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#1 Mr. Scot

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 11:30 PM

So in the face of Jerry Richardson's apology to fans, it's a good time to bring up a point of debate.

Loads of people here think Richardson made a huge mistake going into this season, and I'll agree that he did, but it's not the one you think.

Letting the older players go (and emptying the books of bad contracts) is a strategem many teams have employed before. In most cases, it's resulted in a year of cap hell. No such issue this season, of course, but knowing that there's a lockout next year it's not wise to blow money on big contracts either. Seriously, what would have been the benefit of clearing away big contracts tied to older players just to turn around and sign other big contracts with other older players? :confused:

The moves to go young will set the team up in a good position for the years to come, regardless of the labor situation. You may say not many other teams did that. True, but in the future some may wish they had.

That's not where the mistake is.

The big offseason mistake was in not finishing the puzzle by firing John Fox :nonod:

Gantt pointed out on his Twitter recently that the team went into the season thinking that somehow everyone would still manage to put their best foot forward. It's a nice idea, but if you believe Pro Football Weekly, that hasn't been what happened at all.

Richardson miscalculated in believing that despite the lame duck coaching situation, the discrepancy between what he and Fox believed was "fair market" for his services, and the pairing of a young roster with a coach who preferred veteran players, the Panthers could still have a good season. Seems obvious now, but then hindsight is 20-20, and the decision to fire Fox would have meant having to still pay him - since the final year of his contract was guaranteed - while also paying a new head coach at the same time.

While I can understand not wanting to do that given the labor situation, it would have been a better move.

Hurney has talked this season about how quarterback-receiver tandems tend to become more prolific when they "grow together". It's a valid point, but the team should have applied that same logic to the coaching situation. A young roster with a new, up-and-coming coach can be a solid beginning that leads to long-term success. By contrast, a young team coached by an older, lame-duck coach on the last year of his contract is a recipe for disaster.

There are other factors, of course. Injuries at key spots have made the team weaker. Struggles on the part of the guys the team was counting on to be their quarterbacks have been a major issue. Throw in a schedule that was expected to be tough, and so far looks to be living up to expectations (even against the teams that weren't expected to be problems).

All those things hurt.

But the biggest mistake of all was not going ahead with a completely new start.

As a result, you have some guys whose careers are taking a dip while others are off to rough starts. Damage has been done. Just how much remains to be seen. Mix in the alienation of a significant portion of the fanbase. That, too, could have been minimized by going with a new face under the coaching headphones. Fans would have understood that a young team with a new head coach was going to take its lumps. It might not have been anymore pleasant to watch, but given the situation, people could have understood.

We're far from that now.

Still, it needs to be understood that the youth movement was not the mistake of the offseason.

The mistake was not extending that movement to the coaching staff :(

Edited by Mr Scot, 08 November 2010 - 11:35 PM.


#2 AceMan

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 11:40 PM

Great write-up Mr. Scot. Even before the season started, I thought it was stupid to keep Fox knowing we weren't going to support him. Don't think anyone expected this big of a mess...

I'll say this. I feel like this was a HUGE mistake on JR's part in hindsight. HUGE! And not totally unforeseeable too...

#3 Any_Given_Sunday

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 11:42 PM

Well put as usual Mr. Scot. That's actually one point of view that I admittedly have failed to realize. Although I feel Fox needs to be gone, I didn't really see it being that much of a problem looking at it from that perspective. Interesting.

#4 CatMan72

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 11:43 PM

Agree, it's too much of a conflict of interests to expect a one-and-done coach to be invested in kicking off a rebuilding project.

#5 Frash Brastard

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 11:44 PM

fox should've been fired january 11, 2009

#6 Kevin Greene

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 11:44 PM

This is not a mistake unique to this year, it's 2 years going on until Fox/Davidson is finally removed.

#7 Kevin Greene

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 11:44 PM

fox should've been fired january 11, 2009


Yes, this was obvious 2 years ago.

#8 Kevin Greene

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 11:46 PM

So in the face of Jerry Richardson's apology to fans, it's a good time to bring up a point of debate.

Loads of people here think Richardson made a huge mistake going into this season, and I'll agree that he did, but it's not the one you think.

Letting the older players go (and emptying the books of bad contracts) is a strategem many teams have employed before. In most cases, it's resulted in a year of cap hell. No such issue this season, of course, but knowing that there's a lockout next year it's not wise to blow money on big contracts either. Seriously, what would have been the benefit of clearing away big contracts tied to older players just to turn around and sign other big contracts with other older players? :confused:

The moves to go young will set the team up in a good position for the years to come, regardless of the labor situation. You may say not many other teams did that. True, but in the future some may wish they had.

That's not where the mistake is.

