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December 29, 2010

Fox keeping emotions in check

Much of the focus Wednesday after the Panthers' practice was on John Fox preparing for his final game.

Not surprisingly, Fox did not get real emotional in discussing the end of his nine-year tenure in Charlotte, saying he wishes he could have won more games.

But as for his departure, Fox said: “This is not new news. It's a finishing. It's kind of been knowledgeable for a couple years."

Fox, who is 73-70 in regular-season games, was not offered an extension after the Panthers' playoff season of 2008, and was allowed to enter this season with an expiring contract.

Fox said he wasn't going to play the “blame game” when asked about what went wrong during this 2-13 season.

More revealing were a few of the comments from rookie QB Jimmy Clausen, if only because Clausen usually reveals so little.

Clausen said he was planning to begin the offseason by taking classes at Notre Dame to finish his sociology degree. He also is going to have his right foot examined.

Clausen had surgery to repair torn ligaments on his right big toe in January. Clausen said his toe has felt fine, but his foot has been bothering him. He was uncertain whether he would need surgery.

Clausen said he was not focused on the Panthers clinching the No. 1 pick in next year's draft, and the speculation that they might use it to select Stanford QB Andrew Luck. He was asked if he'd done enough to show team officials they didn't need to use the top pick on a quarterback.

That's a tough question because being a rookie and trying to do as much learning as you can,” Clausen said. “Obviously, I haven't played like I want to play. But I think it's just a transition that I'm going through right now.”

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on December 29, 2010 at 03:18 PM | Permalink


Ok Has anyone heard of Cam Newton. say what you want about his conduct at Florida which was years ago, but if he and auburn beat Oregan then there's no way we dont pick this guy. He's won every award a quarterback could win and still he's not mentioned as a first pick. Answer this all you sports fanatics, if Andrew luck is better why didn't he win the Heisman? And not only that Cam had better numbers. Now ponder that.

Posted by: Panther4life | Dec 29, 2010 4:53:35 PM

I really think that if Fox had any chance to have a winning season, J.R. would have left him some talent to work with.I have always liked J.F., and I know he will land on his feet somewhere else.

Posted by: nasty 704 | Dec 29, 2010 5:19:26 PM

Hopefully Fox can let everyone know how he really felt this year once he is no longer employed by the Panthers. He is a good coach. His formula of a strong running game to set up the play action pass and a strong defense can still win in this league. Jerry Richardson has been setting up Fox for failure for at least 2 years now. Wake Up or sell the team Jerry. Your new heart does not bleed Panthers Black and Blue.

Clausen should use the off season to learn that a play action fake requires the QB to get closer than 6 feet to the RB. He is nothing more than a below average NFL back-up.

Posted by: Joe Blow | Dec 29, 2010 5:45:44 PM

I agree Panther4Life, I just can't believe that Cam isn't even considered here! All I keep hearing is Cam is gonna be Vince Young or Jamarcus Russell which is only because he's a black qb with some off the field drama...He's still a great kid, alot of players were pain in college, so now all of a sudden he's a bad player with a questionable background? Why can't he be compared to the late great Steve McNair?To me, that's who Cam mostly reminds me of! Regardless, if any other team were picking #1 like Cincinati, they would pick Cam, no question!

Posted by: jah p | Dec 29, 2010 5:56:10 PM

Cam Newton is a black qb???? I thought he was a great college qb!!!! Wow - thanks for letting me know he was black!

Posted by: pantherswindivisionin2011 | Dec 29, 2010 6:12:57 PM

@ panther4life
actually, A. Luck won the award for best QB. And I don't care that he's black, I just don't see NFL material in him. I think he's very similar physically to Tim Tebow. And I didn't think nearly anything of Tebow in the draft. Newton, despite what some people refuse to believe, is not that accurate, and is not NFL-material. His passes go to completely wide open receivers. That's not a good QB, that's good play calling a receiers. I don't think Newton will be as bad as Russell, but I think he will end up lime V. Young on the field. Not very accurate, WANTS to run too much instead of reading the field, and injuries.

