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December 24, 2010

Bah humbug: Bad night in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH – The upside to getting embarrassed on national television Thursday night: The Panthers get three days off for Christmas.

But excuse them if they're not exactly filled with holiday cheer.

There have been a lot of lowlights this year for the 2-13 Panthers, but the 27-3 loss to Pittsburgh ranks right down there with the worst of them.

“We got beat in all three phases and we didn't have a period during the game where we had a high,” linebacker Jon Beason said.

The defense got gashed for more than 400 yards.

The offense was brutal after a promising start.

The Panthers' first two drives produced 73 yards, four first downs … and no points.

Their final nine possessions: 46 yards, three first downs and one John Kasay field goal to avoid the team's first shutout in eight years.

Do the math: That's 119 yards, the second-lowest output in this franchise's 16-year history.

“We never could get on track,” coach John Fox said. “We're lucky it wasn't worse.”

Jimmy Clausen took (another) step backward after an encouraging game last week against Arizona.

But at least the Panthers go to Atlanta next week controlling their own destiny for the No. 1 pick. Lose and it's theirs.

Of course, Atlanta might be playing its JV team if the Falcons beat New Orleans on Monday night to clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Such a scenario would be a setback in the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes.

“The thing you hope for is maybe (Atlanta) can lose this week and maybe they'll have to play their starters week 17,” Beason said. “You want to go out and compete against the best. It's always tough when you know a team is going to rest their guys.”

As for the free weekend?

“A Christmas off in this line of work is a rare thing,” tackle Jordan Gross said. “So you've got to be happy about that. But right now it's not too good around here.”

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on December 24, 2010 at 02:02 PM | Permalink


Hey Jimmy, how's the speed of the game now? Please call Skelton for some more encouraging words prior to his game this weekend. He really enjoyed your "hang in there man" speech....one day you will be just like me. You're a JOKE.

Posted by: cw | Dec 24, 2010 3:09:19 PM

On the opening drive the Panthers punt from the Steelers 32, a franchise record no doubt. Fox claimed recently they have been "looking for ways" to get Edwards in. And on 3rd and 2 you use Goodson in the "Mountaineer" ? Fox and Hurney have expended all their credibilty. Some said Moore played well with no pressure on him to produce last year-and won games> Clausen by that reasoning would have the lowest of all expectations and cannot produce. So Fox and Hurney took the guy every team in the league that is ahead of them passed on; demonstrating their inablity. They would have to improve to be inept.

Posted by: Joe Friday | Dec 24, 2010 3:13:41 PM

Clausen is not good and is affraid to throw the long ball... wait he cant throw the long ball. haha if we do get luck in the draft i think smitty will stay but if not i think he will leave

Posted by: smb316 | Dec 24, 2010 3:25:18 PM

Does it really matter at this point? Shouldn't you be rooting for losses?

Posted by: mystic7 | Dec 24, 2010 3:26:30 PM

Take Newton over Luck. That's if you want the better player.

Posted by: ATL FAN | Dec 24, 2010 3:41:10 PM

cam newton is a good player but he is not ready for the NFL. Luck is ready i think and i also think that clausen should have been benched mid season he is not ready for the nfl maybe they should send him to the ufl for a couple of years and if he improves bring him back and another thing why take 3 qb's in draft and only use one for the season should have got my OL help.

Posted by: smb316 | Dec 24, 2010 3:50:08 PM

If you think Newotn is better than Luck, you know nothing about the next level of football....

Posted by: PaantherFan | Dec 24, 2010 4:23:52 PM

These editors are hilarious if the Panthers get beat they crucify them in the paper, if they win their Idiots for messing up the number 1 draft pick? Really there is no right choice here......

Posted by: PaantherFan | Dec 24, 2010 4:25:56 PM

9 possessions produce 46 yards? Has anyone ever asked HC John Fox why he hasn't fired OC Jeff Doofison?

Posted by: dennisjconner | Dec 24, 2010 4:29:47 PM

Man I get tired of ppl bashin clausen, yea he's played like trash but bash the whole team not just clausen, no wr can get open, steve smith publicly throwin him under the bus, yes he does hold the ball sometimes however after his 1st read or after the play fake he is running for his life, ppl say he throws it away or checks it down too much while we got rid of the guy who would do the opposite and throw tons of picks. Yea maybe clausen has reached his ceiling and will not get anybetter but ppl forget this kid is like 22 years old, and qbs suck as rookies, when we drafted him ppl expected matt ryan behind center because mel kiper was all over him and if mel really new what he was talkin about he would be in an nfl teams front office, if clausen does develop it will take time because he not as physically gifted, and his toe is still not 100 percent, he has no established veteran qb for advice or input. He is in a no win situation right now. But I hate to hear ppl say he's a joke or a coward blah blah because he is tough and a competitor, no qb taken in the middle of the 2nd round has set the world on fire and too say hurney should be fired for drafting him those same ppl would bash him if we took another position with him still on the board, so yea clausen has sucked but to take shots at his integrity and toughness is funny when he is tougher than the ppl bashin him, I dunno I just feel bad for him he is in a no win situation and his career has probaly been ruined because of our personel moves and coaching staff, I mean who brings in the qb coach from cleveland who's big claim to fame was brady quinn and derek anderson coaches just hire their buddies.he needs to sit on the bench and learn the qb position in the film room and on the practice field and let a real qb coach try to
develop him. Im sure I will get blasted for this and this was from my phone so I could careless about grammar

Posted by: james | Dec 24, 2010 4:30:37 PM

I've also wondered how many sports journalists have scrutinized the player personnel decisions that GM Marty Hurney has made. The ridiculous contract w/ Jake Delhomme was on obvious problem. But what other decisions has he made that would call into question his judgment.

