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#1 Mr. Scot

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 01:45 AM

Here's my take on who needs to go, and who doesn't.

Most of these thoughts were formed before tonight's game. Only a few are new, with the very first being the most obvious of the "new" batch :(


DEPARTURES

JAKE DELHOMME: I'm as big a fan of Delhomme as you'll find, but I'm not sure his teammates can follow him into battle in the future as confidently as they did before. If they can, then he stays, and it'll be a testament to just how much respect he command in the locker room. Much as I hate it though, i just don't see that happening.

My best hope: the team keeps him on-board in some sort of coaching capacity. Delhomme has shown himself to be the kind of guy you want as a mentor to the younger QBs. Mike McCoy critics would likely love to see Delhomme replace his QB coach. I doubt we'll see that (at least not next year) but he's good for the team, and I'd love to see his influence remain even if it isn't in an on-field role.

MIKE TRGOVAC: To be clear, I'm not new to the anti-Trgo movement, but I think tonight was definitive. yes, the defense didn't give up as much in the second half, but I think you'd have to say the Cardinals took their foot off the gas (and why not? we were posing no threat) :(

KEN LUCAS: That he's miscast as a physical corner on a defense that prefers zone coverage is valid, and not his fault. With that said, his combination of age, salary and overall quality make it pretty unlikely he'll still be a Panther next season. Shame because I like him. The downside though? I'm not dead certain that his heir apparent, Richard Marshall, is the answer as a starting corner. maybe he is, but I'm not convinced of that at this point.

JEREMY BRIDGES: This one's iffy, because both Jordan Gross and Geoff Hangartner are free agents this offseason. What happens with them could have a big impact on whether Bridges sticks around, especially Hangarter. If the team hangs on to Hangartner, it could be bad news for his CPI security partner. Hurts me a lot to say it because I've always liked Bridges, but with the line depth overall better and the notion that at least a few tweaks happen every offseason, his time as a Panther could be at an end. My overall sense is that it will be, but I could easily be wrong.

NICK GOINGS: The Panthers longtime Mr. Reliable largely disappeared this past season. the emergence - and durabilty - of Jonathan Stewart, made him redundant. It's honestly hard to imagine a Panther roster without Nick Goings, but come next year I have a feeling you won't need an imagination to see it.


DEMOTIONS

DAMIONE LEWIS: I like Lewis, but I like him a lot better as a situational rusher than I do as an every down lineman. Likewise I prefer Ma'ake Kemoeatu as a two down player geared toward running downs. To be clear, I believe the team made the right decision when it ousted Kris Jenkins. With that said, I also think the team needs to find an every down DT to take his spot next year, allowing them to go back to using Kemo and Lewis situationally as they did when Jenkins was here.

JEFF KING: Yeah, I know I'm reaching here, but I'm holding out hope that this will be the offseason the team finally decides to ditch the "one blocker, one receiver" model at tight end and goes after a Jason Witten / Todd Heap / Dallas Clark type TE that can do both things well. Being brutally honest, nobody has to respect Jeff king as a receiver. We need someone starting at tight end that teams do have to account for while also being someone who can contribute in the run game as well. Good as the offense was this year, that one thing could have made it all that much better.

NA'IL DIGGS: You might read this and think "Diggs did nothing glaringly wrong this season" and you'd be right. With that said, I think his best contribution on the defense has been veteran presence and leadership. At this point, I believe Jon Beason has enough seasoning to fill that role, and for that reason i can see Diggs being demoted so that a younger, faster guy can take over, solidifying what could be one of the best linebacking corps in the league (if they get the right guy).


UNDERSTUDYS

BRAD HOOVER: In one or two cases, I'm not so much looking for a replacement as I am a successor. At the top of that list, longtime fullback and one time pie-in-the-face victim Brad Hoover. I think it's long past time we had an "heir apparent" waiting behind Hoover. As I've stated before, no disrespect to Hoover but I'd like for the next fullback to be more of a Howard Griffith / Lorenzo Neal type sledgehammer back.

