This edition of Paw Prints focuses on the Panthers third straight loss to open the 2010 season, this one to the Bengals. Some are trying to make a big deal out of WR Steve Smith's animated behavior on the sidelines in the 4th quarter of the Bengals loss. Here's about all he had to say about the play calling:
Steve Smith stops short of bashing Jimmy Clausen | National Football Post
And hopefully they're sufficient and the ball comes. If it does, I'll try to catch it, and if it doesn't, I can't catch air.
I think it was just Smitty being Smitty. He doesn't take losing easily and I'm okay with that... Panther fans love to talk trades in spite of the infinitesimal chance of one actually happening in 2010:
Trading Play-Makers for Players is Not a Long-Term Solution | Cat Crave | A Carolina Panthers blog
In the long run, the grand idea and hope is that the player personnel already on the team, will develop into something more productive than where it is right now. It can happen, but not under the circumstances with the team being "led" by a lame duck head coach, or an offensive coordinator who looks at a play sheet like he’s trying to read a script written in Greek.
I couldn't agree more, that no matter how much they develop their players if they continue to get outwitted or out-executed by other teams they are going to lose...more after the jump...
Here's a piece that finally talks about where the buck stops:
Carolina Panthers Football: Just How Deep Do The Problems Run | Bleacher Report
That digging though will finally reveal the root of the problem for all to see. The root of the problem for the Carolina Panthers is at the apex of the organization. That complaint has always been there. Now it has been realized by the majority. Now it has been revealed as having always been the problem.
Line changes: DT Leonard out; former Raider OL in? - CharlotteObserver.com
Morris, a former Oakland Raider, worked out for the team last week and would address a need for a backup center. Other than starter Ryan Kalil, their only real option would be Mackenzy Bernadeau, the starting right guard
I think we have had a whole season's worth of fumbled snaps in three games... S Charles Godfrey is leading the league with three INT's and exuberant optimism:
Panthers maintain positive mentality and focus on Saints - Charlotte Sports | Examiner.com
"We have to just keep on pushing, and I still feel we have a great team," free safety Charles Godfrey said. "We just have to all come together at one time, all three phases – special teams, defense and offense. And we will be fine."
The only thing that will make it 'fine' is winning...At least they are still saying we have talent:
NFL Predictions For The Winless Teams: Carolina Panthers - SBNation.com
Prediction: This team is on the verge of imploding. There's usually one team with a solid amount of talent that completely tanks due to outside circumstances like coaching and weird decisions, and the Panthers look like that team in 2010. They'll be picking near the top of the draft next April.
I top 10 pick would be exciting next April...Fox actually improves on "it is what it is" with....
Scott Says ...: Convoluted sports quotes (Panthers version)
John Fox has one in my column today about the Panthers' 0-3 start, where he says: "We are what we are. And that is what I'm trying to change, so we are not that."
Yogi Berra has nothing on John Fox...It's all about the execution when looking at the reasons for the three losses:
Offensive line isn't providing Panthers room - CharlotteObserver.com
I think the biggest thing for us, we have to do a better job of finishing and hitting the big plays when they're there. It seems like everybody's just kind of taking their turn not hitting it the way it needs to be hit - or not as good as the plays are designed to be carried out.
You only get 3 or 4 good chances per game to make big plays and you've got to cash in half of them if you want to win in this game...QB Matt Ryan's sophomore slump is a distant memory:
Matt Ryan lighting it up in red zone - NFC South Blog - ESPN
In the red zone, Ryan has a 127.9 passer rating while completing 9 of 13 passes (69.2 percent) with four touchdowns and no interceptions. New Orleans’ Drew Brees ranks third in that category with a 121.2 passer rating.
So Matt Moore is the anti-Matty Ice, how about Matty Pick (Ice pick...get it)?...So does Brees advice to Hartley apply to Matty Pick?
Brees gives Hartley some advice - NFC South Blog - ESPN
"I told him I’ve been benched three times,’’ Brees said. "I said, it’s all part of the process. Every young player has to learn it. There’s no shortcut to it. There’s no easy way to it. You just have to learn it the hard way. You’re learning it the hard way. Make the most of it. Absorb everything you can from John Carney. John Carney’s a Hall of Fame kicker. I’ve lost track of how many years he’s played. He’s played more years than Hartley’s been alive probably. Really, we should look that up. Is that true?’’
And finally, I guess all that Twitter smack talk didn't prevent from these guys from chatting each other up after a hard fought contest: