Delhomme: Current Panthers dangerous

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jake Delhomme was a part of arguably the best team in Carolina Panthers history, and he says the current team has a chance to be better.

"This is a dangerous football team," Carolina's all-time leading passer said prior to Sundays' game against the Atlanta Falcons. "I don't think too many teams in the NFL want to play this football team."

Delhomme quarterbacked the Panthers (4-3), winners of three straight games and four of five, to the Super Bowl in 2003 where a last-second field goal by the New England Patriots kept them from being World Champions.

He was released after the 2009 season and retired two years later after stints with Cleveland and Houston.

Sunday was his first time back at Carolina for a game since being released. He was brought here to pound the big snare drum before the game to inspire the crowd.

Delhomme has been impressed of late by the play of quarterback Cam Newton, who over the last three games has completed 77.3 percent of his passes and compiled a quarterback rating of over 130.0. But what Delhomme likes best about Newton is his legs.

"When he takes off running, defenses, you don't want to tackle that guy," Delhomme said. "He's a freak of nature."

While at Carolina, Delhomme played for now-Denver coach John Fox, who was hospitalized in Charlotte on Saturday for a heart condition. Delhomme texted Fox on Sunday morning but hadn't heard back.

He did hear from Fox a week ago.

"He sent me a text last Saturday morning out of the blue," Delhomme said. "I think he was updating his iPhone. He sent me in clips, JD, this is JF, still your number? So we went back and forth about the families."