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Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints: Interview with the Enemy

I've saved a little treat for you guys this morning. It's our weekly cross blog Q&A! So today is the first of my two conversations this year with Jaxon of Cat Scratch Reader. You can also read my answersto his questions on CSR. 

I was also a guest on their weekly podcast yesterday if you feel like giving that a listen

Be back here later today at 11am Central for the start of our open game thread. 

Canal Street Chronicles: You said that teams are stacking the box against the Panthers on running downs yet the Panthers continue to run the ball as expected. Is that because John Fox feels he can't rely on his quarterback? Are you happy with the recent quarterback switch from Moore to Clausen?

Cat Scratch Reader: I think the Panthers are set on a run-first based offense and don't plan to change anytime soon since they have a rookie at QB. I'm happy with the change since it appears Moore just wasn't ready. We might as well get the Clausen era underway if we are not going to contend for a playoff spot.

CSC: What would the Panthers have to do to win this game?

CSR: Cheat...no seriously, win the turnover battle to the tune of +3 or better...get a pass rush and keep Clausen from getting too much pressure. Hope Brees has an off day.

 

CSC: Is John Fox on the hot seat?

CSR: No, Fox is the eject seat. The beat writers' say he is gone so it's hard to think they could be wrong on that. Why should he stay given he can get more money elsewhere? For the same reason we are pretty sure RB DeAngelo Williams will leave too. You have to show your marquee players and coaches the love before their contract expires if you want to keep them in this day and age. I would prefer to keep both but I'm resigned their departure  

 

CSC: Things aren't looking good for the Panthers. What are your realistic expectations for the rest of the season and the next couple of years for your organization?

CSR: This season, realistically if they continue to play as they have... probably 3-13 or 4-12. I still hold some hope they can turn things around since its only 3 games so far but again, they are playing like crap for the most part. What Panther fans have been saying on CSR is that Richardson is dumping salaries so he enter the new CBA with a ton of cap space and then be very active in free agency to fill the gaps on the roster. We believe in our core young players such as Clausen, Kalil, Otah, Beason, Martin, Godfrey, Conner, Hardy, LaFell,etc... but then need time to mature. 2011 could be a great year for us...or so we tell ourselves.

 

CSC: With so much talk surrounding the negative, tell us something positive about the Panthers. What has actually given you hope?

 CSR: The most positive thing we have seen is improved special teams play. RB Mike Goodson has secured the KR job and broken a couple nice returns (no TDs though). The coverage has been good too so St is no longer the weak link it has been the past couple of seasons.

 

CSC: Care to make a prediction? 

CSR: If the Panthers win...and that's a big IF, then it will because we finally got our offense untracked combined with a defensive score to eke out a 31-27 victory. A Saints blowout is more likely but the Saints would not be wise to overlook the Panthers.