Monday's going to be one of the more significant days in Panthers history, one way or another.
With the latest disaster, Jake Delhomme's closer than ever to the end of his run as Carolina's starting quarterback. Should he be? Depends on what the goal is: Saving his career, or someone else's hide.
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There's honestly only one argument to be made for starting him moving forward, and that one's emotional, and it might be enough.
You can no longer make a case based on past production, mostly because he so barely resembles the guy who won so many games.
For everything Delhomme's done for this franchise, perhaps the only right thing to do is give him another chance to save his career at Arizona, against the team that started this horrible slide. The fact that it's on the road gives it the smallest degree of hope, but that light's flickering fast.
The season's shot, and there's nothing Matt Moore or A.J. Feeley's going to do to fix it. That said, their best play might be to to let Delhomme stay, at least for the next few weeks. Throwing Moore in against a good Arizona team (or Lord knows New Orleans) might not be the best launching pad. Sacrificial lamb's hardly a fitting end for Delhomme's run here, but he deserves something for the what he's done.
There's plenty of blame to go around, but a significant part falls on the coaching staff. With Delhomme's trusted adviser Mike McCoy off to Denver this offseason, they brought in Rip Scherer to work with quarterbacks. He immediately went to work on fundamentals, and Delhomme was eager for the tutoring.
But right now, Delhomme looks like a guy who's over-coached, who's paralyzed by information, who's trying to play by a checklist.
That's never been his style, and making him play counter to his instincts isn't fair to him or the team.
Maybe instead of just a chance to start, they need to give him a chance to be the player he's fairly recently been. The drop-off is remarkable.
But over the years, his comebacks have been as well.