Carolina Panthers changing it up against the Saints

For the second week in a row the Carolina Panthers are having to make changes to their offensive signals due to the familiarity of the opposing defense. Last week many signal changes were made against the Bills with Sean McDermott. The same will be done this week as the Panthers prepare to face middle linebacker AJ Klein.

Rivera commented on this to the New Orleans media recently.

“We’ve worked on changing them since last year because we had so many guys leave and we ended up playing them,” Rivera said Wednesday in a teleconference. “We had to make some adjustments with Buffalo, obviously. We made adjustments for New Orleans.”

AJ Klein spent the last four seasons with the Carolina Panthers and played well as Luke Kuechly’s backup. Last season, during Kuechly’s extended absence, Klein received more reps than a typical backup linebacker would. It is this experience facing the Mike Shula offense day in and day out that poses a problem for the Carolina Panthers. As middle linebacker, AJ Klein will be responsible for the Saints’ defensive play calls and adjustments at the line.

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Klein also has been giving advice to the New Orleans Saints offense, but is downplaying his help in that area.

“I know the defense they have there and what they try to do,” Klein said. “But Drew Brees has been going against this defense for how many years and he knows it probably just as good as I do.”

There is not much the Carolina Panthers can do about Klein’s knowledge of their defense, but you can safely expect changes to be made on offense. As such, the Panthers will change up their terminology and hand signals to compensate. With the Panthers offense struggling to score already this season, this could play a role in the game at some point, especially in the red zone when clear communication is most important.

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Jeremy Igo is owner of Carolina Huddle. Based in Charlotte, he has covered the Carolina Panthers for over a decade.