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Jake Delhomme: Gross and Smith hard for Panthers to replace

Jordan Gross AP

Former Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme certainly knows about an unceremonious end to a good run in Carolina.

But the Super Bowl starter on the best Panthers team said he’s a little nervous about the spot they’re currently in.

Delhomme told Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review during an interview with WFNZ that for all the offseason changes, replacing former teammates Jordan Gross and Steve Smith was going to be difficult.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt there was some more tread left on his tires,” Delhomme said of Gross. “He could still play. That’s going to be a big loss for that team. I think you’ll truly understand how good Jordan was on and off the field this year, and for years to come. He was much more than just a left tackle.”

Gross decided against a comeback, a year after the team strong-armed him into a pay cut. Smith was booted primarily because G.M. Dave Gettleman didn’t want him around impressionable young receivers (including first-rounder Kelvin Benjamin).
But the loss of the two captains will create a new burden for other young players.
“It’s a changing of the guard,” Delhomme said. “That’s what happens in the NFL sometimes. This is now Luke Kuechly’s team and Cam Newton’s team, . . . Is it time for a new regime to take over? Is that the direction they’re going? It seems that way.
“That’s why you have General Managers to make tough calls. Emotions, you have to take out of it, which is very hard to do sometimes. But that’s the decision that they feel going forward. Only time will tell.”
The difference between Delhomme’s departure and these is primarily that there’s a quarterback in place. That should prevent the Panthers from the kind of 2-14 bottoming out they had with Jimmy Clausen at the helm, but without a viable replacement for Gross, Newton might have a hard time getting his team back to the playoffs.
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13 Responses to “Jake Delhomme: Gross and Smith hard for Panthers to replace”
  1. lukedunphysscienceproject says: May 20, 2014 11:07 AM

    This is why you don’t speed read headlines: When I was scanning the home page I thought this headline said “Jake Delhomme Hard For Panthers To Replace” and nearly spit coffee all over my keyboard.

  2. phluffyclouds says: May 20, 2014 11:18 AM

    Losing Gross was the biggest blow this team has had to deal with in a long time. True leader on and off the field. But we must KEEP POUNDING!!

  3. wallabear says: May 20, 2014 11:21 AM

    Cam(eron) and Luke will do just fine as team leaders. As long as Kelvin Benjamin can catch the ball like Greg Olsen, the Cam-rolina Panthers will also make the playoffs.

  4. thrillomania says: May 20, 2014 11:22 AM

    I hear ya Jake, no one was able to tackle DB & LB’s who just intercepted your passes like Jordan Gross and Steve Smith.

  5. joetoronto says: May 20, 2014 11:32 AM

    It’s Ok, no one cares about the Panthers anyway.

  6. redandgoldhitman52 says: May 20, 2014 11:51 AM

    i believe jake. he’s tooken the panthers to the super bowl. threw a 80 yard bomb to musim muhammed in the super bowl. lost by a fg thanks to the kicker giving the patriots the ball at 40 yd line.

    cam isnt good enough to take the panthers to the super bowl unless hes buying the whole team super bowl tickets. cam is just an oversized michael vick with a good defence.

  7. teek77 says: May 20, 2014 12:14 PM

    Hopefully, the addition of the new 5th overall draft choice OT from Canada David Faucault, the movement of Byron Bell, or the movement of one of the other linemen to LT will help in the replacement of Jordan Gross. As for Smitty, he was a legend that I hated it to see him go. But, with the new veterans they have picked up, the drafting of Kelvin Benjamin, the development of one of the young guys such as Philly Brown or others, the Panthers potentially have a better receiving crew than last year. Now if they can come to a short-term contract to give Greg Little another chance to prove he deserves to be in the NFL, things could get interesting!

  8. corkspop says: May 20, 2014 12:17 PM

    Jake is right but these guys weren’t going to play forever. The O-Line needs a leader and the receivers need someone to step up as a true No. 1. The QB situation is just fine with Cam and a Pro Bowl back-up.

  9. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: May 20, 2014 12:35 PM

    Jake is spot on. Some players bring something that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. part of what the Ravens missed from Ray Lewis.

  10. motsuret06 says: May 20, 2014 2:15 PM

    Gettleman is a tool. You will not replace Gross or Smith overnight and Byron “Turnstile” Bell is not going to be able to protect Cam’s blindside like Gross did. Gettleman says the answer is on the roster. If not, then he needs to sign Nick Mangold’s sister. She would be an improvement over Bell. However, Gettleman can’t see the forest for the trees. Vegas sees a big let down for the Panthers in 2014. Time will tell the tale on Gettleman.

  11. tomcous says: May 20, 2014 2:32 PM

    The Panthers are seriously hurting on OL …

    Gross … Wharton … Hangartner (depth at C & OG but still makes them even more thin) …

  12. qdog112 says: May 20, 2014 2:57 PM

    Gross decided against a comeback, a year after the team strong-armed him into a pay cut. Smith was booted primarily because G.M. Dave Gettleman didn’t want him around impressionable young receivers.”

    *********
    I’ve said all along that Gross wanted to play longer, but Gettleman pushed him out the door. This confirms it. You don’t fire players like Smith and Gross, unless you have replacements already in house.

    Every vet under contract last year willingly too a pay cut when asked. Their reward … a pink slip.

  13. darrellpotts2014 says: May 20, 2014 8:06 PM

    Change is inevitable

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