Randy Fasani: Third-string quarterback to starter

With Chris Weinke suffering a concussion in Sunday's game, only rookie Randy Fasani is left for the quarterback position in this coming week's game against Tampa Bay.

Charlotte, N.C. - With Rodney Peete's knee surgery, and Chris Weinke's concussion, rookie Randy Fasani has gone from the third-string quarterback to starting quarterback almost overnight.  Fasani, the fifth round draft choice from Stanford, got into his first NFL game on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.


With Peete and Weinke out, the Panthers have been working out with some other quarterbacks and are expected to sign one soon as a precautionary measure.  Weinke's status for playing in the game on Sunday is still questionable.  However, even if he is able to play, Fasani will likely start because he has gotten the majority of the reps this week in practice.  Carolina coach John Fox is confident that after practices this week, Fasani will be much more valuable in this game.


"Obviously he's a rookie, but he's smart and he's got a lot of intangibles that I think are important," Fox said. "He does have that mobility that is helpful and I think with time he'll be a fine young player."


Fox saw potential in Fasani during the game against Atlanta on Sunday even though the Panthers were hit hard with a heavy loss.  Although Fasani only gained 58 yards in eight carries, Fox sees some budding talent.

"As far as the quarterbacks go, they're usually going to go about how your offensive line goes," Fox said. "I thought Randy stepped in a tough situation and did a good job. His mobility was very evident. He did muster about as much offense as we had."

Fasani is energized about the challenge waiting in Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  He knows going into the game that he will be facing the NFL's best defense, but he is still hopeful.


"Anybody can beat anybody in the NFL," Fasani said. "Coaches tell you that, players tell you that and it's evident when you watch the highlights on SportsCenter. You're shocked almost every week."


Fasani and the rest of the Panthers are hoping that this Sunday's shock will be that the Panthers win with their rookie quarterback.  The Buccaneers are already getting ready for the Panthers.

"Randy Fasani is a guy that can really run," said the Buccaneers' coach Jon Gruden. "He moves around well. Chris Weinke is a big guy that can throw the football. They are a little like us right now."

Fasani was actually drafted by the Panthers as a project to learn from Rodney Peete and Chris Weinke.  However, he might be the only alternative for Sunday's game. 

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