The bye week has come upon the Carolina Panthers....assuring the team of not losing a game this week. Coach John Fox and the entire Carolina organization must be thrilled to get the extra week to prepare for there next opponent the San Francisco 49ers....or are they?
One issue facing this team is which quarterback will take over for the remainder of the season. I felt that it was ridiculous to bench Moore after only 2 games to go to a rookie but many of you ridiculed me for it and said it was time for Clausen. Now that Carolina is 0-5, it makes little sense to me to go back to Moore. In my opinion, let the rookie ride it out and get a full evaluation of his potential and what he brings to the table.
Another issue facing this team is starting right tackle Jeff Otah. He has been week to week since the start of preseason. It makes you wonder exactly what is going on with his knee, and if his next stop will be the IR. The absence of Otah has juggled offensive guard Geoff Schwartz to play the right tackle position. The offensive line has been dismal during Otah's absence.
At the WR position, rookie David Gettis had a great preseason, made the team, and has worked his way all the way to the #2 spot. Gettis has been one of the few bright spots for Carolina on offense while second round draft pick Brandon LaFell has been a bit of a disappointment.
The status of WR Steve Smith will be in question for the next week or so. Smith is still recovering from an ankle injury suffered during the loss to the New Orleans Saints. There is no doubt having Smith in the lineup helps the other receivers get there targets.
DeAngelo Williams continues to get part time carries during games and is likely playing his last season in Carolina. Williams' contract is up after the 2010 season and will likely walk if no deal gets done...something us Panther fans have gotten used to lately.
Panthers GM Marty Hurney recently confirmed that two teams showed interest in trading for Williams, but both were quickly turned down, as Hurney made it perfectly clear that Williams is not on the trading block. The Carolina Panthers would rather elite players walk away without getting any compensation for them, a practice that is now pretty regular for this organization.
While it is certain that the Panthers' offense has become doormats for the rest of the NFL, it would be nice to see some passion out of the offense and see some players make some plays so this team can win some games and become competitive again...in other words, just because it is a bye week, shouldn't mean you get the week off. Find some inspiration and get us excited again.