Bonus mailbag: Panthers
As often happens when we do our team-by-team mailbags, you have a bunch of follow-up questions and some other questions that we didn't touch on. In the few hours since I posted the mailbags, there are more than 100 new questions.
That's why I decided to do a quick, bonus edition of the mailbags. We'll start Round 2 with the Carolina Panthers.
Easy in Sumter writes: Pat, you opined that Trgovac was a good Defensive Coach, which I won't disagree with, and that Fox will remain a major part of the defensive play-calling. Since that Arizona loss I have read many opinions that Carolina's reluctance to rush the QB and allowing Fitzgerald dictate the coverage was a MAJOR factor in that loss. Straight up - was Fox responsible for those 2 calls, and did it play a large part in Trgo and other members of the Panthers' defensive coaches walking out on him and a 12-4 Panthers team?
Pat Yasinskas: I definitely think the mass exodus by Carolina's defensive staff had something to do with John Fox being very hands-on when it comes to the defense. He's always been that way and always will be that way. Not saying there's anything wrong with that. Fox is a good defensive mind, but sometimes you can make your assistants feel irrelevant by stepping on their toes. None of those coaches were fired. They all left voluntarily, so it makes you wonder.
Daryl in Alberta writes: Pat, just read your Panthers mailbag and it's Peppers, Peppers and more Peppers. So what about the guy they drafted last weekend that would be his likely replacment if Peppers is gone: Everette Brown? What do you think of him and his chances to make an impact this year?
Pat Yasinskas: Well, Julius Peppers is the story of the offseason for the Panthers. No matter how old that may become to you or me, it's still a story and I've got to address it. But Everette Brown is going to play a role right away, no matter if Peppers is there or if he's gone. Brown might be a bit of a situational pass-rusher to start with, but the Panthers believe he can become an every-down player. That's part of the reason they gave up next year's first-round pick to get him.
Chris in Chapel Hill writes: What is this I hear about peppers to the 49ers?? Is that a legitimate possibility??
Pat Yasinskas: That rumor is out there. But there've been a lot of rumors about Peppers that haven't played out. I'll continue to keep my ears open, but I can't say it's anything more than a rumor at this point.