were not doing much sugar-coating Sunday in the home locker room.

“The young-team excuse has been used to death at this point,” left tackle Jordan Gross said.

The Panthers are a bad team right now, especially on offense. There’s no other way to slice it.

Gross said the Bengals employed the same defensive strategy the Panthers have seen – and will continue to see – all season:

Bring a safety up near the line of scrimmage, keep an extra defensive back around Steve Smith and challenge the Panthers’ young quarterbacks or receivers to beat them.

“It’s the same song. They stack the box and put two guys on (Smith), and that’s tough,” Gross said. “We’ve got to figure out a way to do it.”

In between the raindrops and the Carolina turnovers, the Panthers’ offense had a couple of bright spots. DeAngelo Williams rushed 10 times for an average of 6.4 yards a carry, and rookie receiver Brandon LaFell made a nice catch on a deep throw by Jimmy Clausen late in the game.

That was pretty much it.

Jonathan Stewart had just 13 yards on eight carries, and lost a fumble when the Panthers had a little momentum going in the second half. Clausen did a poor job of securing the ball, and right tackle Geoff Schwartz had two false start penalties and appeared to blow an assignment that got Clausen clobbered.

Until Clausen starts completing more of the downfield throws like the one to LaFell, it’s going to be tough sledding for the Panthers’ offense.

“We had some good runs today,” Gross said. “But if they’re not afraid of the pass game, it’s going to be that much tougher. We’ve got to get better.”

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on September 26, 2010 at 08:49 PM | Permalink


time for the mountainer package to be unleashed....

Posted by: daj119 | Sep 26, 2010 9:16:29 PM

Got Tony Pike?

Posted by: joro | Sep 26, 2010 9:45:20 PM

Gettis had some catches, too, so that's encouraging. Gross said we have "to figure out a way"...hope he's not expecting Fox or Davidson to do that. Innovation is not in their vocabulary.

Posted by: ThanksJerry:( | Sep 26, 2010 10:02:59 PM

Tony Pike? Get real. He came out of a spread offense in college. Do you know what that is? Or can your little brain not figure that out? All you Jimmy Clausen haters need to chill. This kid only got 6 passing attempts in the first half. How can you really tell how good someone is with that? Jimmy will be a star in the NFL. You can just see it if you pay attention. The way he can scramble. The way he can hit a rookie WR for a 50 yard pass. When they let him start passing he did well. Im pulling for Jimmy Clausen. Just wait, this kid will be a star. Let him mature

Posted by: James | Sep 26, 2010 10:11:31 PM

One thing I don't understand is how the Panthers, knowing that they don't have any experienced QBs on the roster, went into the season with only Steve Smith as the only veteran receiver on the team.

If you have inexperienced QBs, wouldn't you think it'd make sense to have experienced WRs to make their transition easier?

But according to Marty Hurney (on WFNZ last week), they want the WRs and the QB to grow together.

I still can't believe they gave up what will probably be a pick in the 30's for a Division I-AA QB who they hope to convert to WR -- who might be a healthy scratch for all 16 games.

Posted by: Brad | Sep 26, 2010 10:12:07 PM

Schwartz killed them in this game with missed blocks and penalties. Once again Fiammata was worthless and his biggest hit was taking out one of our players on a pile on hit during the return when the Bengal was already going down.

Otah and Hoover could have been the difference between winning and losing or at least having a chance to win.

Posted by: Sportsdon | Sep 26, 2010 10:31:40 PM

Where in the world did anyone get the idea that our offensive line was ever any good? They can open up some little cracks for our all-world running backs to barely get through, but they certainly can NOT protect a QB. Gross and Kalil are the most overrated linemen in the game of football.

Posted by: Authority | Sep 26, 2010 10:34:59 PM

I'm hoping Otah makes a difference in the o-line. Hoping. Praying. Begging. Having Hoover back might help too with the run game. I would love to see someone ask Deangelo or J-Stew about their feelings on that.

Posted by: ThanksJerry:( | Sep 26, 2010 10:53:22 PM

@ Authority

Gross and Kalil the most overrated Linemen is the game? Really?

I can named a list of overrated Linemen, maybe if the receiver can get seperation keeper.

The Oline wouldn't have to block an extra 3-5 seconds, that once the ball is snap, 3 seconds is enough time to break your route.

The play calling sucks, period.

Posted by: adam carter | Sep 26, 2010 11:40:50 PM

stop crying for hoover his back is gone he can't pass a physical. give smith a reverse, what about that smoke route. can someone call a trick play.does anyone care? can someone get mad after losing? doing the same shit over and over again and it not working but expecting it to win games is nuts. jerry was on his deathbed a couple years ago and he got a second chance at life so he can make more money instead of winning a championship? no leadership from the top to the bottom on this team.

Posted by: joe cool | Sep 26, 2010 11:57:13 PM

And you fairweather fans still doubt Vick's ability. He continues to impress everyone. All of the panthers qbs need to go back to college and practice.Trade Smithe so he can put up numbers with a real qb. J. Rich is laughing at you for taking of yal's money.

