Tag:Matt Moore
Posted on: April 24, 2011 10:39 am

Offseason checkup: Carolina Panthers

Posted by Will Brinson

J. Clausen hopes to get Carolina turned around in 2011 (Getty).

Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups

Not to try and bring back the Anchorman meme that probably became uncool a few years ago, but, man, things really got out of hand fast in Carolina, didn't they? John Fox is gone, Ron Rivera is in, Jerry Richardson is likely not too popular with the fans because of the labor situation, and the draft-pick situation for the Panthers is a nightmare.

There's also a pile of questions relating to how 2011 will unfold based on the rules once the labor situation is settled. And the whole problem of everyone else in the NFC South being potentially dominant or at least pretty good ... primarily because of quarterback play. And thus, we see the Panthers problem: they need a franchise quarterback. Andrew Luck's decision to return to school put a big crimp in the plans for the No. 1 overall pick, and Cam Newton's been penciled in at this point by basically anyone.  

Even if he is the pick, the Panthers can't negotiate with him, so who knows at this point? There's ample argument for why Carolina should take a cornerback, a defensive tackle, trade the top pick, or just roll the dice with Newton.

Defensive Tackle, Quarterback

The odd things about Carolina's roster is that in 2010, they had the talent to succeed. Injuries (Jeff Otah and Thomas Davis most notably), poor play (Matt Moore and Jimmy Clausen most notably) and an awkward coaching situation changed things dramatically and the team unraveled. It became pretty clear, though, that even with a talented offensive line and two superb running backs in Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, you can't run the ball if no one respects your passing game.

Can Newton fix that passing game? Is his upside worth passing on a very-much-needed defensive tackle like Marcell Dareus out of Alabama? Does it even matter if Newton can be Tim Tebow 2.0 and sell a pile of jerseys while making the Panthers nationally relevant, at least for a season?

It seems clear that Newton's going to either be a total home run, though not likely right away, or an absolute, unmitigated disaster. There might be an in-between area, but given the hype surrounding the potential No.1-overall pick, it's hard to imagine Newton settling into something that's just "average."

1. Quarterback
Value Over Replacement Player is typically a statistic that you see in baseball. But the notion remains true when you talk about the MVP race: how would the Patriots fare if you took out Tom Brady and plugged in an "average" quarterback? Well, the Panthers showed that if you plug in the player most below average in the NFL, disaster ensues. Quarterback is absolutely the most important position of need for Carolina -- it's just a matter of whether or not Newton or Blaine Gabbert could end up becoming "the guy" in Carolina as a top pick, just one season after the Panthers apparently wasted a second-rounder on Clausen. No one -- and I mean NO ONE -- can know the answer until we sees how it plays out. That's what makes their top pick so insanely controversial.

2. Defensive Tackle
Making the Panthers' choice at the top of the draft even more difficult is the presence of Dareus, who seems like a pretty good bet to succeed in the NFL. Or, at least, to not flop at defensive tackle. With (maybe) four winnable games on the 2011 schedule, the Panthers could conceivably draft Dareus, hope they perform to 2010-level expectations with a vastly more difficult schedule, and land Andrew Luck in the next season. Playing chicken with a franchise quarterback and gambling on losing a lot isn't really an efficient way to manage in the NFL, but is drafting Cam Newton really a safer option?

3. More Draft Picks
I said this for Denver and they probably have more holes to fill than the Panthers, but Carolina doesn't even have a second-rounder because they traded their pick to the Patriots in order to draft Armanti Edwards out of Appalachian State, which might secretly be the worst draft decision in quite some time, especially because it's the first pick on the second day of the draft and a coveted spot. With a draft that's deep at defensive line, and the Panthers in need of a cornerback, a quarterback and a defensive tackle, having more picks -- as opposed to, say, LESS picks -- would be a pretty big advantage for the franchise.

2011 could be disastrous for the Panthers. I mentioned four winnable games, and that's not a joke: can they beat Detroit in Ford Field? Arizona out west? Tennessee at home in Week 10? Washington at home in Week 7? The Jaguars at home in Week 3? Okay, that's actually five, so we're getting somewhere! Or not -- those games are as far from locks as you get, and they're the easiest ones on the schedule. Maybe an upset or two in the NFC South is doable, but that's a bit optimistic for anyone who watched what happened in 2010.

Hey, but hope springs eternal. Or something. Ron Rivera's got a talented staff in place and the Panthers do still have a roster with some stars; at the very least, they've got studly linebackers and a strong offensive line, should free agency fall they way they want (and when you've got your owner leading the negotiations, well, that's never a bad thing). Drafting Newton could immediately reenergize the fanbase and turn out to be an absolute gamechanger when it comes to the franchise's future. But if there's one team that actually wouldn't mind seeing a lockout last through the entire 2011 season, it's probably Carolina.

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Posted on: January 11, 2011 9:23 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2011 4:52 pm

For the gambler in you

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The latest prop bets from bodog.com (playoff and offseason edition):

Who will be the starting QB for Carolina Game 1 of the 2011 regular season?

