With their bye week out of the way, the Carolina Panthers are going to have to make some decisions. The most obvious, of course, is whether they are going to start hot hand Vinny Testaverde, coming off his win in Arizona just over a week ago, or if they are going to go with David Carr. But that might just be the easy choice to make. They also have to be concerned about their linebacker decision - do they go with often-injured Dan Morgan, who may be back on the field or increasingly productive rookie Jon Beason?
To make matters even more interesting, that's still not it - the item I've been aching for - nay hoping for - for a long time just has to come due. Please, let it come due. DeShaun Foster appears to have returned to his fumbling ways, and I hate it for the guy. He has had some great runs. I wish him the best, and I'm sure he has some good work left in him. But at the end of the Cardinals game it became obvious that Foster isn't working - or at least, the way that he's being used isn't working. Before it's too late, they need to make the decision on whether to continue the exercise in futility with Foster or jump to the future with DeAngelo Williams.
Where to start? Let's look at quarterbacks.
David Carr looks good. I mean that literally. As a guy, it might be hard to say, but the guy is one good looking man. He could be a model. Maybe he is. If he ever does well, I'm sure he would do great in underwear ads. Look out Marky Mark. But on the field? Other than that diving first down a few weeks ago now, I've not seen too much to impress me. On the other hand, Vinny Testaverde came in and led the offense well.
It's often said that the quarterback needs to be good enough not to lose. Carr had a few rough years in Houston, and I feel for him. But he needs some more time to shake that. You can tell when he's in the backfield that he's worried about getting sacked (when he's not actually getting sacked, I mean). He tends to react too quickly and that affects his game play. Add to that his oddball throwing motion and I'm not sure that he's the best choice.
Okay, Vinny is getting older by the minute, and he's not the answer for the future. All the better reason to use him now, before he gets too old. Let him play for a couple of weeks while Carr rests up and learns from the guy. Heck, let Matt Moore learn from him too. Moore had a sweet completion to Keary Colbert of all people - that one pass was better than much of what Carr has thrown. Go with Vinny, at least for a couple of weeks, and let him work with Carr.
The quarterback of the defense is at least as important, and so it's important to have consistency. While on the offense, I'd go with Vinny because he brings stability, even though he's the latest in a string of quarterbacks, I'd stick with the proven on the defense. Yes, I'd go with Beason in the middle. He's stepped up and done a great job in the last couple weeks. I've also seen mention of putting Morgan on the outside, and I think that is a great idea.
If I were Morgan, I'd have quit long ago. But if he's going to play, he's going to get hurt. We've seen it. If I were the Panthers, I would have kept Witherspoon instead of Morgan when they made that choice, but we can't take that one back. So we have Morgan, at least for now, let's try to keep him from getting hurt again. A healthy Morgan for half the defensive plays is better than a Morgan that's out entirely. Put Beason in the middle and Morgan on the outside.
Now to the running backs. It was obvious in Arizona that Williams needs to get more touches. I understand that the Panthers are a class organization and they like to stick with the people who got them where they are. They are hesitant to let go. But Foster needs to touch the ball less, and by that I don't mean that he needs to fumble more. Just like he did a couple years ago, he's found his fumble mojo, so he needs to get over that. Add to that the fact that Williams is on a tear, give DeAngelo the lead and let Foster mop up. Even make the platoon 50-50 if you have to, but don't give it to DeShaun for 80% of the carries. That's just insane.