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October 03, 2010

Improvement, but another loss

NEW ORLEANS – The Panthers saved their best effort for the defending Super Bowl champions.

And still it wasn’t enough.

After the 16-14 loss to New Orleans, left tackle Jordan Gross couldn’t help looking back and wondering what might have been.

“If we would have played like this in prior weeks, we probably would have some good wins under our belt,” Gross said.

Looking forward, you wonder where the first win will come for one of the NFL’s four remaining 0-4 teams.

Carolina is certain to be an underdog next week when Julius Peppers returns to town with the Bears. And if Steve Smith is out for any length of time with his ankle injury, Jimmy Clausen won’t be able to count all the defenders the opposition will stack in the box.

And while Sunday definitely was a step forward for Clausen, the passing offense remains a work in progress. Clausen completed 11 passes to eight different receivers, but the Panthers still aren’t throwing downfield enough.

Clausen’s longest completion against the Saints was a 55-yard touchdown to tailback Jonathan Stewart. Smith had two catches for 11 yards before leaving late in the third quarter.

Center Ryan Kalil said the Panthers made a “huge jump in improvement” against the Saints. But in the end, it was another loss.

“I think every guy that comes in here, they want an opportunity to win,” Smith said. “If you catch any NFL player, their focus in playing football, whether it's Pop Warner, backyard, NFL, they want to win. That’s why guys get shot up before the game and play through pain, because they want to win.”

“When you don’t win, you second-guess and start looking at things, and breaking it down,” Smith added. “If you win, man, you’ve got no worries. When you lose, a lot of things are looked at and said and examined. You expect that when you lose.”

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on October 3, 2010 at 08:22 PM | Permalink


We need continued improvement in the OL

Posted by: MBPantfan | Oct 3, 2010 8:54:21 PM

This team needs playmakers and a few veterans on both sides of the football other than deangelo williams and jonathan stewart,steve smith is there too but getting pretty old to do it.too many young guys on the team also.every team needs a couple of vererans to help you with all those little mistakes that rookie will cost you a game just like today.too many veterans were let go too early which is a problem now.

Posted by: danny | Oct 3, 2010 9:35:31 PM

It's time for Bobcats season!

Posted by: Bobcat Matt | Oct 3, 2010 10:11:39 PM

Another loss. We catch the Saints asleep at the wheel and we still get beat. 0-7 is about a lock now. Win one before Thanksgiving? I am thinking not.

Go Bobcats!!!

Posted by: Bernz??Where-Did-U-Go? | Oct 3, 2010 10:44:34 PM

I would much prefer to see the word "flashes" or "some bright spots" used here, instead of "improvement".

The reasoning being, that since the Cats have not won a game - it implies that they are getting better at losing, rather than winning.

Posted by: Go_Panthers | Oct 3, 2010 11:17:21 PM

Seriously Clauson sucked. That stewart TD was pure luck and Williams finally getting a lane had nothing to do with Jimmy. I understand jimmy has the contract so he may as well play but Matt didn't get a real chance.

Posted by: Altheus | Oct 3, 2010 11:59:08 PM

I can't believe Gross thinks the o-line played well. Fox thinks the defense played great while holding NO to 27 first downs. The offense racked up 10 first downs. It's a good thing the o-line didn't have a bad day.

Posted by: Ben | Oct 4, 2010 2:06:53 AM

Seems to me that holding the Saints within striking distance despite the offense being unable to stay on the field means the D did play pretty well. In fact given the offensive play of the offense and how it has left them on the field all season their ranking in the top 15 is real good.

And there was improvement. We've gone from just flashes of good play to extended flashes. I mean we were just 10 yards from beating NO yesterday. The engine is still sputtering but it's running longer. Of course now with no Smith it may not matter. That lack of interest in Houshmandzadeh by this team looks stupider by the minute.

Posted by: john | Oct 4, 2010 8:28:52 AM

Go panthers!! Great game, reminded me of the Cardiac Cats of old. I was on the edge of my seat rooting for the home team and really happy for the improvements they made as a unit. 10 and 6 might not be crazy. Let's see how next week goes.

