Panthers Paw Prints: Don't Underestimate Matt Moore

Panthers Paw Prints

Good Saturday morning, Carolina Panthers fans. This is a Panthers blog, so everyone must be in Matt Moore's corner, right? Well... I think some people need a reminder of the QB depth chart. Ever since April, I've heard nonstop Jimmy Clausen hype. I hear phrases like "heir-apparent," "eventual," "imminent," "waiting in the wings," "qb of the future." I'm as big a Clausen fan as anyone, and these may be accurate claims, but right now Matt Moore is our guy. He's easy to overlook with his sheepish blue collar personality, but by all accounts he's the real leader in the locker room and on the field. His stats from 2009 are impressive, and if they carry over into this season, the Panthers will be a real force in the NFC South. He gets little to no love in the national media and is frequently portrayed as a lame duck. Well here you go Matty, I can't wait to see you slice up the Giants tomorrow.

Here are your links for Saturday September 11, 2010:

NFL.com news: Team hopes Moore's strong 2009 a sign of things to come. (NFL.com)
But how will he fare? He looked sluggish and was inaccurate in the preseason, failing to lead Carolina to an offensive touchdown and posting a passer rating of just 56.1. But despite the lack of scoring, Moore won points with his teammates by unveiling a side he rarely shows in public. "He's definitely not the quiet type that you see walking around here sometimes. He's actually vocal and stuff," Williams said. "Whenever anybody's talking in the huddle it's, 'Quiet in my huddle.'" It's the kind of leadership the NFL's youngest team desperately needs. The Panthers are confident Moore is their guy, even if that's not a popular opinion. "I'd be disappointed in Matt if he paid much attention to what the outside says," coach John Fox said. "I feel very confident that he'll be just fine."

Moore opening at QB is no accident. (CharlotteObserver.com)
Carolina Panthers quarterback Matt Moore, for some reason, was walking down the hall Thursday with the tail of his T-shirt pulled up over his face. Defensive end Everette Brown, his 260-pound teammate, was coming around a corner toward him at the same time - a potentially painful blind-side hit. At the last moment before they collided, Moore sidestepped quickly, got away cleanly, laughed and asked Brown, "I bet you're wondering how I did that?"

GAMEDAY FEATURE: Despite 6-2 record, respect has been hard to find for QB Moore. (CarolinaGrowl.com)
It seems that almost anywhere you look outside the organization Moore is viewed as a temporary babysitter who'll be gone soon despite a 6-2 record as the Panthers starting quarterback. Inside the organization, however, there’s a completely different sentiment. It is here, at Bank of America Stadium, where Moore’s burgeoning leadership skills have taken root and has given him the backing of the two men that matter most – general manager Marty Hurney and coach John Fox. And, when it comes right down to it, that’s all that really matters, isn’t it?

More after the jump...

A great video of D-Lo talking about reading the linebackers and hitting gaps. You don't get to get inside his head like this very often:

Video Gallery: Panthers Huddle (Panthers.com)
Between the lines with RB DeAngelo Williams.

An NFL.com preview video for Panthers/Giants week one:

Playbook: Panthers vs. Giants (NFL.com)
Defense is a big question mark for both teams coming into the 2010 season. How will the Panthers replace Julius Peppers and can the Giants defense get back to the fundamentals?

This has been reported in a couple spots on CSR, but in case you missed it:

Otah rehabs knees hard, has setback. (CharlotteObserver.com)
Otah said Thursday that he had, in fact, had what he called a "mini-setback," in his recovery from a pair of offseason knee surgeries, which makes him doubtful for the next few games. "I'm hoping in the next couple weeks, the next two or three weeks I'll get back out there and start practicing," Otah said Thursday. "I didn't think it was going to be this long. I didn't expect it to be this long.

Another preview video - this one from the Panthers' website:

Video Gallery: Panthers at Giants Preview. (Panthers.com)
First game in new stadium rematch of last game in old stadium.

