Saturday, March 27, 2010

John Fox Thought Keeping Jake Delhomme Could Split Locker Room

When it became clear to John Fox that Jake Delhomme was nothing more than a backup, it immediately became clear to him that it was time to cut him loose.

"When you've been loyal to a guy for [seven] years and you've got to show support for the [new] guy who's starting, it's hard to remain in that situation after [seven] years of loyalty," Fox said. "It's just that for the rest of your football team, it gets a little discomforting."

It would be like watching your General get demoted to Sergeant -- It creates a confusion among the men whom he used to lead, because he's no longer in charge and it's time to look to the new guy.

It's the same reason why we've never seen a head coach demoted and one of his assistants promoted. It creates a power struggle that would be difficult for any team to handle.

It was made easier, however, by the fact that Delhomme didn't appear ready to take a backseat.

"I had to decide if I still wanted to still try to compete or if I wanted to hold a clipboard," Delhomme said. "I wasn't ready for that. I just wasn't ready for that plain and simple. I wanted to have a chance to come in to compete and play."

Delhomme will now get that chance in Cleveland as it's fairly clear that he is the starter and Seneca Wallace is the backup. The Browns could draft someone in the first round, but even still, they have obviously brought in Delhomme as a stop-gap and would let any young guy sit behind him for at least a year before handing him the reigns.

It's always a touchy subject when a quarterback gets to the point where his coach doesn't feel he can start, but in this case, it looks like Fox did what was best for Delhomme and the Panthers.

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