I have to admit, I am excited waiting to see what the 2008 Panthers do this season and sit on the Charlotte.com blog updates from both Tom and the other crew as well as the Panthers main website(by the way,those guys are doing spectacular work on the website updating the hardcore fan base with photos and snippets of progress and Coach John Fox's views). However in checking news sites, I found an item posted by Mike Florio at www.profootballtalk.com where he discusses how Panthers scouting staff and other football related front office employees are under contracts that expire at the end of this upcoming season. This leads him to speculate whether or not this means it's a do or die attitude for Coach John Fox, GM Marty Hurney, and others and if they fail, he says, "ownership is considering cleaning house if the Panthers don’t make the playoffs this season. " He also goes on to state that a possible replacement for Coach Fox would be.....current North Carolina resident and former Pittsburgh Steeler coach Bill Cowher and that could be why since he may want to bring in his own staff. Honestly, anyone shocked to hear Coach Cowher's name mentioned? Ever since he left the Steelers and it became public that he took up residency in the Raleigh area, the rumors have floated around a lot about which Carolina based football program would convince him to coach again. I personally think Coach Fox is an excellent coach and hope he is successful because I also know this team responds well to him and plays their best for him. I respect what Coach Cowher did in his time in Pittsburgh(trust me, I have family and friends who are Steelers fans, I know his success) but I just feel like Coach Fox does a great job here and losing him would be a huge mistake that some football team will jump on it in a heartbeat.
My question to you is this, how much longer after Coach Fox leaves do the top level players follow him out the stadium doors? You don't think some of these guys who love playing for him will soon start to wonder why they played so hard when it cost them Coach Fox's job anyway and go possibly where he goes? John Fox is the perfect fit for the personality of this team and I think that someone the caliber of Coach Cowher, who is know to be more intense, may not fly as well here as it would with other teams. I am sure there are some who would play as hard as they do now for anyone but certain people just respond to certain coaches better and this team generally seems to be 100% supportive of Coach Fox and believe he has their best interest at heart. Was last season as successful as everyone in the organization hoped? Of course not but they do some positive work and tell me this, when this team went 1-15, how many of you truly thought with Coach Fox on the sidelines, we would have made the playoffs, let alone a field goal away from a Super Bowl? Then again, I never would have thought the Richardson's would not have been able to reach an agreement to keep Bill Rosinski as the voice of the Carolina Panthers a few years back either so I guess we will see when the season goes on.