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Mike Maniscalco

Carolina's offense not suited for Newton's strengths

Posted September 14, 2013

Ron Rivera and his coaching staff have a thoroughbred running their offense, but they are using Cam Newton more like a plough horse. 

Watching teams like San Francisco, Philadelphia and Washington use their quarterbacks as weapon in an offense tailored for their ability is a joy. Watching the Panthers offense so far this year has been painful.

In the words of the great Jim Cornette, fans are getting their feelings hurt watching this.

The Panthers are in for a long season if the preseason and game one of the regular season are any indication of the offense. I know teams like keeping it basic in the preseason so as not to tip their hand and give game film to defensive coordinators around the league, but the film of this offense so far has to be giving defensive coordinators sweet dreams instead of nightmares. 

Cam Newton possesses a skill set that few signal callers have: A big arm and the ability to run over or around defenders.

There is the school of thought that the new read-option offense is going to get the most valuable player on the field injured, but the Panthers should not fear for Newton’s safety the way that the Redskins have to with RGIII, Newton is far from brittle.

Newton is a beast. At 6 feet, 5 inches and 245 pounds he will dish out as much punishment as he takes. And the thought of putting him in an up tempo offense to utilize his skills just makes too much sense.

It will also make the weapons around him better. DeAngelo Williams or any of the backs the Panthers trot out on the field would benefit (just see what LeSean McCoy did against Washington).

Steve Smith would get the ball thrown to him so much he might never complain again. Note: I said might.

Instead of being reminded of the limited weapons in the passing game, players like Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn Jr. would become threats due to the attention that Smith and Greg Olsen would receive.

And, if used properly, Newton can improv his way to better rushing numbers instead of just turning around and handing the ball to a back. 

And, most importantly, the Panthers would actually score points. Isn't that the goal anyway? 

If this team keeps trying to make Cam Newton play the position like someone he isn’t, it is hard to see this team getting better. The organization has improved the defense by tailoring schemes to the personnel, but has put its quarterback into a box with an offense not suited for him.

The Panthers would be watchable, not vanilla, and there would be something around this team that there hasn’t been in a while: excitement.

It’s probably too late for coordinator Mike Shula to install a new offense, but if head coach Ron Rivera wants to save his job, it is a risk worth taking.

If not, they will be watching the new coaching staff installing that offense around Newton next year.

13 Comments

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  • 1-WOLFPACK Sep 14, 8:56 a.m.

    I agree 100% . They need to let Cam run and scramble as he needs to. Man, we have a Great offensive lineup of players. With Newton being a Major threat to run with designed plays for him and allowing him to takeoff whenever he wants to would open up all the other players , also a couple of passes here and there to the running backs would help too . If you ever utilize this offense to its full capabilities, it would be unstopable......

  • iron fist Sep 14, 9:19 a.m.

    Why don't they just it everyone and let Cam "be" the offense that is what he seems to want anyway. I was/am hoping he will get out of the mind set it's all about Cam, that is their problem to much about Cam

  • mac240 Sep 14, 9:38 a.m.

    If the coaches haven't figured it out by now, then it's time for the coaches to go!

  • Go Lee County Sep 14, 12:08 p.m.

    ill say it since nobody else will, Cam is not smart enough to run any kind of offense. he way over rated. dumb as a box of rocks

  • I am not who you think I am Sep 14, 12:54 p.m.

    ill say it since nobody else will, Cam is not smart enough to run any kind of offense. he way... View More

    — Posted by Go Lee County

    you said what I've been thinking.......superboy just isn't all that super

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Sep 14, 2:06 p.m.

    Cam's talent doesn't go north of his shoulders, unfortunately. He's got amazing physical talent, but nothing between the ears.

  • lovepanthers Sep 14, 3:50 p.m.

    Overreact much? The passing game was too conservative, but the Panthers lost to a team many predict will be in the Super Bowl, and one of the best defenses in the NFL. Let's see what the offense looks like this week. And, for those who want to bash Cam, he completed 69% of his passes last week with 0 interceptions and ran for 38 yards on 5 carries. And, Olson had 2 big drops that likely would have led to more yards and points. Expect more deep shots this week.

    Last year when the Panthers went away from as much read option they started winning games. But, let's not let the facts get in the way of a story. In the NFL you can't run the QB every other down and expect him to last 17 weeks. Talk to me about Vick and RG3 in a few weeks when they are both out for the season. You don't see Wilson out there on designed runs all the time. He runs to get out of trouble.

  • Toddler10-21 Sep 14, 4:14 p.m.

    Agree. Cam put up good numbers, but it will always be his fault. Any other QB it wouldnt have been their fault.

  • sckinton60 Sep 14, 4:25 p.m.

    Scam just can't throw!

  • ACC22 Sep 14, 5:28 p.m.

    Ron make sure your resume is up to date!

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