Carolina Panthers: Thank You, Coach John Fox

NC NighthawkAnalyst IDecember 31, 2010

Thank You, Coach John Fox.
Thank You, Coach John Fox.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

I almost typed Happy New Year, John Fox for my article's headline.  However, Fox's coaching contract with the Carolina Panthers expires in February, 2011.

I hope that the year 2011 will bring great things to both the Carolina Panthers and the departing John Fox.

Happy New Year to all of you at Bleacher Report.  I no longer blog frequently like I once did, but I regularly check out the articles, mostly via Twitter and Facebook. 

On occasion, I post comments in response to the articles I read here. However, since I am a Carolina Panthers fan, I want to share some notes and thoughts about the winningest head coach in Carolina Panthers franchise history.

Expires. The word expires describes the coaching tenure of John Fox, since he was denied a contract extension in 2008.

John Fox has been a player-friendly coach at Carolina, earning the respect and love of almost all professionals who have played for him, as well as opposing coaches and players.

In general, Fox enjoyed good rapport with the fans.

Until his contract extension was denied in 2008, Coach Fox was close and friendly with the owner and the front office personnel.

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, preparing for a potential 2011 lockout of players while a new NFL collective bargaining agreement is being negotiated, specifically sought ways to cut costs.

With 2010 being played without a salary cap, the Panthers used the opportunity to get bad contracts off the books without penalty. They cut veterans or allowed them to walk away in order to put the team in a better position in the future.

This decision and these moves strongly displeased Fox, who has chosen to take the high road publicly in his press conferences and interviews.

He has left the Panthers somewhat better than what he inherited.

Thank you, Coach Fox.

John Fox brought the Carolina Panthers their finest seasons and brightest moments.  Even Fox’s final losing season has produced positives, mainly leaving the Panthers with the first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Fox became the winningest coach in franchise history in his almost nine seasons in Charlotte. 

Under him, the Panthers totaled around 78 victories and 73 losses, made three playoff appearances, earned two NFC South titles, reached two NFC Championship games, won one NFC Championship and played in one Super Bowl.

Fox's tenure at Carolina was inconsistent. The inconsistency is well-documented, with no consecutive winning seasons and only three postseason visits.

My main issue is that the franchise's last postseason win was almost five years ago (over the Chicago Bears).

Therefore, this coaching change is inevitable.

To quote Coach Fox's famous statement: "It is what it is."

John Fox comes across as a great man and a good coach.  He should have not trouble with obtaining another head coaching job in the NFL.