sunny.png
Sunday February 23rd, 2020 9:17PM

Interim coach Fewell to lead Panthers against Falcons

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ATLANTA (AP) — Former Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White says he tells players, “You're always being evaluated, whether you're winning or losing.”

The same is true for NFL coaches.

Panthers interim coach Perry Fewell begins his audition for the full-time position when Carolina visits Atlanta, where Falcons coach Dan Quinn's status is uncertain, on Sunday.

“It gives me an opportunity to prove it, and it gives our players an opportunity to prove it,” said Fewell, who took over for the fired Ron Rivera on Tuesday. “That’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to go out and prove that we can win a football game this Sunday, and then we will move to the next objective."

The Falcons (3-9) have been eliminated from playoff contention. Quinn took the Falcons to the Super Bowl in 2016 and another playoff berth the following year. This season will be his second straight with a losing record.

White, the Falcons' all-time leader in receptions, will be inducted into the team's Ring of Honor on Sunday. His 11 seasons with Atlanta included Quinn's 2015 debut season.

“I think Dan is a good coach," White said Wednesday. “I really have respect for him and the things he's done for our organization."

White is an assistant coach at Johns Creek High School in the Atlanta area. He said he has “zero" interest in becoming an NFL coach. One reason is the instability of what he said is “a win-now league."

The latest example of impatience came when Panthers owner David Tepper fired Rivera, who has the most wins of any coach in Carolina history (76-63-1 in the regular season).

Fewell was Carolina's secondary coach before being named interim coach. Four straight losses left the Panthers (5-7) on the brink of elimination from the playoff race and prompted Tepper to move on from Rivera so he could begin searching for the next coach.

Fewell was interim coach in Buffalo in 2009.

“It helps that I’ve done this before," he said. “I have this experience, so I know where to go, what to do and how to do it.”

Quinn has been unable to fix such nagging problems as a poor running game, leaky protection for quarterback Matt Ryan and an inconsistent pass rush. Ryan was sacked nine times in last week's 26-18 loss to New Orleans.

One of Atlanta's few 2019 highlights was a 29-3 win at Carolina on Nov. 17, leaving Quinn 7-2 in the series.

The Falcons hope that sweeping the season series with the Panthers could be the start of a strong finish to a disappointing season. It's not known if that would be enough to save Quinn's job.

NEW TURNER IN CHARGE

Buried in the news of Rivera's firing was that Tepper promoted quarterbacks coach Scott Turner to offensive coordinator and play caller. Turner replaces his father, Norv, who was removed from the role and will serve as assistant to the head coach. There won't likely be wholesale changes to the Panthers' offense, but Scott Turner will hope to be more successful than his dad in the red zone. Carolina's struggles near the goal line were a big factor in four losses this season.

HOPE FOR JULIO

Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones returned to practice this week after missing last week's game with a shoulder injury. It was the first game Jones missed since 2016. He hasn't had a touchdown catch since Week 3. Jones' expected return would come one week after running back Devonta Freeman made his return after missing two games with a sprained foot.

ALLEN REMAINS AT QB

Fewell announced season-ending foot surgery for Cam Newton this week. There has been no talk of playing third-round draft pick Will Grier, and Fewell said the Panthers will stick with second-year quarterback Kyle Allen against Atlanta. Allen is 5-5 as a starter, but has lost five of his last six starts. He threw four interceptions and was sacked five times in last month's loss to the Falcons.

STILL UPBEAT

Ryan said the Falcons haven't given up on the season. “I think the mindset has been good," he said. “We’ve got a good group of guys in this building that are committed to one another and committed to trying to play well for one another."

RUN DEFENSE

The Panthers' poor run defense helped lead to Rivera's exit. Defensive coordinator Eric Washington is expected to take over the play calls against Atlanta with some input from Fewell. Significant improvement may be difficult with defensive tackles Dontari Poe and Kawann Short on injured reserve. The Panthers are allowing 137.5 yards per game on the ground and have surrendered a league-high 22 touchdowns rushing. That could be good news for Freeman, who is still looking for his first rushing TD of the season. Carolina has also allowed 18 run plays of 20 or more yards.

