Good Saturday morning, Carolina Panthers fans. A plane carrying NFL coaches Andy Reid, Brad Childress, Marvin Lewis and our beloved John Fox had to be grounded after one of the engines struck a bird. The plane was taking off from Germany during the United Service Organizations tour. Andy Reid happened to be seated in the cockpit during the incident. I like Gantt's one-liner on Fox below, but there seems to be a lot more potential material here. Hit me with your best Andy Reid/Philadelphia Eagles/dead bird/plane or John Fox/running game/not liking to "go to the air" punchlines in the comments section please. Here are your links for Saturday June 3, 2010:
Here's the whole story:
Coach Fox's plane strikes bird during USO tour in Germany. (WCNC.com)
Although 3 of the 4 coaches were up in the cockpit and none of them – including Coach Reid – had any control over the plane, Coach Reid got all the abuse for this accident. As soon as the head coach of the Eagles descended from the cockpit, the group was ready for him: 'Who let Captain Eagle up there? . . . Nice work, Birdman. . . Reid is done; no more flying for him!' I think I even heard Coach Fox mention that it was a good thing that we didn't have to call in Sully for the emergency landing.
Darin Gantt gets an A:
Fox, Coaches Have Sully Moment (HeraldOnline.com)
You know it wasn't Fox's fault. He'd have called draw plays all the way from Frankfurt to Afghanistan.
More after the jump.
Don't know what the reason for the speed is, but I'm definitely not complaining:
Draftee-signings 17% ahead of last year’s pace. (NFLLabor.com)
Through July 1 (based on official notification to the league office), 112 of the 255 players selected in the 2010 NFL Draft have signed contracts – up 17 percent from the 96 draft choices (of 256 picks) signed as of July 1, 2009.
A less talked about variable in the Panthers' passing game, position coach RIp Scherer:
On the radar: QB coach Rip Scherer. (ESPN.com)
That’s a lot of youth and that means Scherer will have to do a lot of teaching. After a lengthy run as a college assistant, Scherer worked as head coach at James Madison and Memphis and first worked in the NFL in 2005 when he joined the , where he learned the same system coordinator Jeff Davidson now runs in Carolina. There is no doubt Moore and Clausen have some talent, but it’s going to be up to Scherer to get them "coached up’’ quickly. With a very strong running game, a good offensive line and wide receiver Steve Smith, steady, mistake-free play could make a quarterback a big success in this system. Scherer’s job is to have Moore and/or Clausen ready.
Mac talks about Moose and his retirement:
Fantasy football links of the day:
I'll be very pleased if LaFell finishes the season as the 4th ranked rookie receiver, especially considering he's not the top talent on his team:
Top 5 Rookie Wide Receivers For 2010. (RotoProfessor.com)
4. Brandon LaFell - Carolina Panthers The injury to Steve Smith may have opened up a huge opportunity for LaFell. While Smith is supposed to be ready for the beginning of the season, his absence in training camp will allow both LaFell and Dwayne Jarrett to work with the first team offense. That extra work, and more familiarity with fellow rookie Jimmy Clausen (or Matt Moore), is going to go a long way. The question surrounding LaFell is his ability to stretch the defense deep, but if he can catch the ball in traffic and keep the chains moving, the team is going to be thrilled. Jarrett has never been able to add that to the offense, with a career high of just 17 catches. The idea of LaFell making an instant impact should not be a surprising one.
I've warned before that this guy can be pretty abrasive, so be warned about language in his articles. I had both Williams and Stewart on my team in 2008 and it was tough starting Williams some weeks and watching Stewart rack up the TD's (10):
The Fire Sale: The End of the World. (SportsGrumblings.com)
DeAngelo Williams, RB Panthers – I drafted Williams very high last season and while he had a good year, I can no longer put up with the headache of drafting a running back high and then watch him split time with another guy. Listen, if you draft Michael Bush in Round 10 you are hoping he becomes the lead back in Oakland but if that doesn’t happen, so be it. You took a shot later in the draft and it didn’t pan out. You accept it and move on with your life. However, selecting Williams in the first or second round is a totally different story. If I take a back that high I want to know he is going to be on the field most the time. That’s not the case with Williams, so let someone else draft him and complain when John Fox takes him out near the goal line in favor of Jonathan Stewart. Stewart continues to get more and more carries and he is turning into a stud running back himself. I would much rather draft him two or three rounds later than selecting Williams so high. Williams will still have some big games but he is going to be inconsistent because it’s obvious Fox is going to ride the hot hand. If you start Williams and the hot hand is Stewart that week, you are screwed. More and more teams are going to a two-back system and as fantasy owners we just have to deal with it. However, if you want to draft a back that we know is going to split time in Round 2, be my guest. Enjoy swearing at the TV every Sunday this fall.