Boy, when it rains it pours. Everything that could go wrong for the Carolina Panthers did.
Two interceptions by Jake Delhomme (are we really surprised?), a key fumble by Charlotte’s own Kenneth Moore and a couple of missed field goals by John Kasey, “Mr. Reliable” himself (he made 90 percent of his field goals last season). That was the story line behind this 20-9 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
So what’s next for the Panthers? I’m glad you asked…
With a strong urging from the Carolina front office, head coach John Fox should use Monday’s day off to inform Delhomme that his services are no longer needed as the Panthers’ starting quarterback.
It’s long overdue, but third-year player Matt Moore should start.
Veteran quarterback A.J. Feeley, picked up off waivers earlier this year, would become the back-up, and baring any unforeseen injuries to those two, Delhomme should not take another snap in a Panther’s uniform – EVER.
With a 2-4 record and upcoming games against Arizona, New Orleans, Atlanta and Miami, it’s a forgone conclusion that the playoffs are out of reach (as I stated several weeks ago) because there’s no way Carolina will run off 10 straight wins.
So, with that reality in hand, it’s time to see if Moore, who has thrown only 11 passes this season, is really the Panthers’ quarterback of the future.
But whether he plays well or not for the rest of the season, Carolina should also bring in a rookie quarterback and have him compete with Moore over the summer for the top spot in 2010.
Now there are some challenges to Carolina drafting one of college football’s top quarterbacks, since they don’t have a high pick at this point. But don’t worry, Carolina fans, a lot can happen between now and the spring to change that.
Personally, I like quarterback Colt McCoy of Texas. He’s been under center for the Longhorns for what seems like 10 years now and has good numbers, completing over 70 percent of his passes.
The only knock against McCoy is that he’s thrown at least one interception in every game this year, but Texas is undefeated.
Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame is the second guy on my list. Because he plays for the Irish he knows what pressure is and still performs at a high level.
He’s thrown 16 touchdown passes and only two picks. He thrives in the spread, but I’m not sure how he would play in a run-first offense like Carolina’s unless that changes (it probably will since Fox won’t be calling the shots next year, but that’s another column).
I like Sam Bradford of Oklahoma, too, except for that bum shoulder he has. No one knows how quickly he will recover and return to form after surgery, but he’s still a good prospect.
Unfortunately, the Panthers don’t have time to be patient. They’ve got some good pieces in place with playmakers like wide receiver Steve Smith and running back DeAngelo Williams. Therefore, they need someone who is capable of stepping in immediately to play like Atlanta’s Matt Ryan.
The Florida quarterback is a winner and has great character, but he can’t throw the ball…the Panthers already have someone on the roster who fits that bill.
Let’s not repeat history.
Damon Ford is a public relations professional who has worked in the public and private sectors in Charlotte. He predicted Carolina would defeat the Bills 28 -10. His record fell to 3-3 on the season.