Let’s start today’s series of team-by-team mailbags with the Carolina Panthers and work our way up through the NFC standings.
Michael in Hickory, NC, writes: My comment is about the "sports writer" who thought about putting Carolina at number 33 in the rankings and putting a UFL team above them. I have been a long time Carolina fan and always will be. I think it is ridiculous to think that a UFL team can beat any NFL team. I am sure he wouldn't say anything like that if his favorite team was 1-11. I would say before you start saying something like that you might want to back it up with facts.
Pat Yasinskas: Umm, that was a joke. I thought that was pretty obvious. Sometimes, we use humor, creativity, wit and sarcasm here. It comes in especially handy when we’re talking about the Panthers this season. If we stayed completely literal, all I’d be able to write about the Panthers is “they’re 1-11 and have the worst record in the NFL’’. This kind of reminds me of the time last year when the Giants thumped the Bucs and I wrote that Derrick Ward, who had just left the Giants for the Bucs, was trying to get on New York’s bus after the game and one reader actually bought it.
Pete in Raleigh, NC, writes: I think John Fox is safe. I think Marty Hurney will be let go and Fox will have more control next year. You cannot bring a new coach in and have a winning season right away. It will take some time to build a program at Carolina. It took Bill Cowher 15 years to win the Super Bowl. Panthers fans are not waiting 15 years. Jerry Richardson said the problem will be fixed next year.
Pat Yasinskas: You better hurry up and call Fox, because he’s already got his bags packed and his resume out for other coaching jobs. Seriously, I totally disagree with your read on this one. If Richardson wanted Fox back, a contract extension would have been signed long ago. Besides, I think Fox is anxious for a fresh start and has no interest in fixing Carolina’s problems. I also think Hurney’s job is safe.
Mike in Goldsboro, NC, writes: I have a question about the Panthers' future coaching vacancy. Do you see Josh McDaniels as a potential candidate? After all, he is an offensive-minded coach who had great success in New England. His teams in Denver weren't always very talented, but they seemed to be well-coached (take his 6-0 start for example). And being a young, relatively unproven head coach, he would not command a huge salary like those of Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden. So, do you see Josh McDaniels being hired in Carolina?
Pat Yasinskas: Nope. McDaniels’ run in Denver was far from impressive and questions about his maturity surfaced. He’ll have to redeem himself as a coordinator before getting another shot at as a head coach.