MUHSIN MUHAMMAD: Moose was great this year, and I do believe he's got one more year like that in him. With that said though, the team needs someone of similar pedigree waiting in the wings. Sadly, I don't think either DJ Hackett or Dwayne Jarrett is "that guy". If the team finds someone who is ready to go, then by the middle of next season I think it's conceivable that Moose moves into the "Ricky Proehl" position as the savvy veteran number three. Mind you, this can only truly work if his replacement is at least somewhere close to Moose in the blocking skill department. Otherwise the run game may suffer.


RETURNS

Without much comment, here are the people whose ouster and or replacement I think some folks will be calling for undeservedly:

Charles Godfrey (hit the rookie wall, but still good for the future)
Tyler Brayton/Charles Johnson (an able enough rotation on the other side if Peppers stays)
Mark Jones (unspectacular perhaps, but solid and improving)
John Kasay (still has a year two in him, Rhys Lloyd looks like a decent understudy)
Julius Peppers / Jordan Gross (not a doubt in my mind now that both need to be re-signed)
Jeff Davidson (still learning, and was outmatched tonight, but is steadily getting better)
John Fox (still the best coach the Panthers have had; any calls to get rid of him now are unfounded)



SUMMARY

What you see above is the blueprint for a way more active offseason than most folks would have expected, even as little as 24 hours ago.

Then again, 24 hours ago not too many of us expected that our offseason would be starting today :(

It must also be remembered that with the status of major free agents Julius Peppers and Jordan Gross still up in the air, failure to secure either one would add a major offseason priority and make it tougher to address many of the other things listed here.

Bottom Line: I still think overall there's plenty to work with and build on for next year.

We'll see whether or not that proves true.

#2 bigdog_10_2002

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 01:47 AM

I actually think Tim Lewis might be the casualty from this debacle. At one point in the season the secondary was our strong point.

IMO, Lewis takes the fall that Trgo should. I just don't see Fox firing trgo, no matter how warranted the firing may be.

#3 Sam Mills Fan

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 01:48 AM

King's a free agent this year. I doubt we'll resign him.

#4 stankowalski

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 01:48 AM

From this one game I can say that Jake is done, other than that I"m not sure. And of course Turdo, but that goes without saying.

#5 Snake

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 01:56 AM

I don't see why you get rid of Jake for one game. He won 12 for us and thats not bad I don't think. Why is Fox so great? He is a Defensive guy that just showed his team dose not know how to play Defense. Yea he has got us to one SB but im getting the feeling it might be our last one with him and take that away and he has only lost games when it mattered the most.

#6 tarheelpride

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 01:57 AM

I actually think Tim Lewis might be the casualty from this debacle. At one point in the season the secondary was our strong point.

IMO, Lewis takes the fall that Trgo should. I just don't see Fox firing trgo, no matter how warranted the firing may be.


i never thought about that aspect. it's so easy to lbame the d-cord for problems like this since he calls the plays, but lewis might have to be looked at too.

in regards to the first post, i respect your point-of-view. you made solid points and hit up upon some of our weaknesses. my concern is that this is the WORST time for those weaknesses to show up. with our limited cap space and the pressing need to sign both pep and gross, this will be a tough off-season of decisions. BUT, i can't help but to wonder how much blame will get put on Hurney. He is the one that put the team together, he and Fox. I'm not saying he should be fired or anything, bu ti wonder when we'll take a look his way and see what he has done this year. i think fox and hurney gets put on a very short leash, even with mr. richardson ailing in health. i think his son will take over in the offseason, and if he does, he most likely will be less willing to put up with what has happened and be more drastic in making changes.

but, where do we find the RIGHT guys? maybe it's coaching. maybe it's talent. but i'm willing to bank on MAJOR changes. this team WILL be different in 2009 definately if Mr. Richardson decided to step down. either way we'll see changes, but will it be too little too late?

