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Mr. Scot

The Unemployment Line

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Did Bridges just let that guy through to lay one on Jake? I swear it looked like it to me.

Intentionally? Doubt it. I think he just made a huge mental error.

(one that, given his overall performance tonight, could cost him a job)

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One issue that could be bigger than people realize is that it's possible he lost the trust of the team tonight. Up until this game, most players had faith that when the chips were down or when we made it into the playoffs, Jake would be able to step up and lead this team to victory, but I'm not sure that's the case now.

This is two straight playoff games in which Jake has stunk it up, and that's the one thing players do not want in their QB. After all, getting to the playoffs is nice, but they all want to win the big game, or at least feel like they have a fighting chance, but when they can't count on the QB to keep them in the game (or at least not to take them out of it) it can really shake the foundation of their trust...no matter how good of a leader he has been or how much everyone likes him personally.

I don't know if that's the case, and we'll likely never hear it if it is, but I do think this is a legitimate concern. Is the team's faith in Jake eroding, or do they still fully believe in him???

You can't really put the Seattle game on Delhomme. We had Jamal Robertson in at running back (Goings got his bell rung) and had Drew Carter and Keary Colbert opposite Smith. There was no winning that game. We were just too far down into the depth chart (not to mention tired from being on the road).

That said, the notion that the team might have trouble keeping the same faith in Jake that they had before is a legit concern. I posted on it as well.

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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.

We weren't flagged for PI as much due to the fact that our defenders were simply nowhere near where the receivers were catching the ball. Hey... at least we avoided the penalties.

I have to think either Lewis or Trgo is gone. Fox seemed pretty irritated about things with our D tonight that had more to do than just secondary coverages... namely, pressing the QB. That's directly on Trgo's playcalling.

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We weren't flagged for PI as much due to the fact that our defenders were simply nowhere near where the receivers were catching the ball. Hey... at least we avoided the penalties.

I'm sorry but that is just absolutely not true. Even though our pass defense was terrible towards the end of the year, I don't blame the defensive backs. You can't. The pressure on the QB hasn't been there, and the soft zone scheme is an absolute joke.

Blame Mike Trgovac, blame the entire defense for a lack of stopping the pass...but don't single out the secondary. That unit has done nothing but improve since Tim Lewis arrived. And yes, I'm talking about the unit as a whole. There is no secondary in this league that can shut down the pass without some heat on the QB. It doesn't have to be over the top, but you can't let a QB sit there and go through every single one of his reads, and then wait for someone to just get open. There is no defensive back in the world that can cover a WR forever. If you cover your assignment for 3-5 seconds on a typical play, you've done your job.

In a zone defense, there are holes. We let Larry Fitzgerald run wild and exploit them, and we gave Kurt Warner enough time to find him whenever he needed to. That's where the failure is.

What you're saying would be the same as blaming a team's running backs for their lack of a ground game when the offensive line can't manage to open up a single hole.

For a defense to work, no matter what the scheme is, everyone has to be doing their jobs. You could put together an All-NFL allstar secondary, and if you give any NFL QB all day to throw, he's going to shred them into next week.

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in zone all you do is bump the opposin wr until here 5yards into the roue,so i don't see how we could evaluated lewis if we haven't played much man.

plus i'm done with jake,he plays as if he can't be replaced.for anyone one saying this is just ONE bad game,GTFO....clearly you haven't watched a single down of panthers football.jake has been doing this his whole career,my problem is he shows no signs of improvement or concern for his job(same as fox and trogvac)

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Fox was def mad, I'm going to say that the d cords are going to be shook up majorly. Other then that Pep needs to be resigned he already counts for a 16 mill cap hit (then either trade him for a couple of picks a 1st and 3rd maybe), jake needs to go, he isn't worth the 10 mill cap hit he's getting paid for. Lucas also needs to go or get demoted, I think he would be an excellent third corner if the team thinks marshal has the ability to be the number 2 guy. Gross can stay or go, But I don't think he wants to stay or he would've signed the deal they gave him last year, which was a good deal for a player his caliber. Use the extra money were saving from Jake, and gross and sign a player of Haynesworth caliber and a decent rt and move Otah to LT.

Leaving

pretty much the whole d staff

Jake

gross

Staying

Peppers

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We weren't flagged for PI as much due to the fact that our defenders were simply nowhere near where the receivers were catching the ball. Hey... at least we avoided the penalties.

LOL This is so true.

That bullshit weak ass scheme we try to use and call a defense is pathetic, and flat out makes our team look like bitches. Everyone should feel like a bitch for being a panther fan right now, and everyone on that defense should feel like a girl.

poo is weak, mad weak.

We had LB's on Fitzgerald(and also NO ONE on him several times).

We had our secondary running smack into each other out there, and never defended the RB slipping out of the backfield.

Doods were flat out lost and confused.

They totally made a fool out of themselves, the fans, and the city of Charlotte.

I am embarrassed for everyone associated with the panthers organization right now.

GJ Jake, it takes a special QB to fug over the best WR in the NFL, and hold him out of the H.O.F.

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sadly that last comment by fox007 could be true,i sometimes wish steve smith had better

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I'm sorry but that is just absolutely not true. Even though our pass defense was terrible towards the end of the year, I don't blame the defensive backs. You can't. The pressure on the QB hasn't been there, and the soft zone scheme is an absolute joke.

