Delhomme: "Plays are there to be made"

Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme said it's up to the players, not the coaches, to turn around the team's second-half scoring drought. Delhomme refuted the idea that the Panthers coaching staff is slow to make changes at halftime, despite the fact that in each of the last two games they've scored 14 points in the first half and none in the second.

This week, the Panthers will look to turn things around when they host Tampa Bay on Monday night.

"If somebody says we're not making adjustments at the half, I have a word for that -- I just can't say it on camera," Delhomme said. "You either play well or you don't play well. That's just how it is. You can make a strategic adjustment, but just doing your job better is the most important adjustment. You catch better. You tackle better.

"Plays are there to be made. We just haven't made them. We need to be more consistent in that area. Players play and coaches coach. When you're on the field, you either get it done or you don't.

"It's black and white. You play great, you win. You don't play well enough, you lose. That's how our game goes. That's how the grading scale should be, pass or fail. We've passed four times. We've failed four times."

Coach John Fox echoed those words.

"We've just got to make plays," Fox said. "It doesn't matter if it's the second half, first half, first down, second down or third down. We've just got to improve our skill level, and that's been the focus."

Wide receiver Steve Smith said after Carolina's 35-14 loss to Dallas that one of the reasons why the team is losing is because "when we get up 14 points, sometimes we act like it's a hundred points."

Delhomme doesn't believe that's the fault of offensive coordinator Dan Henning.

"Two weeks ago (against Cincinnati) we had some opportunities," Delhomme said. "We just didn't get it done. Our possessions were limited in Cincinnati, but when we had a chance, we didn't get it done. It's something we need to work on, to try and put up some more points."

Carolina's lack of production on offense has led to its late-game collapses.

The Panthers have taken a lead into the fourth quarter in seven of eight games this season, and yet they're 4-4, having blown three of those leads.


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