Posted by: tbird | Sep 27, 2010 12:30:41 AM

Hey James:

You lost me when you referred to two-time Payton Award winner Armanti Edwards as "a Division 1-AA QB". Dude's a legend. Respect it.

Personally, I have no doubt that AE will make significant contributions to this team worthy of a 2nd round pick. What's the problem anyway? Even if he's not ready for prime time until next year, we gave up NEXT YEAR'S second round pick. See how your gripe is kind of circular?

That is all. GO PANTHERS!

Posted by: Eric | Sep 27, 2010 1:19:56 AM

Funny, joe, he was ready to answer the bell Week 1 last year. Fiammetta has yet to prove he can at any point.

And Eric, yes, Edwards can dominate against fellow 6'0" and unders, the type that populate I-AA and the AFL. Unfortunate, they don't make it to the league the Panthers play in, so he'll never have a position for us. But he's got cool hair! WOO! Go APPS!

Posted by: Michael Procton | Sep 27, 2010 2:02:13 AM

The play calling was ridiculous. Steve Smith didn't touch the bsll until the fourth quarter. That's indefensible.

Posted by: Jimcat | Sep 27, 2010 3:29:02 AM

Procton: You are talking about all that short people from Michigan right?

Posted by: Thorrez | Sep 27, 2010 5:07:56 AM

Right now the Panthers are not good enough not tough enough don't have enough talent to win in the NFL. They look very simular to that 1-15 team. Remember Chis Weinke

Posted by: Catsackfever | Sep 27, 2010 6:28:14 AM

you dummys, the O-line is the whole problem. zero protection, no RB holes. how in the world can you have a passing game with 2.5 seconds to set up and pitch. not gonna happen. btw, looks like j stew is the next peppers. (one and done) and oh yeah, he don't do preseason!

Posted by: stork302 | Sep 27, 2010 6:58:31 AM

anybody that ever watched del rio in camp knows what's wrong with the panthers. When he left the passion for winning left also. Foxie likes to use the cheerleading and begging style of motivation. Del Rio had em scared to death. You did your job and did it physically or you got his foot up in yo ars! nuff said.

Posted by: stork302 | Sep 27, 2010 7:05:23 AM

Brady "check down" Clausen has already proved the genius of Fox and Hurney outsmarting every other NFL team including those who passed on him twice, by drafting him. Of course we run ND's offense so Quinn Jimmy will be ready right now as this newspaper has repeatedly reminded us. That and Scott, Tom and Darin have a really big mancrush on Jimmy Quinn. Great 3 yard passes though, and a losing record in college. Too short to see open receivers and Brady Clausen has bad hands. Maybe they should sign the guy that gave him the black eye. Or not hire o-coordinator and qb-coach from Cleveland. Losing history produces more losing. Run, run, pass, punt, chaps.

Posted by: Rigby Reardon | Sep 27, 2010 8:12:19 AM

I thought Clausen played pretty darn good the second half for a rookie with no consistent offensive line protection to speak of. He will be an awesome quarterback one day, even Peyton had a few losing seasons at first. Clausen played the whole game, got hit and got right back up, and made some nice passes. I agree with the above though, give us some trick plays, better playcalling, anything to make it look more interesting, Jeez!

Posted by: Renee Middleton | Sep 27, 2010 8:37:56 AM

rigby, you kinda got ya own little conversation thing going on there don't ya bub? So, did you get on here to talk football or what? And whats the deal, do you like Jimmy-C , or not.

Posted by: stork302 | Sep 27, 2010 9:02:29 AM

Clausen did well when the O line protected him, LaFell showed some signs of life and Gettis did OK as well. Give them some time and we will be OK. A rookie QB with mostly rookie and sophmore players isnt going to come in and make a difference without some help from the O line, which was horrible yesterday.

The problem continues to be our stupid adherence to a gameplan that has not worked for a long time. Then again, that pretty much sums up the Fox regime's tenure here the last 2 yrs.

Posted by: manu4t | Sep 27, 2010 10:15:22 AM

Brad said: "One thing I don't understand is how the Panthers, knowing that they don't have any experienced QBs on the roster, went into the season with only Steve Smith as the only veteran receiver on the team."

I couldn't have said it better myself. How in the world can Hurney defend himself on this one? Even if he had just brought in a decent possession receiver, it would have been better than what we have now. Putting an inexperienced QB in the game without a reliable outlet is almost like throwing him to the lions, for Pete's sake! I'm all for having young talent and all, but this is just downright B.S.

Posted by: Tarheel Soldier | Sep 27, 2010 10:49:08 AM

its official the panthers are the wrost team in the nfl, just look yourself you are to give that franchise to LA..it's awful to even look at your team play, the only reason why i watch this week because i love football and TO is the man.the panthers will go 0-16 or 1-15 at best. let's go eagles, to bad the oanthers were to dumb to pick up vick, i hear he really wanted to come him too..

Posted by: panthers suck | Sep 27, 2010 11:37:07 AM

I see it the other way.74 yards rushing for a team known for this is pathetic.For a rookie QB to be effective the running game needs to improve.Ben Roethisberger won his first Super Bowl as a rookie because of the Steeler's ability to run the ball with Jerome Bettis.

Posted by: Len | Sep 27, 2010 1:43:13 PM

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