Posted by: Josh | Dec 29, 2010 7:09:57 PM

Clausen may be a good guy, but so is Matt Moore. Neither one, however, will ever amount to more than an NFL backup QB. Don't draft sCAM or Luck. Trade away the first pick and get a late 1st round and mid-second round pick and get help on the O and D lines. Then trade away DeAngelo or Steve Smith for a top-notch veteran QB. Hire Gruden as coach and get a new Offensive coordinator who knows how to use the Tight Ends more. That's the simplest plan for quick success in Carolina.

Posted by: Panther D | Dec 29, 2010 7:53:53 PM

@Panther D
just wondering, why is everyone so high on Jon Gruden? He won 1 superbowl...on a team built by Tony Dungy. I think Gruden is an over-glorified coach. And what top-notch veteran QB would you be talking about? D. McNabb? No, he was a product of great coaching, and will be mediocre anywhere but Philly. Kevin Kolb? He's not a veteran, he's started like 4 games his whole career and doesn't lead his team to wins, he just racks up passing yards. I say Luck if he comes out, easily. If not, try and trade down. But the first pick loses value if Luck's not there. If we can trade down, I'd like AJ Green, after we trade Smith.

Posted by: Josh | Dec 29, 2010 8:53:10 PM

Cam Newton has got to be one of the biggest and best Q/B out there..He can do it all..He SHOULD be the #1 pick of some lucky team out there..Otherwise there are a bunch of MORON'S
for owners in the NFL!!!!!

Posted by: Mac | Dec 29, 2010 10:03:21 PM

Cam Newton could be the Panthers new QB, if Andrew Luck decides not to come out and they trade down to the middle teens. Newton will most likely be the 3rd or 4th QB taken, but if Andrew Luck enters the draft he will be the first player taken, and it will be by the Panthers. End of story.

Posted by: keyman32 | Dec 29, 2010 10:42:15 PM

using winning the heisman as justification for taking newton 1st overall is just ignorant. winning that award doesn't always translate to having nfl stuff, examples...

won the heisman: chris weinke, charlie ward, troy smith, eric crouch, gino torretta

didn't win the heisman: tom brady, peyton manning, drew brees, brett favre, john elway

need i go on?

Posted by: mel kiper lite | Dec 29, 2010 11:07:08 PM

gee, hasn't anybody noticed that bill cowher has been living in north carolina for the last 2 or 3 years? or that his daughter attends wofford college? be nice to see a coach of that caliber come to the panthers!

Posted by: Russ | Dec 30, 2010 1:03:08 AM

"Jerry Richardson has been setting up Fox for failure for at least 2 years now. Wake Up or sell the team Jerry".

Now thats funny, so was it JR fault that Fox left Jake in to long to not have back to back winning seasons in 09? How much was he winning with his veteran players? 3 winning seasons in 8 years before the youth movement.

Fox is a decent coach at best, but I guess it's okay to settle for mediocre? It's time for a change, not no more conservative football. The talent isn't the problem, it's the lack of adjusting. Game planning, along develop young talent (Qb and WR).

Posted by: lol | Dec 30, 2010 2:07:16 AM

And theyre off! Morons left & right. 1 wants to trade Smith just to draft another receiver. Ever heard of a bird in the hand? 1 says Gruden won a superbowl with a team Dungy built, So he didnt coach the team that year? Did Dungy leave a "to do" list for him on how to manage them? 1 says if any other team were picking #1 theey would pick Newton, like Cincinatti, well guess what? He will still be there for the Bengals to pick so they dont need the #1 pick to get him. Ok thats all im pointing out for now, you all continue to post moronic comments, trying to pretend you actually know about football & the rest of us will read & laugh at the stupidity.

