Monday, October 26, 2009
Panthers pulling plug on Delhomme?
By Pat Yasinskas
Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas
The most interesting development in the NFC South today is in Carolina, where coach John Fox said he hasn’t decided yet if Jake Delhomme will remain the starting quarterback for Sunday’s game with Arizona.
The mere fact that Fox wouldn’t say anything definitive is highly significant and I think it means a change is coming. In the past, whenever questions about staying in the lineup have come up, Fox always has answered swiftly with something like, “Jake’s our quarterback."
That didn’t happen this time and knowing Fox like I do, I think he’s at least seriously contemplating benching Delhomme and going with either Matt Moore or A.J. Feeley. Which one?
Flip a coin. Moore’s got more time in the offense, but he came into the league as an undrafted free agent for a reason. He’s not that talented and he hasn’t played very much. Feeley was picked up by the Panthers after backup Josh McCown was injured. Feeley hasn’t had a lot of time in the offense, but he has more playing experience than Moore.
The other factor at work here might be the opponent. Delhomme’s downward spiral essentially started with a playoff loss last season against Arizona. He threw five interceptions in that game and hasn’t been the same since.
Putting him out there against the Cardinals again could bring flashbacks and another disaster and that’s got to be weighing on Fox’s mind. You don’t make a decision like this lightly because, once you pull the plug on Delhomme, he’s basically done with the Panthers.
He’s done a lot for this franchise through the years. But it sure looks like he’s got nothing left to give.