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December 01, 2010

Teammate says Gamble benched for missing practice; Martin fined $40K

The first signs – or at least the first visible signs – of the frustrations of a lost season are coming to the surface for the 1-10 Carolina Panthers.

Three days after cornerback Chris Gamble was benched at Cleveland – a decision coach John Fox said was performance-related – one of Gamble’s defensive teammates indicated the benching was related to Gamble’s absence at a mid-week practice last week.

Panthers DE Everette Brown said Gamble apologized a day after he was a no-show for practice on Nov. 24.

“That’s one of those things where he made an out-of-mind decision, I call it that,” Brown said Wednesday. “He came back the next day and apologized and that’s been the end of it since. He’s been out working every day and getting better and getting ready for the Seahawks.”

Gamble, a seven-year veteran who is the Panthers’ third-highest paid player, saw action as a nickel back against the Browns while Captain Munnerlyn started.

Gamble has not spoken to the media since his benching. He was limited at Wednesday’s practice with a hamstring injury.

Gamble has not had an interception in 14 games, the longest drought of his career.

“It’s easy to come in and come to work and be chipper everyday when you’re winning. But when things aren’t going your way, sometimes those things happen where you act out of character,” Brown said.

“But being the team that we are and having the character that we have on the team, we all hold each other accountable. (Gamble) was disciplined for his actions and that was the end of it.

“It’s not anything we hold a grudge against a guy or say, ‘Aw man, he’s a quitter. He backed out on the team.’ He was back at practice the next day working hard. So you’ve got to commend him for that and for the team holding together.”

It was a bad week all-around for Panthers’ defensive backs.

The NFL has fined safety Sherrod Martin $40,000 for his hit on Browns tight end Evan Moore, which drew an unnecessary roughness penalty for hitting a defenseless receiver in the head.

Martin’s fine was steep because he is considered a repeat offender. He was fined $5,000 for a hit on New York Giants tight end Kevin Boss in Week 1 that knocked Boss from the game with a concussion.

Martin was not available for comment Wednesday, but said after the game last weekend he would appeal any fine.

Four players missed Wednesday's practice with injuries: LB James Anderson (concussion), Munnerlyn (shoulder) and OL Geoff Schwartz (back) and Travelle Wharton (toe).

RB Mike Goodson missed for personal reasons.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on December 1, 2010 at 03:06 PM | Permalink


If you watch the replay - Evan Moore lowered his helmet into Martin. I don't really get how you are supposed to change complete trajectory of your head in a nano-second on the goal line play like that... especially when you are seen as the only one guilty.

Posted by: Patrick | Dec 1, 2010 3:17:40 PM

May be the first reported, but far from the first, or last.

Posted by: JustSellJerry | Dec 1, 2010 3:19:07 PM

Gamble should be permanently benched, but who really cares at this point. It's going to be interesting to see the changes that JR makes, if he really wants a winning football team.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Dec 1, 2010 3:21:11 PM

Benching Gamble shows that this team is still working hard to win as a team and shows the type character they want to exude. Not many teams would have done that.

Posted by: djfoams | Dec 1, 2010 3:48:10 PM

I totally agree with you Patrick. Some plays are dirty, no doubt. But a play happens so fast and if you aim for his chest and leave your feet then the WR ducks his head- bam- helmet to helmet and sometimes it is nobody's fault. its just football

Posted by: QB's please stand up | Dec 1, 2010 3:53:30 PM

They are way out of line with this fine. It was immediately clear when looking at the replay that the offensive player lowered his head to hit Martin, not the other way around.

Justice may be blind, but I'm not.

Posted by: rrollins | Dec 1, 2010 4:16:04 PM

I agree with both of you guys... however...
The NFL knows it's impossible for a defender to prevent a helmet-helmet hit 95% of the time.. The NFL found a sleazy way to make some money back from these highly overpaid players. Look at it like getting a parking ticket, or stupid traffic violation.. It's just a scummy way for the NFL to rip NFL players off and redistribute the funds in their favor by fining for stupid lame reasons based on half-assed truth ..

Posted by: Shaun NJ | Dec 1, 2010 4:23:03 PM

Wow 40k? The nfl is turning into flag football. You can't control what happends on the field, players are moving at a very fast pace.


"Gamble should be permanently benched, but who really cares at this point".

Should the same said for Godfrey and Marshall as well? They wren't good neither.

@ djfoams

"Benching Gamble shows that this team is still working hard to win as a team and shows the type character they want to exude".

To bad they actually still aren't winning. If they were still working to win, Fox and Davidson would be creative for once not always seeing the run,run,pass,punt every week. At least make adjust, game plan, and get Smith and the TEnds involve in the passing game.

Posted by: adam carter | Dec 1, 2010 4:29:03 PM

I misspelled "weren't", my fault.