The big offseason mistake was in not finishing the puzzle by firing John Fox :nonod:

Gantt pointed out on his Twitter recently that the team went into the season thinking that somehow everyone would still manage to put their best foot forward. It's a nice idea, but if you believe Pro Football Weekly, that hasn't been what happened at all.

Richardson miscalculated in believing that despite the lame duck coaching situation, the discrepancy between what he and Fox believed was "fair market" for his services, and the pairing of a young roster with a coach who preferred veteran players, the Panthers could still have a good season. Seems obvious now, but then hindsight is 20-20, and the decision to fire Fox would have meant having to still pay him - since the final year of his contract was guaranteed - while also paying a new head coach at the same time.

While I can understand not wanting to do that given the labor situation, it would have been a better move.

Hurney has talked this season about how quarterback-receiver tandems tend to become more prolific when they "grow together". It's a valid point, but the team should have applied that same logic to the coaching situation. A young roster with a new, up-and-coming coach can be a solid beginning that leads to long-term success. By contrast, a young team coached by an older, lame-duck coach on the last year of his contract is a recipe for disaster.

There are other factors, of course. Injuries at key spots have made the team weaker. Struggles on the part of the guys the team was counting on to be their quarterbacks have been a major issue. Throw in a schedule that was expected to be tough, and so far looks to be living up to expectations (even against the teams that weren't expected to be problems).

All those things hurt.

But the biggest mistake of all was not going ahead with a completely new start.

As a result, you have some guys whose careers are taking a dip while others are off to rough starts. Damage has been done. Just how much remains to be seen. Mix in the alienation of a significant portion of the fanbase. That, too, could have been minimized by going with a new face under the coaching headphones. Fans would have understood that a young team with a new head coach was going to take its lumps. It might not have been anymore pleasant to watch, but given the situation, people could have understood.

We're far from that now.

Still, it needs to be understood that the youth movement was not the mistake of the offseason.

The mistake was not extending that movement to the coaching staff :(


Any link to any post where you thought this should have been done a year ago?"

#9 Any_Given_Sunday

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 11:47 PM

This is not a mistake unique to this year, it's 2 years going on until Fox/Davidson is finally removed.


Agreed. Fox isn't alone here. Davidson needs to leave with him and Hurney can beat feet too. Someone should photoshop all 3 of them leaving BOA stadium in one of those motorcycles with the side cart attached wearing those goggles. Would be epic.

#10 Frash Brastard

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 11:48 PM

Any link to any post where you thought this should have been done a year ago?"


idk about him but i pretty much hypothesized the fox era ending this way shortly after the AZ meltdown

#11 AceMan

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 11:50 PM

Any link to any post where you thought this should have been done a year ago?"


Time to steal Mr. Scot's shine :lol:

I blame JR for not fielding a staff/team he actually has trust in. If JR doesn't want Fox around, just fire him. Let's not waste a season on a coach you don't think will get you to the Super Bowl. Sadly, JR will have the philosophy I've seen in some posters "We're paying him so why not give him one more year? He (insert past accomplishment) and (reiterate last 5 games)."

I'm preparing myself for a throw-away season with no real lofty expectations


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#12 Mr. Scot

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 12:02 AM

Any link to any post where you thought this should have been done a year ago?"

Remember when I started the original "Next Head Coach" thread?

Wasn't convinced for certain then that it would happen, but I believed it should.

I've said more than once, including this past offseason, that I believed the combo of Fox and the Panthers had gone as far as it could and a fresh start was the best thing for both.

#13 Big Ed

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 12:03 AM

Sort of like you leaving a job an working a 2 week notice .

Are you really going to give your all ?

Your mind is on your future,not the future of your soon to be former boss.

Fox knows he's out ,his coaches are not sure where they stand either

#14 rayzor

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 12:04 AM

agreed with all of the OP. the offseason moves make sense considering the climate that the league was likely going to be entering plus knowing that a new coaching staff was going to be coming within a couple years and a house cleaning would be taking place at some point. it made sense to dump them in a year that there would be no penalties. not taking on any big contracts also makes sense when you don't know what the new regime is going to want to do.

the big problem is what you pointed out. we have a coaching staff with really no vested interest in making the most of this team. why spend time building or developing a group of guys that you probably won't be seeing after this year? if you know the end is coming its easy to check out early. its easy to not want to be bothered with a bunch of rookies.

it would have made more sense to let the new coach be part of the house cleaning and picking of the new players that you were going to build your team around. watch them in action and then see who is worth keeping and where money needs to be spent when FA opens back up.

things could still work out after this season and it may all work out for the best but this year is a mess and it didn't necessarily need to be so.

one question i have, though. would losing this year with a young coach in the process of rebuilding the team have been easier to take than a team sucking with a lame duck coach?

#15 Jangler

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 12:07 AM

Now I am more depressed...thanks.


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