The Carolina Panthers are next in today’s series of team-by-team mailbags.
Christian in Denver writes: With Steve Smith back on the practice field and Matt Moore back under center don't you think that Jimmy Clausen was never really given a chance? The second he gets pulled, the biggest passing, and maybe offensive, weapon comes back. Got to figure he would have had a bit better numbers with a seasoned receiver to throw to rather than 3 rookies.
Pat Yasinskas: I wouldn’t look to the switch from Clausen back to Moore as a permanent thing by any means. Clausen was put into a nearly impossible position. I think the Panthers were just concerned about ruining him for the long term and I think the people that still will be around next year still have high hopes for Clausen. I think going back to Moore makes some sense right now because it protects Clausen. And, let’s be real honest, if the Panthers are going to break this losing streak, a team like San Francisco at least looks beatable. Moore’s the more experienced guy. I’d go with him this week, try to scrape out a win and let the future sort itself out later.
Jonathan in Afghanistan writes: I find it insulting that as a Carolina Panthers fan, my team owner hasn't addressed what is going on with OUR team. The last time I checked, we're buying tickets, jerseys, and don't get me started on staying up until all hours of the night to catch the game on AFN here in Afghanistan. If it's a youth movement, fine. If it's to protect himself if we see a lockout, fine. But to stay quiet and tell us nothing? Who does Mr. Richardson think he is? I'm tired of NFL owners and players thinking they owe nothing to us, the fans. And until I hear an explanation or some sort of plan, I'm on strike.
Pat Yasinskas: Can’t say I blame you a bit. Jerry Richardson is one of the people I respect most in the entire NFL and I know he cares deeply about his fans. I’m sure, in his own mind, he has a reason for why he’s running things the way he is and staying so silent. But I can’t figure out exactly what his reason or plan is and I think most fans are in the same boat. It’s frustrating and I wish he would explain himself through the media to his fans.
Joe in Powhatan, Va., writes: If John Fox is no longer coaching the Panthers after this season who would be a likely choice to replace him? I am hearing Bill Cowher might not be the choice, due to rumors he may go elsewhere for the money.
Pat Yasinskas: Let me make it pretty clear again that we can drop the “if’’ on Fox coaching the Panthers beyond this year. I see no way that happens. As far as Cowher, I might be wrong but I never have sensed there has been real interest on either side. I don’t think it’s a fit either way. Cowher’s used to success and the Panthers have a lot of building to do. I think Richardson goes with a young and rising coordinator.
Mark in Greensboro, N.C., writes: What are the chances of Richardson bringing in Bill Parcells to fix the Panthers? He is great at rebuilding teams, and with the young core group of talented players the Panthers do have, he could turn this thing around fairly quick.
Pat Yasinskas: Parcells does have a track record, but I don’t know that he’s the fit here either. From what I know, Richardson is very committed to Danny Morrison as team president and Marty Hurney as general manager. A guy like Parcells would want lots of power and I don’t think Richardson would give it to him.
Kevin in parts unknown writes: If you made the calls in Carolina and you were picking the next coach.......Who do you like?
Pat Yasinskas: Fortunately, there are brighter minds than mine in Carolina. I honestly believe Hurney will be the main guy hiring the next coach. Two names I’d keep an eye on are Russ Grimm and Mike McCoy. Grimm’s an assistant in Arizona and McCoy’s the offensive coordinator in Denver and previously was the quarterbacks coach in Carolina. Both of those are offensive guys, but I could also see Hurney looking at some young defensive coordinators.