With the 2010 season not far away it appears John Fox and the Carolina Panthers still have plenty to do when it comes to a viable option at Quarterback. Coach Fox, ( who stood behind previous starter Jake Delhomme and resigned him only to release him) believes he finally has a few good options at the QB position. With Delhomme now part of Clevelands mess at Quarterback, Fox has last years late starter Matt Moore, 2009 undrafted free agent , 2010 draft pick and 2010 draft pick Tony Pike in his QB stable. The only problem is.... None of these players are proven starters! What? because Moore had a few good outings, he is now an NFL starter who can lead the Panthers into the winners circle? I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this is the biggest misconception by those (including Fox) who believe this.
Even if Fox starts Moore to set up a smooth transition into the Quinn.. I mean the Clausen era, he still has an unproven starter teaching an unproven starter. It is my belief that Clausen is being set up for the NFL much like his predecessor at Notre Dame, . Brady Quinn also fell during the NFL draft, only to have the Browns trade up for him, only to become a starter to early, only to be released by the same orginization who touted him as the 2nd coming. Clausen I fear will suffer the same fate, as will 99% of unproven rookie QB's who quickly become a starter in the NFL.
So where does this leave us? Well it appears Matt Moore will be the interim starter while the 2010 draft free falling Clausen attempts to get acclimated to the NFL. Jimmy Clausen will eventually be thrust into the starting position and soon realize that even though you may have been one of the best in college, that does not mean you will be one of the best in the NFL. There is a reason why players drop in the draft...Throw in Brady Quinn comment here...
Thus we move on to Hunter Cantwell and injury ladden Tony Pike. Cantwell was no great shakes during his Louisville days, and it seemed his one consistant was his inconsistancy. While Tony Pike is a 6'6" injury attraction who was great at Cincinnati (when he played), but needs to add NFL weight to his NFL height.
There you have the latest Fox quarterback conundrum in Carolina. I feel Coach Fox would have been better suited trading a pick or two for one of the free agent floating QB's available before the draft, and then drafting Pike in the same position he was acquired. YES!!! I said it!!! Tony Pike in my opinion will (if given the opportunity, and puts on weight) be the most successfull of the four options in Carolina down the road. He has the most talent all around of the group, and I believe will be the quickest to adjust to the NFL. I didn't say he was going to make the pro bowl any time soon, but he has the mechanics to be a viable NFL starter.
Good luck Coach Fox in your search, but I think it's going to be a long road to get past last years 8-8 record without a leader at the quarterback position.
"The Horses Mouth"