SSSHH!! Jake Delhomme Is Our Secret Weapon


Hello, Caropanfans! This is how I affectionately refer to us hardcore Panther diehards…(Caro-pan-fan)…hope you can appreciate it too.

Now to the topic at hand… Is there anyone as tired as me about hearing that the Carolina Panthers have no quarterback for the ’08 season? Apparently most of Jake’s detractors have forgotten that by game three of last season he had eight touchdowns, with only one interception (that’s right you Jakehaters, only one), and was actually faring better than the hallowed Mr. Tom Brady. He certainly was on par for one of the best campaigns of his career.

Fortunately, John Abraham fell on Jake’s arm in the third game against Atlanta, and the downward spiral of ’07 commenced. Oh, yes, and I really did mean to say fortunately; Jake has admitted that he has been enduring immense pain in his throwing arm for years now. It perhaps was serendipitous, in that Jake and the team needed to be understandably forced into fixing the ailment. Jake has rarely missed time since becoming the starter, even with the thumb injury of a couple of years ago. In retrospect he’s shown how tough a rascal he is by the fans never really knowing about the ever-aching elbow.

Furthermore, most pundits and quite a few bloggers feel that Jake is going to have quite a rough time coming back from his Tommy John surgery. This actually serves us rather well, Caropanfans! It would seem that we live in a bubble down here, and that very few else in the nation have heard Steve’s, Moose’s, and Fox’s quotes on how well Jake is doing. In fact, #89 has relayed that Jake looks physically more fit than in prior seasons, and is throwing the ball remarkably hard. Also, I have had trouble finding any negative reports on this Tommy John surgery.

In the research I’ve run across, it seems that there is a very high success rate, and most athletes can recover their pre-injury strength with the requisite rehab. Many are stronger than before, as well, due to the intense physical therapy. (According to Mike Dodd of USA Today, in excess of 75 pitchers have appeared in Major League Baseball in the past two seasons after undergoing UCL/Tommy John surgery. It appears to me that most athletes, with Jake included thus far, had endured so much pain and discomfort that the surgery has given them a new lease on life, so to speak, as far as their careers are concerned.)

All reports out of OTAs that I have seen confirm that Jake is right on track, maybe even ahead of it. Our quarterback has maintained that he feels great, better than he has in a long while.

One can understand the concern of the analysts and fantasy football gurus about Carolina having the distinction of being the only team in the league that did not draft a quarterback. However last year was nothing if not a proving ground for steal-of-the-year Matt Moore, and we still have the promising Brett Basanez on the roster. What does undrafted free agent Moore have over all of the Matt Ryans and Joe Flaccos of this draft? Three NFL starts. There is no price that can be put on gametime experience for a young, novice quarterback. Matt Moore garnered invaluable insight that will undoubtedly help him this season, and kudos to Fox and Hurney for saving the snaps for Moore and Basanez.

Well Caropanfans, while the rest of the country thinks we have a frail, inexperienced quarterbacking corps, we know how well Jake has done for us in the past and now we get to revel in the possibility that we haven’t even seen his best yet.

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