Posted by: dennisjconner | Dec 24, 2010 4:40:21 PM

Hey Jerry, the last two times we played Pittsburgh, we've been outscored 64-6. So, you're modeling your franchise after theirs? How's that working out for ya?

Posted by: Ben | Dec 24, 2010 5:13:27 PM

Jerry sell the team and go take a nap.

Posted by: kevin | Dec 24, 2010 5:25:01 PM

jerry stop copying people, remember when he wanted to be like the 49ers? Fox picked a bad year to have a bad year.

Posted by: joe cool | Dec 24, 2010 5:29:28 PM

I agree with James 100%!

Posted by: ArmandoT | Dec 24, 2010 6:09:41 PM

The team needs to retool. With the right QB and a few solid offensive lineman this team could be good next year. If the team and fans could wait a few years. They need to draft Luck or Mallett. Cam Newton is NOT an NFL QB. He is int he mold of Jamarcus Russell or Vince Young. The "new" GM and head coach should go for a QB in free agency. Trade the top or second pick for additional draft picks.

Posted by: Phil | Dec 24, 2010 6:13:06 PM

Hey James, Jimmy called he wants you to rub his big toe while Armando T fondles his nuts watching game film..... He believes, with your help, he can become a better quarterback. He loves that you believe in him so much...oh bring some wooden spoons to smack his a$$ with, it helps him prepare to get hit from behind. You guys will be such a great help. Thanks from Jimmy!

Posted by: cw | Dec 24, 2010 7:37:43 PM

If it's impossible for Clausen to throw touchdowns with this team, how did Moore throw 5 of them in less games?

Could it be that Matt is better?

Posted by: Bobby | Dec 24, 2010 10:05:12 PM

Excellent point Bobby! The wonder twins, James and Armando, have seemed to forget the FACTS. Jimmy tells me they have done a fine job though of the "rubbing" down but forgot the wooden spoons.... shame on you guys, you brought whipped cream instead, I hear.

Posted by: cw | Dec 24, 2010 11:58:51 PM

I expect the off-season to be a lot more exciting than the season has been-how could it not be! New coach and staff in January, followed by all the speculation through April on how to use the first draft pick. Can minicamp be far behind? Go Panthers and Merry Christmas to the team and fans.

Posted by: sc ken | Dec 25, 2010 9:21:07 AM

did anybody see mel kiper defending clausen yesterday on sportscenter? the guy had the gall to say "he's being held back by a very bad carolina team"

this just further confirms the rumor that clausen's family paid kiper to over inflate his draft status to get him here.

it was the right pick where we got him. but i'd be damned if that skelton kid doesn't look like the better prospect. pike or cantwell could really be using these snaps right now and instead they're being wasted on a guy that can't throw the ball. there are rookies that can do all kinds of things wrong but can throw the ball. they can learn the other stuff. this late in your career you aren't going to learn how to throw.

clausen can't throw.

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 25, 2010 10:42:11 AM

I agree with James too. If any of you think Andrew would flourish in this system your just crazy...He may be able to buy some more time and find make a few more connections but really.We run first and second down.Then third down they double Smitty which leaves you with 2 rookies ,Rosario,and sometimes Goodson.We need to mix the offense up...Come out throwing first 3 downs if we have to.Hell put 5 receivers on the field.I like Luck too.
But we could really use a stud DT to help the D stop the run and get more pressure on the QB.This will also help Beason and Thomas...We have the pieces and the picks to be good.We just need to get the right coach!

Posted by: bryant80 | Dec 25, 2010 11:10:17 AM

Can the pickle Claussen. Mel's hairspray has affected his brain. The agents are paying Mel to hype their players. Glad to find out the truth.

Posted by: kevin | Dec 25, 2010 1:09:53 PM

JOHN FOX goes to Cleveland! Mark my words, he will be coaching the Browns next year. And no, that has nothing to do with Jake Delhomme being there. In fact, Fox will ship Jake out after he gets there.

He will be there because of Patrick Hillis and a historically reputable defense (which has now become a demand for one). And Fox will turn that franchise around as well, especially having a good support system in place (inlucing a die-hard fan base that is always supportive of its team).

Heard it here first folks!

Posted by: SYRPIS | Dec 25, 2010 2:10:42 PM

Bottom line - Hurney, not Fox, drafted Clausen the Joke. Fox is gone. If Hurney stays, his wagon is hitched to Clausen. That means Russ Grimm, the Hog, as coach who will be forced to try to make Clausen, only an above average college QB, into the next coming of Joe Montana. Clausen isn't Montana and Grimm isn't Bill Walsh. Fire Hurney and let's get real about winning.

Posted by: PantherFancier | Dec 25, 2010 4:47:55 PM

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