Posted by: Moronic Fanbase | Dec 30, 2010 2:15:06 AM

Wow, "moronic fanbase", you sure do fit right in. It's going to be so hilarious when this Luck guy enters the draft and the Panthers pick him, only to see him be a complete bust, while the "Cincinnati's" take Newton in the later rounds who will turn out to be a success. The Panthers can never get it right and they will botch the draft, watch.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Dec 30, 2010 6:57:17 AM

Everybody seems to be an expert, so heck I guess I'll pretend to be, too. Cam Newton won't be drafted high, not because he's black or because he's not smart, but because the real experts (or the ones who have some credentials and can pretend to be real) also passed, for the most part, on the similar skills and accomplishments of Tim Tebow. Tebow, the ultimate white and smart kid.

Posted by: Everbodyisanexpert | Dec 30, 2010 9:35:30 AM

I guess I'll be called a moron too, but yes, I agree, Gruden won a Super Bowl with a foundation laid out by years of Dungy's work; he's overhyped. We've already had an overhyped coach who won Super Bowls by piggy backing, his name was George Seifert. I don't want to go there again (though Gruden wouldn't be as bad as Seifert). Get a hungry young coordinator with something to prove.

Posted by: Jason Alston | Dec 30, 2010 10:02:02 AM

I'm not for bringing Jon Gruden in, but folks keep seeming to forget Gruden built an Oakland Raiders team that went to the Super Bowl (and lost) and went deep in the playoffs a number of times. Yes he inherited a Dungy team, but he did something with them that Dungy got fired for not doing...winning the Super Bowl.

Sidebar: I love Dungy and think he is a great coach.

Posted by: Capt Obvious | Dec 30, 2010 10:35:26 AM

Also Cam is a great *college* QB which does not always equate to being a great NFL QB. His upside is Josh Freeman and his downside is JaMarcus "drank" Russell. He has plenty of red flags in his past and is not a polished NFL passer. Those things will likely keep him from being the first pick in the draft.

Think of it like a job interview at an extremely prestigious company with security/corporate espionage concerns. Despite the talent you may bring to the company if you have a checkered past or lack the education they are seeking it is unlikely you will get hired for the spot. That's the # pick in the draft. Most NFL teams (especially the Panthers) are unwilling to overlook indiscretions despite the talent you may bring to the table.

Posted by: Capt Obvious | Dec 30, 2010 10:46:34 AM

The problem with Cam Newton is the same thing with other "big" QB's that come in: they take too many hits. Teams don't like their QB's taking hits.
This isn't college; the defensive lineman are bigger, faster, and hit a lot harder. So do the LB's; even though Newton is bigger than the D secondary, they will still hit him a lot harder (did you see Assante Samuel unload on Sidney Rice Tuesday?)
Remember Culpepper going down in Charlotte? Remember the hit Carolina put on McNabb in the NFC championship game? McNair was always injured.
Big QB's use their legs too much for the NFL game; look at Tebow...he's already running downfield. Pretty soon he's going to get whacked.
I'll take a Matt Ryan over a Josh Freeman anyday...I hope Luck comes out.

Posted by: SCPOAB | Dec 30, 2010 11:28:55 AM

Well said, Joe Blow!

Posted by: SYRPIS | Dec 30, 2010 8:55:50 PM

AMEN,mel kiper lite.

Posted by: nasty 704 | Dec 31, 2010 12:05:58 AM

news flash-draft another new QB and start over again.Panthers are not the most talented team by any mean i think that falls on the Gm since he is in charge of who gets resigned and who doesn't.then theirs the highschool off.coordinator,shoot i can set in my living rm and guess what play we are going to run.WE need help but changing QB's isn't going to fix anything'

Posted by: ricky | Dec 31, 2010 2:31:20 PM

Not sure how to think about this .....
Seifert's last season was terrible, but he built the team to that point. Fox comes along and enjoys what he accomplished. Is it fair to say Fox took us to the SuperBowl ??? In any event, he out. Who's in ? Now what ???

Posted by: fishguy | Dec 31, 2010 6:48:26 PM

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