#7 Snake

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 02:09 AM

i never thought about that aspect. it's so easy to lbame the d-cord for problems like this since he calls the plays, but lewis might have to be looked at too.

in regards to the first post, i respect your point-of-view. you made solid points and hit up upon some of our weaknesses. my concern is that this is the WORST time for those weaknesses to show up. with our limited cap space and the pressing need to sign both pep and gross, this will be a tough off-season of decisions. BUT, i can't help but to wonder how much blame will get put on Hurney. He is the one that put the team together, he and Fox. I'm not saying he should be fired or anything, bu ti wonder when we'll take a look his way and see what he has done this year. i think fox and hurney gets put on a very short leash, even with mr. richardson ailing in health. i think his son will take over in the offseason, and if he does, he most likely will be less willing to put up with what has happened and be more drastic in making changes.

but, where do we find the RIGHT guys? maybe it's coaching. maybe it's talent. but i'm willing to bank on MAJOR changes. this team WILL be different in 2009 definately if Mr. Richardson decided to step down. either way we'll see changes, but will it be too little too late?





Can you blame Hurnny for Drafting Dwill,JStew,Otah,and Godfrey. Yea I know Godfrey might have not been great but last year was a whole lot worse. Fox is the one who picks who coaches under him.

#8 tarheelpride

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 02:14 AM

Can you blame Hurnny for Drafting Dwill,JStew,Otah,and Godfrey. Yea I know Godfrey might have not been great but last year was a whole lot worse. Fox is the one who picks who coaches under him.


yeah he's done that, i give him that much, and you would want to be blamed for doing that. but with a loss this bad, people get scapegoated like hell. like i said he won't get touched, but i be there will be at least two people who would look at him. he don't deserve it with the way he's drafted and he hit on Vincent and bought back Muhammad in free agency. fox will get more looks b/c fox constructed the staff but hurney have decisions to make. if he messes up in te off-season, none of the positives he has done will matter. that's the nature of the business

#9 mountainpantherfan

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 02:20 AM

Here is a big question heading into the offseason. What price is too high to re-sign Peppers? Does he really deserve to be one of the highest paid defensive players in the league? He is a great athelet and a good/pro bowl DE but just isn't a game changer. At least not on a consistant basis. You could turn the same arguement about Delhomme onto Peppers. IMO anything over 6 mill a year isn't a value for what you get and in an offseason with a lot of needs his trade value may outweight his onfield value. JMO and I'm sure I'm going to get bashed for it but I don't care.

#10 Snake

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 02:21 AM

yeah he's done that, i give him that much, and you would want to be blamed for doing that. but with a loss this bad, people get scapegoated like hell. like i said he won't get touched, but i be there will be at least two people who would look at him. he don't deserve it with the way he's drafted and he hit on Vincent and bought back Muhammad in free agency. fox will get more looks b/c fox constructed the staff but hurney have decisions to make. if he messes up in te off-season, none of the positives he has done will matter. that's the nature of the business




Coaching changes have been needed since 2004. Henning got the Ax but really Trgo should have been with him. Im not saying we need a Guru at D coordinator but someone who can make adjustments would be nice. Fox had to help at half time and thats sad when your head coach needs to step in.

#11 Snake

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 02:24 AM

Here is a big question heading into the offseason. What price is too high to re-sign Peppers? Does he really deserve to be one of the highest paid defensive players in the league? He is a great athelet and a good/pro bowl DE but just isn't a game changer. At least not on a consistant basis. You could turn the same arguement about Delhomme onto Peppers. IMO anything over 6 mill a year isn't a value for what you get and in an offseason with a lot of needs his trade value may outweight his onfield value. JMO and I'm sure I'm going to get bashed for it but I don't care.




All around DEs dont happen very often and we are not just gonna replace peppers. I blame coaching and not using him right more then I do Peps play. He has 13 sacks and really no one else even came close to getting to the qb this year but him.

#12 Mr. Scot

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 02:27 AM

I actually think Tim Lewis might be the casualty from this debacle. At one point in the season the secondary was our strong point.

IMO, Lewis takes the fall that Trgo should. I just don't see Fox firing trgo, no matter how warranted the firing may be.

Tim Lewis is a really tough one to figure.

