Panther Paw Prints - Monday Edition

Here's some quick Prints for you Panther fans. First up, I think I know why John Fox is itchy to get a long-term deal in spite of the fact he would be a hot commodity on the market. He has a new house to pay for:

ProFootballWeekly.com - Panthers' Fox not concerned about lame-duck status
"John Fox just had a 20,000-square-foot house built in Charlotte. I don't think he is concerned about any 'lame-duck' status. A lot of it has to do with the (potential) lockout (looming). He's a loyal guy. He's not the type to abandon his staff. He only has one year left, but you have to remember, they are an every-other-year team. He'll be in good position next year if he gets it back on track. His problem this year was that he stuck with the quarterback (Jake Delhomme) too long. I don't think he knew what he had with Matt Moore. And I'm still not sure (Moore) is the answer, but at least he is not losing games the way Jake did. They were in a lot of games that they could have won."

20,000 sq-ft? Geez...what's the mortgage on that gotta run? I couldn't afford his power bill....Now that the Bill Cowher talk to Carolina talk has powered down (I hope) it looks like Bucs fans will now have to endure it.

CoachWatch 2010: Black Monday Edition - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Raheem Morris, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris has apparently received the dreaded vote of confidence from Tampa Bay ownership, but it's about time for some organization to do some serious backflips for the supposedly returning Bill Cowher, and the Bucs are the latest team on the radar. Morris and first-year GM Mark Dominik had a weird first year -- firing their first offensive coordinator before the season started and firing their defensive coordinator before the season ended -- and the Glazers may decide that the trade-off in the cost of a Cowher for the respectability his name brings is worth it.

Sure, the Bucs can transition to a 3-4 real easy (I kid). Something tells me Bucs fans should be patient for a couple more seasons.

For a guy that is always Mr. Rah Rah Positive he sure sees the dark side when it comes to predicting the intent of NFL owners.

Saints' quarterback Drew Brees weighs in on NFL's Supreme Court case - washingtonpost.com
What might the owners do? They could agree to end or severely restrict free agency, continue to enter into exclusive agreements that will further raise prices on merchandise, lock coaches into salary scales that don't reward them when they're promoted and set higher ticket prices (including preventing teams from competing through ticket discounts).

Hey, a million dollars doesn't buy what it used to....Back on the power/energy thread, I still can't believe Panthers FB Brad Hoover lined up in the wildcat.

Painful start, wild finish
"It was nice to actually get some carries, but I don't know if I was re-energized," Hoover said. "But it was nice to finally get back out there. I felt a little bit more healthy, and just to do some good things on the field."

For all the talk of his retirement the guy looks like he could play a couple more seasons, which I am all for...Next up is more speculation on what will happen with Julius Peppers. Seems people think we will simply tag him and trade him for picks. Sure, its just that easy...

ProFootballWeekly.com - Panthers expected to give Peppers chance to leave
Peppers likely isn't going to release a statement lobbying for a chance to play elsewhere, as he did last year around this time, and he may not need to. Word is Carolina will not use the franchise tag on him again, after tagging him in 2009. Using the tag would allow the Panthers to listen to trade offers for Peppers and prevent him from departing without some compensation in return.

This drama is my least favorite thing to think about going into the offseason...Last but not least is some gospel from the Bleacher Report (who would have guessed?)

Mike Blewitt's NFL Power Rankings: End Of Season Edition | Bleacher Report
17. Carolina Panthers (8-8) : John Fox teams never quit; you have to give him credit for that. Saddled with an aging, expensive QB in Jake Delhomme the team struggled until he was injured. Backup Matt Moore won four of the last five games to get them back to .500 which gave all the doubters "evidence" to call for Delhomme’s pink slip. Changes will be made to the roster but expect the Panthers to challenge for the playoffs in 2010.

That's right, these Panthers will challenge in 2010! Consider credit given to Fox and his fired up, going nowhere band of gridiron players. This team was more enjoyable to watch at the end even though they had nothing to play for. Before you poo poo that consider its better than they alternative, watching a team mail one in because the post-season chances have ended.


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