Is Fox trying to stick it to Panthers’ ownership by starting St. Pierre?

ST. LOUIS - OCTOBER 31: Head coach John Fox of the Carolina Panthers looks on from the sidelines against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on October 31, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Panthers 20-10. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

The only reason to start 31-year-old Brian St. Pierre over a rookie in the middle of a losing season is to stick it to management. And that’s exactly what I think Panthers’ lameduck head coach John Fox is trying to do.

Fox announced Thursday that it’ll be St. Pierre and not rookie Tony Pike starting this Sunday against the Ravens. There were probably many reasons not to start Pike (he’s not ready, he had a bad week in practice, the Ravens will literally eat him alive) but there is one very good reason to start him: Why the hell not?

Nine years ago a sixth round pick by the name of Tom Brady became a full-time starter in just his second season when veteran Drew Bledsoe fell victim to an injury. I think we all know how that turned out.

It’s very unlikely that Pike is the next Brady but how would anyone know unless he played? Had Fox elected to start the former Cincinnati product this Sunday, maybe Pike would have surprised and the Panthers could have the opportunity to see him play more this season.

Or maybe he would have thrown four interceptions in the first half and St. Pierre would have played anyway. Who knows? The point is that the ever-conservative Fox decided against playing a rookie with upside so that he can start a guy that has bounced around the NFL for eight seasons. St. Pierre has thrown a total of five passes in just two games over his career and if any team thought he could be a starting quarterback, then he would have had an opportunity by now.

Fox is on his way out of Carolina, so maybe he wants to ensure that his front office won’t have the opportunity to evaluate players that may beat him down the road. If that’s the case, then it’s a pretty unprofessional move by Fox, who has done some good things in Carolina but has mostly been a guy that has gotten by via smoke and mirrors.

And actually, let’s hope Fox is trying to stick it to management. Because if he wants to land a head coaching job again someday, he’ll have to explain why he decided to start a quarterback with no future over a rookie draft pick in the middle of a youth movement.

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