Free Agent QB 11/10

Jimmy Clausen 2/1

Matt Moore 5/2

A 2011 Draft Pick QB 6/1

Here’s what new coach Ron Rivera said today when asked if Clausen was his starter going into next season: “You assume right now until you find that other guy to come in and compete... He is a young man with some talent and some abilities and we have to be sure the guy who comes in as the coordinator as well as the quarterbacks coach understand that.” I think Clausen will get every chance to start next season, and I think he’ll be OK enough in the preseason to earn the starting nod for Week 1. And maybe not much longer after that.

Who will be on the Bengals roster for game 1 of the 2011 regular season?

Chad Ochocinco only 3/2

Terrell Owens only 5/1

Both Ochocinco & Owens 3/1

Neither Ochocinco & Owens 3/2

I don’t think Owens will be there at all. Since Marvin Lewis will return as coach, I can see Ochocinco coming back for another season as well (despite the fact he’s still “mopey”). But I don’t think he will. So, I’d go with neither.

Who will be the starting QB for Denver Game 1 of the 2011 regular season?

Tim Tebow 1/1

Kyle Orton 3/2

Other 3/1

It has to be Tebow, doesn’t it? Isn’t it written in the stars or something?

Will Michael Vick be an Eagle Game 1 of the 2011 regular season?

Yes -700

No +400

Yes. As the team’s franchise tag.

Will Kevin Kolb be an Eagle Game 1 of the 2011 regular season?

Yes +150

No  -200

Yes. As a well-compensated backup.

Who will Nnamdi Asomugha sign with?

Dallas Cowboys 6/1

Baltimore Ravens 7/1

Green Bay Packers 15/2

Jacksonville Jaguars 15/2

Detroit Lions 9/1

Houston Texans 10/1

Philadelphia Eagles 10/1

Denver Broncos 12/1

Oakland Raiders 15/1

Any Other Team 2/3

No idea. You’re on your own for this one.

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Posted on: December 24, 2010 12:41 am
Edited on: December 24, 2010 1:06 am

Panthers need to move on from Clausen, already

Posted by Will Brinson

As expected, the only interesting thing to come from the Heinz Field on Thursday -- at least from the Panthers perspective -- was whether or not Jimmy Clausen is the team's quarterback of the future. 

The answer, after a 27-3 beatdown in which Carolina posted 119 total yards (the second-lowest total in franchise history),  is a pretty resounding, "No."

And honestly, it's the only area of immediate concern for the Panthers. John Fox is as good as gone and there are plenty of free agents sitting out there that will need to be signed. But more pressing is the need for a quarterback that can actually become a competent passer. Clausen's not that guy, and it seems that everyone outside of Carolina knows it.

The question is whether or not GM Marty Hurney and owner Jerry Richardson can admit the organization made a mistake in the second round last year and move on as well. (Not that Clausen is the only flub in recent history -- there's the 2011 second-rounder the Patriots have which landed the Panthers Armanti Edwards and there's the lost first-rounder in 2010 that landed the Panthers Everette Brown, most notably.)

If they can, Andrew Luck is most likely theirs, barring the entire city of Atlanta collapsing in on itself within the next 10 days; even the backups would probably handle the 'Cats if the Falcons have already clinched homefield advantage.

If the Panthers do secure the top selection in the draft (only a win against Atlanta and Denver losing out would drop them to second), there's still plenty of intrigue though.

Quarterback-needy teams will abound in the top part of the draft, as Cincinnati, Arizona, Buffalo, San Francisco, Washington, Minnesota, and Seattle are all potential top-10 teams that would love to get their paws on a franchise guy like Luck.

That turns the top pick, especially with the Panthers sans a second-rounder, into a potential goldmine.

There's also the labor situation to dissect. If a rookie wage scale is in place (or will be in place), taking a potential franchise guy like Luck with the top pick is much more palpable than it would be if it required the $50 million in guaranteed that Sam Bradford earned in 2010.

The good news for the Panthers is Richardson's intimate knowledge of the labor negotiations (he's one of the leaders in terms of NFL owners negotiating the collective bargaining agreement) mean they'll know as early as anyone what to expect in terms of how a new collective bargaining agreement might alter rookie salaries. (The Panthers top pick, then, also might lend a clue to the general progress of a new CBA at the time, provided there's still a lockout in progress.)

The bad news is that the labor strife might mean no new coaching staff in Charlotte by the time the draft rolls around, which puts the onus for draft picks entirely on Hurney and Co. And if the front office remains stubborn in its support of Clausen -- which is entirely possible -- there's a chance they could miss the franchise quarterback they've never had in Luck.

That seems impossible given the team's abysmal performance on Thursday night. But then again, a two-win season never seemed likely in September, either.

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Posted on: December 23, 2010 4:59 pm

Steelers vs. Panthers, Cards vs. Cowboys Podcast

Posted by Will Brinson

If you happen to be stuck at work for the next little bit, we've got a great way to kill off the rest of your workday -- a good old-fashioned podcast preview.

