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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bye Gives Healing; Fox Not Threatened

**sorry about the hiatus. It's been three awful weeks of football, sandwiched with the birth of my daughter. It's time to get back at this.**

The bye week became a time of rest instead of a time for work. While many fans expected hard hitting and technique drilling, the team took a five day break from playing. While there's hope that plenty of study was done individually, the team took time away from playing, and team leaders say that it helped. The team is looser and more relaxed, which may lead to less mental mistakes.

They also got healthier. Brad Hoover, Nail Diggs, and Chris Harris are all healthier, and Everette Brown is progressing as well. The team desperately needs Harris to bolster the defense, and Hoover was missed in the running game (his replacement, Tony Fiammetta, is also hurt, and was ineffective while playing). Diggs will bolster the strong side.

It also gives two weeks for new signee Hollis Thomas, defensive tackle and Spongebob Enthusiast, to get up to speed on the defense. Thomas is the fourth DT signed since the Maake Kemoeatu injury. As a 340 lb veteran of 14 years, he is much more of a run stopper than the previous pickups, and will hopefully play stronger run defense than what we've had in the first three games.

Fox Has Longevity

For now, at least, John Fox is the head coach of the Carolina Panthers. After an 0-3 start that essentially pieces the Panthers out of the playoffs and into a race for a high #1 pick they don't actually own (San Francisco, of course, has it). But there's a rapidly growing share of fans expecting an immediate firing as soon as after the Washington game, should it be a loss.

The end result is that unless the team goes through blowout loss after blowout loss, the team probably won't fire Fox. They went through George Seifert's 15 straight losses, only to fire him after the season. Likewise, Dom Capers went 0-7, then 2-12, finishing 4-12 before being fired at the end of the season.

Jerry Richardson doesn't do business that way. He doesn't fire people midseason. In the event that he should fire Fox in a major collapse, it would most likely be Jim Skipper to ascend. But don't expect it to happen.