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This team would be absolutely scary with this "happy medium"


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#1 PiratePanther189

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 05:00 PM

I got a text from a good buddy of mine and he asked me if he thought that we would beat NO at home because he's in some league that makes picks on games for money or something. He's a Bostonian, so he doesn't see much Panther football.

 

Anyway, I told him we rarely get swept by the Saints, and that we will split. In fact we're .500 against them in the dome (4-4), and 3-4 against them at the Bank, since the Brees-Payton era. The Saints don't own us, we don't own the Saints. It's a pretty even rivalry no matter either team's situation.

 

In any case it got us talking about the Panthers, and I basically came upon this conclusion offensively. Our shortcomings in the secondary will cause us to get in shootouts with potent offenses.

 

People have almost grown accustomed to saying this season that our offense is not able to play in shootouts, but my question is why? Why has Shula built this offense to be so one-sided? We have shown that we can effectively run a ball controlled offense, but Cam and this EXACT same offensive talent last year and the year before under Chud showed that we can ALSO effectively go vertical and put up some serious points.

 

So, this is my hypothesis. Why don't we find that happy medium? If we can find that mix between what Chud did and what Shula does every game, we could basically be the best team in the NFL. Think about it. If we sped it up and went for the big play (which the offense can certainly do) on certain drives, but also slowed down and played smash mouth Fox/Shula ball on certain drives (which the offense can certainly do), we would be able to win any type of game.

 

Shula has shown us this season that he typically is a much more controlled situational play caller than Chud was, and he's also shown that he has some very similar formations and schemes that Chud ran the past 2 years, but he rarely pulls them out. We can score points, the talent hasn't changed for the most part. We have the same offensive linemen, the same running backs, the receiving core has gotten more unique (not necessarily better but also not worse), what's the issue?

 

I think that Shula tried to completely eliminate that "let loose" style that Chud ran, but the fact is that it didn't need to be eliminated. It just needs to be toned down, and it needs to be more controlled situationally (like the offense during the December win streak last year).



#2 joemac

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 05:05 PM

Its because our wide receivers suck...and our online can't protect long enough to give Cam time.

#3 PhillyB

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 05:05 PM

we don't have the personnel for a happy medium. the best we can do at this point is maximize our strengths and try to out-scheme our deficiencies. nine times out of thirteen it works.



#4 PiratePanther189

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 05:12 PM

I think that we've gotten so predictable scheme-wise that defenses have called our bluff. I really don't think it's all talent. What's different about the talent? This offense was Olsen, Smitty, LaFell, D-Will, Stewart in 2011 and then toss in Tolbert in 2012, and we've utilized him better in 2013. After the first few drives of this ball control crap, we have to give Cam the opportunity to throw the ball to his strengths. I really don't think that we do that. Play calling has to vary more...plenty of teams have bad offensive lines, but I think Cam has been coached out of throwing to his strengths. He is one of the best passers on the run in the league, and he's great at improvising. He isn't very good at constantly throwing timing routes in the pocket. It's not that he can't do these things period, but he certainly can't do it for 4 quarters.

 

The success comes when you allow Cam to make plays by improvising and throwing down field every few plays like he did as a rookie, and by mixing that in with what we do now, that's the happy medium that I'm referring to



#5 Peppers90 NC

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 05:24 PM

our offense is supposed to keep our defense off the field as much as possible.  maybe we could score a bunch quick, but for as good as our defense has been, ball control has helped tremendously. 



#6 Delhommey

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 06:01 PM

I got a text from a good buddy of mine and he asked me if he thought that we would beat NO at home because he's in some league that makes picks on games for money or something. He's a Bostonian, so he doesn't see much Panther football.

 

Anyway, I told him we rarely get swept by the Saints, and that we will split. In fact we're .500 against them in the dome (4-4), and 3-4 against them at the Bank, since the Brees-Payton era. The Saints don't own us, we don't own the Saints. It's a pretty even rivalry no matter either team's situation.

 

In any case it got us talking about the Panthers, and I basically came upon this conclusion offensively. Our shortcomings in the secondary will cause us to get in shootouts with potent offenses.