Andy and I break down the Thursday night and Saturday night NFL games and discuss whether or not the Cowboys should turn to Stephen McGee instead of Jon Kitna. We also start to talk about Steelers vs. Panthers, realize how things will play out and come to the startling realization that whether or not the Panthers draft a quarterback in April could lend an interesting clue to the future of labor negotiations, not to mention the future of the Jimmy Clausen.

All those issues handled (plus, much, much more) below -- just hit the play button below and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Posted on: November 26, 2010 1:38 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2010 1:41 pm

Clausen starts for Panthers against Browns

Posted by Will Brinson

Breathe a sigh of relief Panthers fans (or maybe Browns fans?), as it appears Jimmy Clausen is healthy enough to start against Cleveland on Sunday. (Yes, he's playing against Jake Delhomme, the former long-time Panthers starter.)

Well, that's the presumption anyway, since John Fox announced Friday that he's the starter for Sunday's game, according to Panthers Rapid Reporter Steve Reed.

There was a possibility that Keith Null could start Sunday (Brian St. Pierre was a little banged up after his first NFL action that involved throwing more than five passes), and that didn't sound like an, um, fantastic option.

"They haven't told me [who will start]," said Null, who signed on Tuesday. "Right now I'm just getting into the playbook. [Your] guess is as good as mine."

But that's pretty much the Panthers season in a nutshell -- the good news is that there are a number of Panthers players listed as probable (along with Clausen), including running back Jonathan Stewart and wide receiver Brandon LaFell.

The Cats don't have a ton to play for given their record and lack of talent at a number of positions, but they'll at least be given a few games to determine what players will be able to contribute in the future. Seeing Clausen play well down the stretch would go a long way in ultimately determining who will be the likely No. 1 overall draft pick next year.

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Posted on: November 26, 2010 11:41 am

Browns name Delhomme official starter for Sunday

Posted by Will Brinson

Not all that much ado has been made of Jake Delhomme's possible on-field reunion with the Carolina Panthers, because it's been pretty much assumed that the Browns won't risk greater injury to Colt McCoy's ankle by forcing him against the Panthers.

And Eric Mangini confirmed on Friday that Cleveland's rolling with Delhomme as the starter against the Cats.

That's via our Cleveland Rapid Reporter Marty Gitlin, who notes Mangini's confirmation leading up to the weekend.

Delhomme hasn't started since Week 1 when he injured his ankle -- Seneca Wallace yanked his starting spot even after his injury -- and now he's playing for a team that's paying him $7 million and against a team that's paying him $12 million (I pointed this out to members of my relatives in Florida, who were all busy lamenting the Jaguars quarterback situation; they were amazed).

This is the ideal opportunity for Delhomme, who surely feels strong emotions following the Panthers cutting him (although, yeah, he can wipe them away with $100 Bills) and would like to prove that they'd be better off having held onto him than running with Matt Moore.

Given that Moore's done for the season and the Panthers stand a decent chance of rolling Brian St. Pierre out on the field -- if he's healthy enough to play -- Jake could probably win that argument without even playing.

Now he just needs to avoid throwing the interceptions that made him an infamous scapegoat for the Panthers a just a year ago.

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Posted on: November 8, 2010 1:11 pm

Panthers lose Matt Moore for season

Posted by Andy Benoit

It will be harder for the Panthers to flip flop on quarterbacks during the second half of the season. CBS’s Panthers Rapid Reporter Steve Reed reports that quarterback Matt Moore is out for the season with a torn labrum (shoulder). Moore left Sunday’s debacle against the Saints in the first half.

One would think the Panthers would turn to second-round rookie Jimmy Clausen here, though on Sunday sixth-round rookie Tony Pike saw action late. Clausen was just 8/18 for 47 yards and a touchdown. Pike came in and finished 6/12 for 47 yards. John Fox has not said whether it will be Clausen or Pike starting under center at Tampa Bay in Week 10.

The Panthers also placed starting middle linebacker Dan Connor on IR with a crack in his hip bone. Outside linebacker Thomas Davis, who has not played all season due to an ACL injury, was also placed on IR.

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Posted on: November 7, 2010 2:06 pm
Edited on: November 7, 2010 2:07 pm

Matt Moore injured, Clausen enters game for Cats

Posted by Will Brinson

Things are going pretty well for the 1-6 Panthers Sunday against the Saints -- not only are they struggling on offense and barely getting lucky on defense, but they're down to their third-string running back after Jonathan Stewart suffered what appears to be a concussion.

And now, following a sack by Sedrick Ellis, they're being forced to go to their backup quarterback. Matt Moore is being attended to in the locker room after getting jacked by Ellis; the Panthers QB attempted to throw on the sideline and appeared to be bothered by his side (rib/oblique area maybe?) as well as his hand.

So, naturally, Jimmy Clausen warmed up up on the sidelines and entered the game whenever Carolina gives up morepoints/gets lucky enough to fall backwards into another turnover on the next possession.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com