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Make or break year for Shula (I hope)

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Posted

All I know is that I sat through games last year where I wanted to puke watching our offense (Dolphins game, Falcons game, both Saints games, 49ers game, etc.) and it was largely due to the playcalling. You see other coordinators call rollout plays, RB draws, creative screens, double move routes, etc. while Shula ran the most basic plays. There is a reason why we struggled against even above average defenses because Shula is just not that good of a coordinator. Like someone said earlier, there is a reason he has sucked everywhere he has gone. Don't get me wrong, I get that we want a conservative offense, but it was one point where we were struggling to get first downs. If it weren't for Cam's amazing runs, our offense would be complete poo. That is just my take on the subject.

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Posted

No team is perfect at every position. But you can't tell me a team that has Newton, Smith, Tolbert, Olsen, Williams, Gross, Kalil, Ginn is average on offensive talent. Cam alone would make any offense average. Throw in the solid vets around him and the offensive talent was very much above average.

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Cam of last year was not Cam of 2011 going nuts with subpar talent. Cam was over conservative at times and still growing, which is exactly what he needed to do to complement our defense. And could we have gotten more out of that talent? Sure. But it might have been the difference between the 12th best offense vs 18th in scoring. We weren't going to set any records no matter who was at the helm.

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Posted

We were top ten in every meaningful stat besides yardage.

Shula is not a hindrance.

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Posted

Scheming and playcalling. Our talent was sufficient and the line performed quite well. The Patriots high ranked offense didn't have ANY receivers (when Amendola was injured which was most of the year) and all of a sudden you see a guy named Julian Edelman eating up chunks of yards where Wes Welker used to be.

But we weren't lacking talent that's not accurate.

Cam is not Tom Brady

Yet

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Posted

There is a reason why we struggled against even above average defenses because Shula is just not that good of a coordinator.

above average offenses struggle against above average defenses. it's not a coordinator problem.

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Posted

I think you are missing the big picture. The only reason we were 12-4 was largely due to the ELITE D. And i dont know about you, but I want to win the superbowl. Lets not get complacent here. 

 

If you want to beat the SEA's and SF's of the world consistently and take that next step, a vanilla unimaginative offense will not get done against other ELITE D's. 

 

Additionally, every unit of the team should strive and accept nothing less than excellence. Having an offense ranked in the bottom half of the league is not that.

both seattle and san francisco's offenses were ranked in the bottom half of the league. their elite defenses is what earned them their records.

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Posted

Cam is not Tom Brady

Yet

I didn't mean to imply that but okay.

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Posted

Lol

What great talent did we have in Rivera's first year compared to Shula?

You severely undermine / undervalue the effect of playcalling on football.

You know why fans always blame their offensive coordinator when things go wrong? Because fans are dumb. They think teams should value scoring at all costs when that can be a recipe for disaster.

In 2011 defenses didn't respect Cam at all as a passer so he started out ripping teams apart with the deep ball. But those days are long gone with Cam working on protecting the ball and the decline of Steve as a deep threat. And Ginn was not a replacement, he was a one trick pony with big catches and big drops. Teams actually respect our QB now and he has had to refine his game to eliminate the mistakes, which made his a bit over cautious at times. But he learned a lot that will help those explosive plays return this year if he gets the time in the pocket.

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Posted

Shula has been poor everywhere he has called the plays. 

 

At some point you gotta stop making excuses and do more with less. 

 

After all, that is the mark of a great playcaller. 

 

Please, stop with the Shula bashing. I personally do not like our offensive system, but it has been successful in all but one area. - the red zone. That is not due to Shula, but rather the lack of proper personnel he had to work with in the red zone. All the successful teams have 4+ red zone threats in the passing game. The Panthers had 2 options in the red zone - Greg Olsen and Brandon LaFell. LaFell sucked in the red zone. Defenses never played the back half of the end zone due to this and stacked up on Cam and Tolbert. Don't believe me? Go check the Panthers - 49ers playoff game if you have any questions.

 

Panthers were top 5 in time of possession, 3rd down conversions, and 4th down conversions. That shows they moved the ball better than most of the NFL.

 

Once you realize this, all of what the Panthers are doing in the off-season shows a big offensive improvement. The Panthers now have 4+ red zone threats in Kelvin Benjamin, Jerricho Cotchery, Greg Olsen, and Ed Dickson. Add the possibility of Marcus Lucas and Brandon Williams. Toss in a passing game guru in John Ramsdell. Now the running game opens up in the red zone and you toss in a healthy Jonathan Stewart with Cam Newton and Mike Tolbert.

 

When it comes to 1st down conversions with the run game in the NFL over the past 3 seasons, Cam Newton is #1 in the NFL all 3 seasons with over a 40% 1st down conversion per running attempt each season. Mike Tolbert was #2 in the NFL in 2013, and in Cam's first season Jonathan Stewart was #2 in the NFL. Of all NFL players, only 8 have come out with a 30%+ first down/rush conversion rate in the past 3 seasons. The Panthers own 5 of those 8 spots.

 

Make the defenses play the back of the end zone, and the Panthers have a nightmare for defenses with the Panthers running game.

 

This may arguably be the best red zone offense in the NFL now.

 

I still don't like the offensive scheme, but it has worked, it has been improved, and it will be a monster to stop.

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Posted

So those terrible wide receivers of ours are still on the market right?

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Posted

above average offenses struggle against above average defenses. it's not a coordinator problem.

 

But we weren't above average. We were a below average offense. Again, I'm not quitting on Shula yet because he really didn't have a lot to work with. But if we want to contend for and win some superbowls (which is the ultimate goal) we are going to have to be dominant in either passing or rushing. Seattle and San Fran both were ranked 3rd and 4th (respectively) in rushing and their QB wasn't the one with most of their rushing yards. Hopefully Shula can open the playbook up more now that our offense is getting healthier.

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Posted

My main problem with Shula last year was that he gave up on what was working. During our midseason win streak, he was calling tons of short and mid range passing plays which Cam was nailing because our receivers were able to get open off the line. Then to end the season and into the playoffs, that got abandoned. He went back to slow developing routes which sputtered out and ended drives.

 

Whether that was actually Shula's play calling, or Cam wanting to force the big play, I'm not sure. But it was shades of Fox's "I know we just had record breaking rushing season, but let's have Delhomme pass it 50 times in Arizona" 2008.

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