Posted by: adam carter | Dec 1, 2010 4:36:18 PM

Yeah, boo on the NFL for fining Martin so heavily. What was he supposed to do? It is getting to the point where receivers will try to make helmet-to-helmet contact just to get the extra 15 yards. What a joke.

Posted by: swizzlesticks | Dec 1, 2010 4:41:26 PM

You correct the spelling on "weren't" when you used it in the sentence "They weren't good neither." Lol, I don't think spelling is what people noticed...

Posted by: swizzlesticks | Dec 1, 2010 4:42:36 PM

Benching Gamble shows that this team is still working hard to win as a team and shows the type character they want to exude. Not many teams would have done that.

Well they still aren't winning regardless of what they do. As (adam) had said, Fox would be creative instead of handcuffing oc/dc into playing to conservative.

This team has talent, just lack of game planning/development is killing this team. JR should have rebuild the team with a new coaching staff, instead of a lame duck.

Not a Panthers fan by the way.

Posted by: mark smith | Dec 1, 2010 4:43:11 PM

@ swizzlesticks

Wow man bashing a person already lol? At least he actually corrected his spelling.

Posted by: mark smith | Dec 1, 2010 4:46:25 PM

I wish the team would all skip sunday and not show up. One week closer to getting LUCK

Posted by: mister jones | Dec 1, 2010 4:50:43 PM

Pay the players $50,000 - and bonus based on performance - making the playoff's and winning.

That's the way the world works, unless you a person getting paid a kids game, at which case they used to pay them nothing until people showed up willing to pay to see them play. The sports world has really come full circle. Maybe little league sports, pop warner and h.s. sports is the way to go.

Posted by: cj | Dec 1, 2010 4:57:31 PM

Right and the next minute Matt B will be the savior.

Posted by: mark smith | Dec 1, 2010 4:57:41 PM

I cant believe fox would think people would buy the story that it was performance related, fox has never benched anybody because of performance

Posted by: joey | Dec 1, 2010 5:30:44 PM

Shaun NJ - the fine money players pay goes straight to charity - united way probably since thats the big NFL charity. It's not a sleazy money making attempt. The fine money every year probably doesnt even add up to a million dollars, which to the NFL a million dollars is chump change.

Posted by: evan | Dec 1, 2010 5:42:11 PM

He should have just ripped off Moore's helmet and started throwing punches. Then he only would have been fined $25,000.

Posted by: Michael | Dec 1, 2010 6:12:13 PM

Jerry, Fly to San Francisco and rent a car and head south to Stanford in Palo Alto. Put a package deal together for Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck...Send John Fox packing to the Canadian Football League and all of the backup JV quarterbacks...to the Southeast conference...they are dealing for talent down there..

Posted by: Dave Kempert | Dec 1, 2010 9:16:50 PM

I have been really hard on Gamble because I think he is soft and a lousy tackler. Maybe this benching will light a fire within him. Let's hope so. With NO chance to make a run, I want the panthers to lose all the rest of their games by 1 pt but play well so that we can get Luck-y

Posted by: 308-18-1 & 2 | Dec 1, 2010 10:48:47 PM

Can we all agree that since the new commish can into power, the NFL has went down!!!These fines are crazy. Stop yourself in mid air and don't hit him even when he lowers his head!!!

Posted by: BEGEEZEE | Dec 2, 2010 12:04:10 AM

Why won't anyone talk about the real reason for the panthers demise. The reporters for the Charlotte Observer are trash, they only talk about the suface problems and it's dawn'ed on me, to think that their on the panthers payroll. Jeff Davidson is calling the same exact plays as last year, that's why teams can load 9 or 8 in the box they know the play if you watch film, I know the play as a fan. John Fox is gone next year, so why destroy your body for a nowhere team, don't belive me check the injured reserve. This team plays hard only because they want a good stock in free agency or trade

Posted by: Steven | Dec 2, 2010 1:53:52 AM

I also have some good plays for you, put AE in as a wildcat situation let him bootleg left but then hand of the draw to Goodson both have the speed and intensity to make a play and you have to put a 4 wide set out everytime u wanna run take them off balance

Posted by: Steven | Dec 2, 2010 2:03:00 AM

Gamble really never deserved the contract he got. Godfrey has been shameful this season and his arm tackling should have gotten him benched but it did not.

The worst of the db's is easily Marshall. Marshall cried all about his 1.2 million tender offer before he signed it and he did not even deserve getting that amount.

The only reason the Panthers pass defense was rated so highly earlier in the season was because opponents could take a 7-10 point and never risk throwing the ball and still whip the Panthers.

Munnerlyn and Martin are the only two in the secondary who seem to care about their craft. If feel bad as Martin's rookie contract was not much and after tax and his first season of expenses that 40k will hit him hard.

Posted by: Dr. Thomas L. Payne IV | Dec 2, 2010 2:10:36 AM

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