On the one hand, Chris Gamble improved by leaps and bounds under him. You'd also have to throw in that the Panther secondary was flagged only one time for pass interference all year, one time. That's impressive.

On the flipside, the number of 'ricochets' this year has been maddening. You could say a lot of that's on the players, but when three or four players all share the same weakness, you have to look a little deeper.

If Trgovac goes, Tim Lewis likely gets a look at defensive coordinator.

Does he get the job? Don't know.

I've long been an advocate of Fox looking at Titans LB coach (and former Cardinals head coach) Dave McGinniss as a Trgovac replacement.

#13 Mesmer

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 02:28 AM

I'm not so sure that we need to keep Peppers. To be honest, I'm kind of scared of what could happen without him, but what if we franchise tagged him? We'd be back in the 1st round if another team would bite on it, and we could use that on his replacement(s), and then some.

In this day and age of football where holding is never called, and offenses are given the upper hand, I'm just not so sure that Julius Peppers makes a big enough impact on games on a week-to-week basis to completely throw trading/tagging him out the window.

This is coming from a guy who has defended the guy from day 1 (almost blindly, but I do have good information:)) It just might be time to look at the new era of the defensive line.

I understand he gets doubled a lot, but I'd like to see him cause more havok when he's singled up if we're going to break the bank to keep him.

#14 tarheelpride

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 02:32 AM

Here is a big question heading into the offseason. What price is too high to re-sign Peppers? Does he really deserve to be one of the highest paid defensive players in the league? He is a great athelet and a good/pro bowl DE but just isn't a game changer. At least not on a consistant basis. You could turn the same arguement about Delhomme onto Peppers. IMO anything over 6 mill a year isn't a value for what you get and in an offseason with a lot of needs his trade value may outweight his onfield value. JMO and I'm sure I'm going to get bashed for it but I don't care.


IF we're to overpay him, i say tag him and trade him elsewhere for a boatload of picks. otherwise, pay him. who else would garner double teams on our line and get to the QB? and who we can replace him with?

thought: nashonigi (sp?) and a pick for peppers? would you do it?

#15 Blue Heaven

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 02:37 AM

Here's my take on who needs to go, and who doesn't.

Most of these thoughts were formed before tonight's game. Only a few are new, with the very first being the most obvious of the "new" batch :(


DEPARTURES

JAKE DELHOMME: I'm as big a fan of Delhomme as you'll find, but I'm not sure his teammates can follow him into battle in the future as confidently as they did before. If they can, then he stays, and it'll be a testament to just how much respect he command in the locker room. Much as I hate it though, i just don't see that happening.

My best hope: the team keeps him on-board in some sort of coaching capacity. Delhomme has shown himself to be the kind of guy you want as a mentor to the younger QBs. Mike McCoy critics would likely love to see Delhomme replace his QB coach. I doubt we'll see that (at least not next year) but he's good for the team, and I'd love to see his influence remain even if it isn't in an on-field role.

MIKE TRGOVAC: To be clear, I'm not new to the anti-Trgo movement, but I think tonight was definitive. yes, the defense didn't give up as much in the second half, but I think you'd have to say the Cardinals took their foot off the gas (and why not? we were posing no threat) :(

KEN LUCAS: That he's miscast as a physical corner on a defense that prefers zone coverage is valid, and not his fault. With that said, his combination of age, salary and overall quality make it pretty unlikely he'll still be a Panther next season. Shame because I like him. The downside though? I'm not dead certain that his heir apparent, Richard Marshall, is the answer as a starting corner. maybe he is, but I'm not convinced of that at this point.

JEREMY BRIDGES: This one's iffy, because both Jordan Gross and Geoff Hangartner are free agents this offseason. What happens with them could have a big impact on whether Bridges sticks around, especially Hangarter. If the team hangs on to Hangartner, it could be bad news for his CPI security partner. Hurts me a lot to say it because I've always liked Bridges, but with the line depth overall better and the notion that at least a few tweaks happen every offseason, his time as a Panther could be at an end. My overall sense is that it will be, but I could easily be wrong.