Posted by: mr.garcia | Oct 4, 2010 9:09:22 AM

Maybe with smith out well get to see Armanti Edwards in action!

Posted by: josh | Oct 4, 2010 10:52:14 AM

Well, barginball at it's finest. Our WR's haven't proiduced for the past few years, so wtf did Fox and Hurney think they were magically going to get better this year with a rookie QB??? Why no new receivers in the off season???
And our secondary is the leagues biggest joke. The only way Gamble or Marshall can defend a pass to to interfere. Lord help they actually turn and LOOK for the ball.
Play calling is some of the worst I've ever seen. Davis is a joke!!

Posted by: rich | Oct 4, 2010 10:55:19 AM

With Jay Cutler banged up and possibly out next week, I would say next week may be the best chance for a win over the next month or so, otherwise we'll have a winless october to go with september.

Posted by: rick b. | Oct 4, 2010 11:49:04 AM

You can't polish a turd. We will not win a game this year thanks to the owner/management. I could care less if you moved this team to L.A., I will spend my hard earned money at the Bobcats games. At least there we have an owner who tries to give a good product.

Posted by: WorstFootballTeamintheLeague | Oct 4, 2010 12:23:47 PM

as much as I think jeff davidson lacks in ability to manage an offense, those of you saying play calling was to blame at the end there are nuts. you got the ball around the 40, 1st and 10 with a reliable fg kicker and a minute or 2 to go.....you run the ball, you kick the fg you win the game.

clausen's absolute lack of urgency and apathy in the final 2 minutes was incredible. I don't care if he had no signal what so ever how you take that much time after the huddle to line up with the clock running and the game on the line is beyond me. i'm fine with it because rookies will be rookies and we had 3 of them on the field at the end there. but blame goes to the rookies, nobody else.

his lack of urgency in the play clock earlier cost timeouts as well. i understand if he can't pick up a blitz or recognize man vs. zone at this level early on but managing the clock and taking snaps are things you learn before you even play at the D-1 level let alone the pros.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 4, 2010 12:46:38 PM

@ charlottean

listen i get it u can run the ball, but not out of a two tight end set. This tells the defense exactly what your going to do. We dont have the talent for this. Put in a spread or stacks and then run the ball. Put a once of dought inthe d coords head that we might just throw the ball. And as far as managing the clock. thats on davidson...he needs to have the play in earlier. Ever watch a colts game they have the play in and are at the line with 15 seconds to spare for adjustments. Davidson is unexceptable. period.

Posted by: Randy | Oct 4, 2010 1:58:42 PM

i'm with you that davidson is unexceptable. no kidding. but clausen was moving at 1st quarter 0-0 speed when it was 4th quarter 2 minute drill 2 point defecit situation. there's no excuse for the amount of time he took from huddle to snap in that situation. there's no excuse for stepping up into a sack instead of letting one fly.

and we can line up in a heavy formation stare the defense in the eye and tell them we're going to run the ball and we should still be able to get 2 yards when we need it. it doesn't matter if they know it's coming, we were trying to setup a game winning field goal. if the headset isn't working, call a bread and butter run play and move on. the coach isn't going to be mad when you atleast put the team in a position for a fg attempt instead of absolutely wasting the last 2 minutes of a game (and more) in the huddle.

the guy had the balls to point out the blitz with the clock running under 20 seconds instead of just going.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 4, 2010 2:48:22 PM

Clausen is used to a pro-style offense; we don't have one of those here.

I don't understand our formations at all; we try to get the other team to put as many defenders in the box as possible before we run. Does anyone remember the Mike Martz Rams? They spread the field and then gave it to Faulk and he ran everywhere. Why run the WR in motion and stop him on the OLine just before snapping the ball and handing it to DWill of JStew?
How about that 3rd and 1 where we ran a stretch run outside the tackle with Stew and lost 3 yards? What the crap was that? 3rd and 1 with DWill or JStew is right up the gut; Davidson and Fox are just plain stupid.
Jerry, don't move the team; sell the team to Michael Jordan and then move yourself anywhere you want. At least Jordan is willing to tell the fans he cares and will try to win.
Calling Charlie Weiss...

Posted by: SCPOAB | Oct 4, 2010 9:06:38 PM

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