|Panthers face unlikely QB controversy: Testaverde vs. Carr|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 16 October 2007 08:29|
Nobody thought it would involve 43-year-old Vinny Testaverde.
When asked Tuesday who would start Carolina's next game, coach John Fox signaled it was an open competition between David Carr and Testaverde.
``I think right now we're going to evaluate it as we go,'' Fox said. ``I think it's good to have options. We didn't have these same options a week ago or really the last couple of weeks. I'm not going to commit to it now.''
Carr, a five-year starter in Houston, was signed in the offseason to back up Jake Delhomme. Many thought Carr would eventually challenge for Delhomme's job.
Instead, Carr took over after Delhomme's season-ending elbow injury in Week 3. Then when Carr hurt his back in a win over New Orleans, the Panthers signed Testaverde last week as insurance.
Testaverde, who turns 44 next month and hadn't picked up a ball since he was released by New England before the season, learned enough of the offense in four days to lead the Panthers to a 25-10 win over Arizona on Sunday after Carr was unable to play.
Testaverde completed 20 of 33 passes for 206 yards, including the go-ahead 65-yard touchdown pass to Steve Smith in the fourth quarter. Testaverde didn't throw an interception and the Panthers had no turnovers.
The Panthers appeared to be more efficient on offense with Testaverde than they were the previous two weeks with Carr, making it possible Testaverde could start even if Carr is healthy when the Panthers face Indianapolis on Oct. 28.
Heading into their bye week, Fox has nearly two weeks to decide.
``A lot of it is going to be based on what we see at practice and whoever gives us the best chance to win,'' Fox said.
Players were off on Tuesday, but Testaverde said a day earlier he hasn't been told if he'll start against the Colts.
``Whatever the decision is, I'm here to help in any way I can,'' Testaverde said. ``Whether it's as the starting quarterback or as a backup or whatever the case may be.''
Carr has completed 51 percent of his passes, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He lost his first start against Tampa Bay, but led the Panthers to a win over the Saints a week later despite twisting his back on a sack in the first half.
The injury left the Panthers in a bad spot until Testaverde bailed them out.
``It was a great preparation performance,'' Fox said. ``I don't care about the age or anything. For anybody to do that is a huge accomplishment.
``The guy played well. It wasn't like he went out there and handed the ball off every play. If anything, we didn't execute around him very well early in that game.''
A week after Testaverde and undrafted rookie Matt Moore took most of the snaps in practice after not being with the team a month ago, Fox now has two viable options.
He'll choose between two former No. 1 overall picks. Only Testaverde went first in the draft in 1987, 15 years before Carr came out of college.
``Four days ago when I looked at practice and saw two guys that weren't with us in September, I definitely wasn't worrying about all the options we might have,'' Fox said. ``Or if there would be any options.''
Fox wouldn't say if Dan Morgan would regain his starting job at middle linebacker when he returns from a partially torn Achilles' tendon. Rookie Jon Beason has played well in his place the last two weeks.
Fox said guard Mike Wahle suffered a ``slight concussion'' against the Cardinals.