NICK GOINGS: The Panthers longtime Mr. Reliable largely disappeared this past season. the emergence - and durabilty - of Jonathan Stewart, made him redundant. It's honestly hard to imagine a Panther roster without Nick Goings, but come next year I have a feeling you won't need an imagination to see it.


DEMOTIONS

DAMIONE LEWIS: I like Lewis, but I like him a lot better as a situational rusher than I do as an every down lineman. Likewise I prefer Ma'ake Kemoeatu as a two down player geared toward running downs. To be clear, I believe the team made the right decision when it ousted Kris Jenkins. With that said, I also think the team needs to find an every down DT to take his spot next year, allowing them to go back to using Kemo and Lewis situationally as they did when Jenkins was here.

JEFF KING: Yeah, I know I'm reaching here, but I'm holding out hope that this will be the offseason the team finally decides to ditch the "one blocker, one receiver" model at tight end and goes after a Jason Witten / Todd Heap / Dallas Clark type TE that can do both things well. Being brutally honest, nobody has to respect Jeff king as a receiver. We need someone starting at tight end that teams do have to account for while also being someone who can contribute in the run game as well. Good as the offense was this year, that one thing could have made it all that much better.

NA'IL DIGGS: You might read this and think "Diggs did nothing glaringly wrong this season" and you'd be right. With that said, I think his best contribution on the defense has been veteran presence and leadership. At this point, I believe Jon Beason has enough seasoning to fill that role, and for that reason i can see Diggs being demoted so that a younger, faster guy can take over, solidifying what could be one of the best linebacking corps in the league (if they get the right guy).


UNDERSTUDYS

BRAD HOOVER: In one or two cases, I'm not so much looking for a replacement as I am a successor. At the top of that list, longtime fullback and one time pie-in-the-face victim Brad Hoover. I think it's long past time we had an "heir apparent" waiting behind Hoover. As I've stated before, no disrespect to Hoover but I'd like for the next fullback to be more of a Howard Griffith / Lorenzo Neal type sledgehammer back.

MUHSIN MUHAMMAD: Moose was great this year, and I do believe he's got one more year like that in him. With that said though, the team needs someone of similar pedigree waiting in the wings. Sadly, I don't think either DJ Hackett or Dwayne Jarrett is "that guy". If the team finds someone who is ready to go, then by the middle of next season I think it's conceivable that Moose moves into the "Ricky Proehl" position as the savvy veteran number three. Mind you, this can only truly work if his replacement is at least somewhere close to Moose in the blocking skill department. Otherwise the run game may suffer.


RETURNS

Without much comment, here are the people whose ouster and or replacement I think some folks will be calling for undeservedly:

Charles Godfrey (hit the rookie wall, but still good for the future)
Tyler Brayton/Charles Johnson (an able enough rotation on the other side if Peppers stays)
Mark Jones (unspectacular perhaps, but solid and improving)
John Kasay (still has a year two in him, Rhys Lloyd looks like a decent understudy)
Julius Peppers / Jordan Gross (not a doubt in my mind now that both need to be re-signed)
Jeff Davidson (still learning, and was outmatched tonight, but is steadily getting better)
John Fox (still the best coach the Panthers have had; any calls to get rid of him now are unfounded)



SUMMARY

What you see above is the blueprint for a way more active offseason than most folks would have expected, even as little as 24 hours ago.

Then again, 24 hours ago not too many of us expected that our offseason would be starting today :(

It must also be remembered that with the status of major free agents Julius Peppers and Jordan Gross still up in the air, failure to secure either one would add a major offseason priority and make it tougher to address many of the other things listed here.

Bottom Line: I still think overall there's plenty to work with and build on for next year.

We'll see whether or not that proves true.



How can you say you are the biggest Jake fan but you want to see him kick rocks back to Louisiana? What kind of fan are you? I like Jake but I think we should keep him on the sideline not get rid of the man..anyway my opinion.

Departures: The whole defensive staff, Julius Peppers, Diggs, Lucas,

I would love to see us get some good tough minded guys on defense in free agency and later on in the draft, and draft a young qb with our first pick.


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