Carolina Panthers Retrospective
Fox says Delhomme will remain starting QB E-mail
Written by Steve Reed   
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 12:21
Jake Delhomme

Jake Delhomme will start this week despite three INTs vs. Buffalo. (Photo by John Clark)

   CHARLOTTE -- John Fox has decided status quo is better than the alternative.
   Fox announced Wednesday that Jake Delhomme will remain the team's starting quarterback Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, a decision that certainly won't sit well with a frustrated fan base.
   "We feel like he gives us the best chance to win," Fox said after practice.
   Delhomme has thrown a league-high 13 interceptions, but Fox said after watching film he's convinced Delhomme is still the best guy for the job.

 

   "Sometimes there's a 48-hour rule and you go back and you look (at film)," Fox said. "There's no question we've struggled in that area. Going through and looking at some of our mishaps I don't think it's one guy. I think he still gives us the best chance to win."

   Fox said he made the decision on Tuesday.

   When asked if Delhomme will be on a shorter leash, Fox said, "No, it's no different than any other player out there. His starting role won't be any different than anybody else."

   Fox said it's important that other players on offense step up their game, too.

   When asked if he was surprised by Fox's decision, Delhomme said, "If he would have went that way (and benched me), how could I blame him? But I was hoping it would be me. I'm going down swinging. I don't know any other way to put it. We haven't played well; I haven't played well. Certainly the last game was disappointing. A couple of throws weren't good. You can make a bunch of good ones but it doesn't matter. You have to make all of them. I'm excited about it."

   For Delhomme, playing against Arizona offers a shot a redemption.

   The Cardinals began this downward spiral in January when they forced six Delhomme turnovers in a 33-13 win in the NFC Divisional playoffs at Bank of America Stadium. Including the Cardinals game, Delhomme has turned the ball over 21 times in seven games and thrown only five touchdowns during that span.

   Delhomme said he's looking forward to the challenge.

   "It probably makes me want to play even more because you want to go out and there and play them," Delhomme said. "Watching those games (from last year) yesterday and again this morning in the film room you learn about what we did decent and what we did not so good in the two times we played them last year. But they're very good and they're coming off two very big wins."

   Delhomme is on pace for 35 interceptions in a 16-game season, which would tie Vinny Testaverde in 1988 for the second-most in a season in NFL history. Only George Blanda, with 42 interceptions in 1962, has had more in one season.

   As for his confidence level, Delhomme said, "Let’s be honest. I can sit here and tell you it’s through the roof and that would be a lie. I still do have a lot of confidence, but that’s something you're always working on. Right now, it’s the next play -- a kind of forget-it mentality.”

   The reaction was positive among Delhomme's teammates.

   "The team collectively has to be better around him," said tight end Jeff King. "Not all of the interceptions are his fault. We all collectively have to pick up our game, as does he.... I think the offense in general, we’re to blame on certain situations that we’ve put him in."

   Said wide receiver Steve Smith: "I just work here... (If) Jake is the guy, Jake is the guy. It’s not my call."

   Smith went on to say that he can't worry about other people's jobs.

   "It’s not that other guys don’t care, but Jordan Gross, for instance, he has to block (Arizona defensive lineman) Darnell Dockett and he can’t be concerned with how Jake feels or doesn’t feel," Smith said. "We all have our own designated jobs. When you have that going on I think it’s unfair to try to add more pressure on to a game that is important this week."

   Moore, who has been the team's No. 2 quarterback since Josh McCown went down, said he fully expected Delhomme to keep the job.

   "That’s what I figured," Moore said. "I was pretty confident this is the way it was going to be."

   Asked if he's bummed out, Moore responded, “No, my role on this team right now is as a backup right now. That’s how it was and I figured it would be. But no, I’m not bummed out. Like I said, I’m 100 percent behind Jake and we’re looking forward to moving ahead and getting a win."