It's not often John Fox gets chatty with the media as he was in good spirits at the NFL Coaches Media Breakfast this morning. Some of what he said has already been reported on this site, like the Panthers possible need for a FA defensive end. Fox hit on some other topics though worth mentioning.
The topic that has everyone buzzing is his stated affection for Florida QB Tim Tebow:
"Did you ever watch (former Cleveland quarterback) Bernie Kosar play? Bernie might not appreciate it, but I call it as I see it. He won a lot of games. So it's not all just how pretty they are, (or) how big. That's part of it, no doubt. It'll be a factor. It'll be well-debated."
"I think you'll get 32 different opinions, and it'll be interesting," said Fox. "But I think he's proven he's had great success at the college level. That probably counts for something. That's how we evaluate these guys.
Me, I'm not buying it. I don't Fox would be so open about a player he truly coveted and hoped would fall to him. So if Tebow is actually there at #48 then we might have our answer but I don't think he will be there anyway.
Fox also shot down any thoughts of trading one of our stellar RB's:
"We haven't had any phone calls and he wouldn't be one of the guys at the top of my list to deal,'' Panthers head coach John Fox said at this morning's NFC coaches breakfast. "You don't eliminate anything, but we haven't had any conversations about any of our backs.
"If you're going to lead in the run game, you need more than one,'' Fox said. "We're not looking to get rid of any of them.''
Richard Marshall isn't the only restricted free agent not participating in the team's offseason conditioning program. Cornerback C.J. Wilson isn't either. However, Fox expects them to participate in the team's mandatory post-draft minicamp.
I would hope he's professional enough to not take it on the field as that would only hurt him in the long run. His absence though does send a message.
Fox hints that KO specialist Rhys Lloyd was not let go for money reasons but simply his performance fell off from 2008:
Fox said the reason Rhys Lloyd wasn't retained was because the team felt it was time to move in a different direction. He referenced the fact that Lloyd had a strong season in 2008, but didn't say anything about Lloyd's performance in '09.
He did have fewer touchbacks and teams seemed more inclined to return balls hit into the end zone anyway....Fox also gave the good news that all of injured players should return in time for mini-camp. Woot! Woot!
Lastly, Fox says he will conduct himself as normal in spite of working the last year of his contract. Duh. Fox is the consummate professional. As long as the Panthers start the season better that last year I bet they connect on a long term deal by mid-season.