On Saturday, the Michigan Panthers fell further into the hole in the North Division, dropping to 1-5 after a 34-17 loss to the undefeated Birmingham Stallions. The game was a must-win for the Panthers as they were surprisingly only one game back from the North’s second playoff spot after last weekend’s games.
The season seems to be lost for the Jeff Fisher-led Panthers as they are two games out of second place with four games left to play. With the season likely lost, it may be time for the Panthers to try something new at quarterback. Especially after releasing Shea Patterson on Wednesday.
Last week, the Panthers made an under-the-radar move and signed former Eastern Washington quarterback, Eric Barriere. Barriere was one of college football’s most underrated quarterbacks throughout his career, passing for 13809 yards and 121 touchdowns. Amazingly, Barriere only threw 29 interceptions and added 1585 yards and 22 touchdowns on the ground. However, in almost criminal fashion, Eric Barriere did not make a single college all-star game.
In his senior season, Barriere threw for 5070 yards and 46 touchdowns on his way to earning the Walter Payton Award as the FCS’ best offensive player. With a pedigree like that, the Panthers may have gotten the steal of the season.
Nearly every team in the USFL has had turnover at quarterback and with a 1-5 record, and the Panthers are no different. Now, with Shea Patterson gone, Barriere looks just as good as the Panthers’ other options available.
Paxton Lynch and Josh Love have looked unimpressive in the brief amount of playing time they’ve received this season. Given the system at EWU, which has produced gunslingers like Vernon Adams and Bo Levi Mitchell, along with Cooper Kupp, Barriere may be better suited to keep the Panthers in games than those two.
The Panthers do not have much to lose and should be willing to try anything. A change at quarterback may be the spark the team needs to make a frantic run for the North division’s second playoff spot.