The 2011 offense got exposed. Teams were playing the read option and keeping Newton in the pocket. They doubled Smitty and played tight man on everyone else. That was different than they did last year and it showed. I don't think the offense run last year was much different than what we debuted this year.
I beg to differ:
1) Last year, we were in shotgun just over 60% of the time. This year, at least for the first 7 games, we were in shotgun closer to 85%.
2) Last year, we used 2 TE sets frequently. Early this year, we almost never used 2 TE
3) As stated by others, we relied much more heavily on read option plays early this year. Yes, we used it last year after mid-season, by not nearly as much as this year.
The first Tampa game was a perfect example of what was wrong with our offense. We were in 1/1 formations nearly the whole game, and the 1 TE was typically sent out on a pass pattern along with the 3 wide receivers. Tampa applied consistent pressure, and we didn't have enough blockers to counter. The result? We couldn't run the ball (and frankly didn't even try), and Newton was under pressure the whole game.
That type approach continued almost unabated until Hurney got fired. Then out of the blue, Chud decides maybe he should start to change things up a bit. Funny how that worked. That's why I don't know if I'll ever trust Chud completely.