Sounds like he's confident in these guys, even if there's no clear-cut #2:

NOTES: Fox not worried about young WRs. (CarolinaGrowl.com)
Steve Smith has 574 career NFL receptions. The other five receivers on the Carolina Panthers roster have combined for 34. So is coach John Fox confident he’ll get production from a group that includes Dwayne Jarrett, Charly Martin and rookies Brandon LaFell, Armanti Edwards and David Gettis? "Probably about as confident as anybody, but time will tell," Fox said. "We're in a performance-based business, and guys that show they've got playmaking ability, we'll do the best we can. If it's a receiver, if it's a tight end, if it's a running back, whatever he may be, they'll earn that right and we'll go from there. I have confidence in our offense. No matter how we move it, I have confidence that we will."

I really believe this is true about Fox, and I agree that the likelihood of him coaching elsewhere next year is above 50%:

John Fox coaching a 'résumé game.' (ESPN.com)
Carolina’s Sunday opener against the New York Giants is what is called a "résumé game’’ for coach John Fox. Think about it a bit, if Fox goes into the Meadowlands and hands the Giants a loss in their first game in their new stadium, it could set a lot of wheels in motion. Let’s be blunt, a win against the Giants could be a big step toward Fox coaching the Giants next year.

I guess they can breathe a sigh of relief for now:

Pair of tickled tackles. (Panthers.com)
Neblett and Derek Landri, a pair of defensive tackles, weren't exactly odds-on favorites to make the 53-man roster in the preseason, and no one would have predicted that both would have survived the final cut.

Jake's Super Bowl performance ranks 5th all time when adjusted for the caliber of the opposing defense. Yes, you heard me right:

Best Single-Game, Super Bowl, & Single-Season Quarterback Performances. (Pro-Football-Reference.com)
Anyway, after that change here are the best QB games since 1970, adjusted for opponent:

James, I hope you are right:

5 reasons why it’s going to be a long day for the Giants on Sunday. (RealBitsofPanthers.com)
Underestimation: This is perhaps the greatest reason the Panthers will prevail on Sunday. New York is poised to underestimate the Panthers like they did last year. If they buy into the myth that the Panthers offense will look anything like it did in the preseason, or they choose to overlook Matt Moore it’s going to get really ugly, really fast.

I bumped this to the bottom because I disagree with quite a few of his picks (and because of the mere mention of Tim Tebow's name). I guess he didn't get the memo that Charlotte beat writers are supposed to give the Panthers an additional -10 handicap:

Forget Jan. 1, the new year has started. (CharlotteObserver.com)
CAROLINA at NEW YORK GIANTS: Is an offensive touchdown by the Panthers too much to ask? Giants 24, Panthers 13.

Fantasy Football Link of the Day:

He does fantasy matchups for all 32 teams, but here's a blurb from the Panthers-Giants matchup:

Matchups: Can't Stop the Pack. (Rotoworld.com)
The loss of mauling Panthers RT Jeff Otah (knee) is a run-blocking concern at first glance, but note that Carolina averaged 183 rushing yards a game in replacement Geoff Schwartz's three 2009 starts. New York's run defense will be improved, but DeAngelo Williams is a must-start, and Jonathan Stewart should get 13-15 touches as a flex play with upside. The Panthers have made no bones about it: They will run relentlessly with QB Matt Moore coming off a poor preseason.

Carolina WR Steve Smith enters the game with a chip on his shoulder, blaming Giants S Michael Johnson for the play that fractured his arm in Week 17 last year. An angry Smitty is as dangerous as any wideout in football, and the Giants are banged up in the back (CB Corey Webster - groin, CB Aaron Ross - plantar fasciitis, SS Kenny Phillips - knee). ... Dwayne Jarrett beat out rookie Brandon LaFell for No. 2 receiver duties in Panthers camp. Like Muhsin Muhammad before him, Jarrett will be a blocker first, spectator second. He's a pass catcher somewhere down the line.

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