Biggs: Moose says Panthers are tipping pass plays

Muhsin Muhammad thinks he’s got it figured out.

The Carolina Panthers’ passing game has been grounded because the team is tipping off its passing plays. That is what the veteran wide receiver suggested to David Scott of the Charlotte Observer. Muhammad, who was known in Chicago for routinely placing the quarterback under the bus, has an interesting take. Something has to explain for it, though. The Panthers rank 29th in the league in passing, ahead of only the New York Jets (rookie quarterback), Cleveland Browns (Derek Anderson-Brady Quinn) and you guessed it, the Oakland Raiders (Al Davis’ JaMarcus Russell).

The Panthers are averaging only 158.8 yards passing per game and Muhammad remains an aging but productive possession receiver. Steve Smith hasn’t been offering explanations for the struggles as the team’s go-to target, rather he’s chosen to say he’s no longer an asset for the organization.

“From what I've been seeing, defenses are dropping a lot more guys into coverage,” Muhammad said. “I don't know if it's based on our formations, or the quarterback's drop or what kind of keys they're getting.

“But the safeties have typically been reading and then trying to drop back into coverage and reading pass. Something is giving them a pass key and they're double-teaming the pass.

“It doesn't always start off like Cover2, but it winds up in Cover2 or some sort of man (-to-man coverage) with Cover2.”

We don’t typically buy into a lot of what Muhammad is selling, having learned from experience, but this is an thought provoking observation, and perhaps there is something to it. Clearly something isn’t right. The Panthers have a pair of good running backs in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart and Jake Delhomme simply has to perform better. We'll see what happens this afternoon vs. Buffalo.

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