Sports

Fox considering a change at quarterback

CHARLOTTE - Admitting his team's confidence in its passing game is in dire need of a boost, Carolina Panthers coach John Fox said Monday he is considering replacing Jake Delhomme as the starting quarterback.

Less than four weeks after expressing his support for Delhomme with a "capital Y" for yes, Fox is on the verge of changing that to a billboard-sized N-O.

"The reality is we're not operating very well there, and I don't know if status quo is necessarily the answer or not," Fox said.

"We definitely need to do whatever it takes to get better. If that entails a quarterback change, that's what it'll entail."

It's an unprecedented position for Fox, who in seven years has not shown even the slightest inclination to enter a game with a quarterback other than with a healthy Delhomme.

But Delhomme has given Fox ample reason to make a switch for Sunday's game at Arizona. Delhomme ranks 32nd in the NFL in passing and leads the league with 13 interceptions, seven of which have resulted in touchdowns for the opposition.

Fox's dilemma is that he doesn't have a savory alternative. His best, most seasoned backup - Josh McCown (31 career starts) - is on injured reserve.

That leaves Matt Moore, who is in his third season and has three starts, and journeyman A.J. Feeley, who has 15 starts in nine seasons with four teams.

Moore said he will be ready to play if called upon, but that he supports Delhomme.

Feeley expressed similar sentiment but sounded concerned about his limited grasp of the offense since he's only been with the Panthers for six weeks.

"The bottom line is, can I go out there and manage the game and play? Yes," Feeley said. "Do I have a grasp of the offense like the other guys? That's obviously not the case."

Fox declined to say when he would announce his decision, but he will need to have a plan in place when the team reports for practice Wednesday after having its weekly day off today.

Delhomme has thrown just four touchdown passes, none to wide receivers Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad

"I don't know that there's a lot of confidence in that part of our offense, whether it's by the offensive players or what-not," Fox said of the passing game.

"As an offense, your job is to score points. When you kind of travel quite a few yards and get no points, it doesn't do a lot for your confidence. We have to get over that, plain and simple. Nobody's going to come rescue us. We have to fix it. We'll do the necessary things to do that to the best of our ability."

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