Blame Mike Trgovac, blame the entire defense for a lack of stopping the pass...but don't single out the secondary. That unit has done nothing but improve since Tim Lewis arrived. And yes, I'm talking about the unit as a whole. There is no secondary in this league that can shut down the pass without some heat on the QB. It doesn't have to be over the top, but you can't let a QB sit there and go through every single one of his reads, and then wait for someone to just get open. There is no defensive back in the world that can cover a WR forever. If you cover your assignment for 3-5 seconds on a typical play, you've done your job.

In a zone defense, there are holes. We let Larry Fitzgerald run wild and exploit them, and we gave Kurt Warner enough time to find him whenever he needed to. That's where the failure is.

What you're saying would be the same as blaming a team's running backs for their lack of a ground game when the offensive line can't manage to open up a single hole.

For a defense to work, no matter what the scheme is, everyone has to be doing their jobs. You could put together an All-NFL allstar secondary, and if you give any NFL QB all day to throw, he's going to shred them into next week.

Dude... I think you read a WHOLE lot into two sarcastic sentences I posted. Basically, I agree with everything you just posted. My response was to Mr. Scot's note that we weren't flagged for P.I. much, if at all during the season. I responded, in freindly sarcasm, that the reason being was that our defenders weren't close enough to the receivers to interfere. I didn't necessarily blame the defenders, or the schemer - however the ultimate responsibility would naturally fall to the DC to correct a problem like that, now wouldn't it?

Please tell me how that contradicts anything you just wrote?

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DEPARTURES

JAKE DELHOMME: 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.

I think he'd be great as an emotional and supportive leader, but Jake has never displayed a real understanding of disciplined and fundimental QB play. So I'm not sure I'd want him to be the one developing my young QB, or even mentoring a vet.

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) :(

I do agree that he is not a good fit here. If we can plug a couple of holes, I think this team has the talent to be a scary good defense, but they are not being used to the best of their abilities. They are a fast and athletic group, and I think they would thrive in an aggressive system such as Philly employs.

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.

I agree, I think that this year, Lucas' play slipped quite a bit. In the past when he had struggles, you could look to injuries as a possible excuse, but this season he has just been all around bad, despite being relatively healthy. I don't know if it's that he's lost a step or if the system is really hindering him, but he has been out of position or just plain beaten far too many times this year to feel comfortable with him as a starter.

As for Marshall, I just think he is mediocre at best. I can probably count on one hand the number of time he's had good, tight coverage on his man. Almost every time there's plenty of separation for the QB to get the ball to the receiver.

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.

I like Lewis as well, and think he is better suited for the back-up pass rusher role. We definitely need a solid 3 down DT this off-season. Unfortunately, I don't know who will be available this year that can fill that spot. And picking as late as we will in the draft, I don't know if we'll find anyone ready to step right in and start.

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).

I'll disagree here. I think Diggs has been one of the more consistent defenders this year. No, he's not spectacular, but he is staedy and reliable and doesn't make many mistakes. And I believe his successor is already on the roster (Connor), but since he was on IR, will need another year before he brings more than Diggs.

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)

Godfrey actually had a much better year than many want to give him credit for. Like all rookies, he has had his ups and downs, but overall he's done fine. It's easy for some to blame the rookie when a mistake in the defensive backfield occurs, but I think as the season went on, it was obvious that Marshall and Lucas were not the shining stars many thought them to be before the season. Yet, initial impressions seem to last...rightly or wrongly.

Tyler Brayton/Charles Johnson (an able enough rotation on the other side if Peppers stays)

I really like this duo. They will probably never be stars, but they are both solid DE's that can manage their side quite well. The biggest problem is that there has been little inside pressure on passing downs. Get a solid DT, and I think we'll see a much more disruptive force opposite Peppers.

Mark Jones (unspectacular perhaps, but solid and improving)

I do think Robinson will be a better and more explosive returner with experience, but Jones is a solid returner that doesn't make mistakes and has earned the right to at least compete for the job.

John Kasay (still has a year two in him, Rhys Lloyd looks like a decent understudy)

Kasay recently re-signed for a few more years, and think he will play them out. And while I like Lloyd, I worry about his inconsistent KO's and if he'll ever be accurate enough to trust with FG's.

Jeff Davidson (still learning, and was outmatched tonight, but is steadily getting better)

Davidson is fine. I believe he gets a bum rap whenever the offense doesn't control. But I have no doubt that he is a bit hamstrung by Fox's conservative philosophy. We see too many similarities between this offense and Henning's for Fox not to have a hand in it.

John Fox (still the best coach the Panthers have had; any calls to get rid of him now are unfounded)

I agree that fox is the best coach this team has ever had. And in no way do I see him being let go. There is also no doubt that he is a good coach that would find a job almost immediately if we fired him. However, I do worry that he may be one of those coaches that can have his teams competative year in and year out but not really be a true SB coach. In other words, I fear there may be a limit to how good his teams will consistently be.

IMO, Fox has a conservative and stubborn streak that can get in the way of his teams success on occasion. For example, his tendency to let off the gas once we get a lead, or his sticking with certain players past the point that it's obvious they are not the best option. If he can learn to loosen up on those two traits, then I think he can be one of the truly elite coaches in the league.

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