___

AP Sports Writer Steve Reed in Charlotte, North Carolina, contributed to this report.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
United's Kirby to take over for CEO Oscar Munoz
United Airlines says company president Scott Kirby will succeed CEO Oscar Munoz next May
1:26PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Paris police use tear gas amid strike over pension reform
Extremist activists are causing trouble on the sidelines of a mass march through Paris against the government’s plan to reform the retirement system
1:21PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Cowboys DT Antwaun Woods arrested on drug, tampering charges
Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Antwaun Woods has been arrested on charges of possession of marijuana and tampering with evidence
12:57PM ( 45 minutes ago )
Reds, Moustakas complete $64 million, 4-year deal
The Reds have completed a $64 million, four-year deal with former second baseman Mike Moustakas
12:56PM ( 46 minutes ago )
Playoff spot on line for No. 5 Utah in Pac-12 title game
The Pac-12 championship game has been mostly an afterthought for the rest of the country the past two seasons with the conference largely out of contention when it comes to the all-important playoff
11:56AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Six rookie QBs have already earned wins this season
Tom Brady and Drew Brees are pursuing Peyton Manning's NFL record for most touchdown passes in league history while rookie Devlin Hodges is chasing Ed Rubbert for most wins to start a career by an undrafted rookie quarterback
3:10AM ( 10 hours ago )
Showdown of NFL's next generation of QBs: Jackson Vs Allen
The Lamar Jackson-led Baltimore Ravens travel to play Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills in what is being considered a showdown of the NFL's `next generation' of quarterbacks
7:55PM ( 17 hours ago )
Lions QB Blough to honor Tyler Trent with special shoes
Detroit Lions quarterback David Blough is planning to honor Tyler Trent with a special pair of shoes
7:06PM ( 18 hours ago )
AP Online Football
Georgia GOP Rep Tom Graves to retire
Georgia Republican Rep
12:21PM ( 1 hour ago )
Temple, Dinwiddie pace Nets to easy win over Hawks
Garrett Temple scored a season-high 27 points and Spencer Dinwiddie had 18 of his 24 point in the second half as the Brooklyn Nets coasted to a 130-118 win over the Atlanta Hawks
11:17PM ( 14 hours ago )
No. 7 Baylor women rebound from 1st loss 72-38 over Georgia
Queen Egbo had 20 points and 11 rebounds as No
11:13PM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Online - Georgia News
Panthers QB Newton to have surgery on foot next week
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will have surgery on his injured left foot next week
3:45PM ( 21 hours ago )
Prescott: No time for talk, Cowboys need to beat Bears
The Dallas Cowboys have lost six of nine since a 3-0 start, and all star quarterback Dak Prescott cares about is finding a way to win consistently again
1:38PM ( 1 day ago )
Rhule, Riley take much different paths to Big 12 title game
Baylor coach Matt Rhule and Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley took over their teams under drastically different circumstances
12:23PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - NFL
Georgia college pays $145,000 to settle anthem protest case
Kennesaw State University's decision to remove its cheerleaders from the field after they protested police brutality during the national anthem has cost Georgia taxpayers $145,000 in a legal settlement
1:40PM ( 2 minutes ago )
United's Kirby to take over for CEO Oscar Munoz
United Airlines says company president Scott Kirby will succeed CEO Oscar Munoz next May
1:26PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Paris police use tear gas amid strike over pension reform
Extremist activists are causing trouble on the sidelines of a mass march through Paris against the government’s plan to reform the retirement system
1:21PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Chamillionaire wants to add diversity to tech space
When Grammy award-winning rapper Hakeem “Chamillionaire” Seriki began learning the ropes of venture capitalism in the tech space, he says he didn't see many people who looked like him
1:17PM ( 26 minutes ago )