Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Moore in, NFL fines & NASCAR

Carolina Panthers will go with Matt Moore at quarterback on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. The move comes as a shock to some, but not me.

The Panthers may have committed to a youth movement with their roster, but that doesn't mean the coaches want to lose games in the name of gaining experience. John Fox may be in the final year of his contract, but he still wants to win, and he believes Moore gives him the better chance this weekend against the 1-5 Niners.

That's not a slap at Jimmy Clausen. The guy is a rookie, and didn't play horribly. He has ball security issues, namely taking a snap from under center. He will learn, and he will be a good NFL quarterback. It will take time, and he will get plenty of opportunity.

As for going back to Moore, it's not desperation. It's about winning games. Ultimately, that will be the mark by which this team is judged, Never mind the lack of veteran leadership on the roster. Wins and losses are all that matter in the NFL.

And since we're o the subject of John Fox, if this is indeed his final season in Carolina (and all signs point to that being the case), this season's team won't be held against him. His body of work as a n NFL Head Coach far outshines what he has been dealt this season. Yes, it is the Panthers organizational plan, but stripping a coach of most, if not all, of his veterans and filling a roster with mostly young players who have to learn as they go, is not how Fox will be viewed by the next team that hires him. He will be viewed as a guy that took a franchise from 1-15 before his arrival to an NFC Title, and Super Bowl appearance. He didn't become horrible overnight, folks.

The NFL handed out $175,000 dollars in fines on Tuesday, slapping Pittsburgh's James Harrison, New England's Brandon Merriweather, and Atlanta's Dunta Robinson with fines for hits deemed to be helmet-to-helmet, and certainly dangerous. My take, the NFL got it right on 2 of those players. Robinson did nothing wrong. He hit DeSean Jackson with his shoulder, and he hit Jackson in the chest. Video supports it. Robinson says he's appealing, and I hope it's rescinded.

There is a difference between dangerous play, and playing hard. Dangerous play involves headhunting. Plain and simple. The onus is on he defenders. Tackling is just that-tackling. Not trying to deliver punishment with a major collision. That is hitting. Tackling involves wrapping the offensive play up, and bringing them to the ground. Tackling is a lost art in the NFL, but tackling doesn't sell tickets these days. Collisions do.

I applaud the NFL for this. Players need to respect each other on the field, which can be done, while still trying to win the game and playing hard, tough football. I'm glad they stepped in before someone gets seriously injured. Or worse.

NASCAR off to Martinsville this weekend, and things are still up in the air. Jimmie Johnson leads Denny Hamlin, and both of these guys race the heck out of Martinsville. Should be a great weekend. I told Charlotte Observer reporter Jim Utter I would declare the Chase over had Johnson won in Charlotte. He didn't win, and I didn't have to say it.

I sure do think it's close to over. If, and it's a big if, Johnson gets through Talladega with the lead, only bad luck will keep Johnson from a 5th title. The 48 team saw their driver spin out on lap 34, drop to 35th place, and yet they worked him through the field, and into contention before it was all said and done. Face facts: This was Johnson's Chase to lose. Either he was going to runaway with it, or someone has to step up and beat him. Hamlin's team has the chops to do it, but Johnson's bunch isn't allowing him to get close enough. It's great drama to watch, and the next 5 races will be too.

Mike Solarte

UPDATE--Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a memo to all the clubs regarding player safety, and playing within the rules. See it here.


Dottie Travis said...

for over 2 years I suffered hateful abuse I had been beaten, kicked, assaulted etc.(I don’t think I need to get to graphic) I laid in the hospital for over a month and a half with ribs fractured, a broken jaw, my soul was dead they were not sure I would live to see another day but one day my grandmother bought me a magazine
I could barely see, but I saw the picture it was of this beautiful sweet man Junior, I read the article I don’t remember what it was about now, but I held that magazine close to me looked at that picture alot, and just like the words in the Elvis Presley gospel song ("He touched Me") something happened an now I know he touched me and made me whole
within 4 weeks I was up walking, and with in 6 weeks I was out of the hospital that is why I have devoted myself to this man for what he has done for me without even being there in person he helped me. Now I want to help him. if I ever get the opportunity to thank him personally I will feel my life is complete but as far as helping him that will never end, up to the day he hangs his keys up for good I am his #1 fan I will be there standing strong and true threw the good and bad No matter what.
god has blessed us with this man and I will treasure him for he is ("MY HERO-MY ANGEL-MY FOREVER CHAMPION!!!!!") thanks to you Dale jr. you gave me strength to go on thank you thank you thank you

Dottie Travis said...

My desire is to get him recognized for what he has done for me he has the biggest heart of gold and he is very loving even though he dosnt like the recognition i want him to be recognized give him my appreication and my unending love for what he has done..