 

People have almost grown accustomed to saying this season that our offense is not able to play in shootouts, but my question is why? Why has Shula built this offense to be so one-sided? We have shown that we can effectively run a ball controlled offense, but Cam and this EXACT same offensive talent last year and the year before under Chud showed that we can ALSO effectively go vertical and put up some serious points.

 

So, this is my hypothesis. Why don't we find that happy medium? If we can find that mix between what Chud did and what Shula does every game, we could basically be the best team in the NFL. Think about it. If we sped it up and went for the big play (which the offense can certainly do) on certain drives, but also slowed down and played smash mouth Fox/Shula ball on certain drives (which the offense can certainly do), we would be able to win any type of game.

 

Shula has shown us this season that he typically is a much more controlled situational play caller than Chud was, and he's also shown that he has some very similar formations and schemes that Chud ran the past 2 years, but he rarely pulls them out. We can score points, the talent hasn't changed for the most part. We have the same offensive linemen, the same running backs, the receiving core has gotten more unique (not necessarily better but also not worse), what's the issue?

 

I think that Shula tried to completely eliminate that "let loose" style that Chud ran, but the fact is that it didn't need to be eliminated. It just needs to be toned down, and it needs to be more controlled situationally (like the offense during the December win streak last year).

 

We did "let loose" this year. The result? A 22-6 loss.

 

Smith is no longer a speed demon or a deep threat and there is no second pass catching tight end. The only back we have with any burst is our FB. If we "opened it up" the result would be a deathly amount of sacks and turn overs as we don't have any speedy playmakers (that can catch a football with regularity).



#7 PiratePanther189

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 06:23 PM

We did "let loose" this year. The result? A 22-6 loss.

 

Smith is no longer a speed demon or a deep threat and there is no second pass catching tight end. The only back we have with any burst is our FB. If we "opened it up" the result would be a deathly amount of sacks and turn overs as we don't have any speedy playmakers (that can catch a football with regularity).

 

Yes, but see this is exactly my point. It's not about JUST controlling the ball a la Fox or JUST letting loose and going all vertical a la Chud. That's the title of my thread.

 

Your example is good because I can take the game you referenced (Arizona, a good defense), and compare it to another good defense. You said:

 

"If we "opened it up" the result would be a deathly amount of sacks and turn overs as we don't have any speedy playmakers (that can catch a football with regularity)."

 

Exactly. If all we did was open the flood gates, the Arizona game becomes a reality because ALL teams would do is drop into coverage.

 

But, If all we do is conservatively nickle and dime, the New Orleans game becomes a constant reality.

 

What if we did both situationally? The prime example of a team that mixes Fox ball with a high powered attack is John Fox's team, Denver. You can say all you want that they have Manning, they have this, they have that. I don't buy that. We have Cam. We have a quarterback that can throw and run. We aren't using him correctly in the passing game. We have receivers that can catch when necessary. I don't think we always use them correctly either.

 

My point is, neither one work when you only do one or the other. But, I think that we have the opportunity to do both. The talent on our offense is no different. You can say that Steve can't beat defenses anymore, but he doesn't necessarily have to all the time, and I think he still has the ability to make plays (Janoris Jenkins TD).

 

What about Olsen on the seam? That's worked (Green Bay Game 2011)

What about LaFell on the deep post? That's worked despite his weaknesses (Tampa Game 2011)

You can say that Ginn can't catch, but he's still made plays down the field and he's great in space. (NE Game, Buffalo Game)

 

Mix that in with Cam rolling out, throwing on the run, and then also our running attack balanced in. I mean come on, it sounds so easy and possibly too easy, but we literally have not balanced our play calling as much as the stats say. It's all underneath in the passing game and I think we're doing ourselves a diservice



#8 Growl

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 06:27 PM

we don't have the personnel for a happy medium. the best we can do at this point is maximize our strengths and try to out-scheme our deficiencies. nine times out of thirteen it works.


i'd argue it took Shula time to get a feel for his offensive personnel and that can't be counted in that 9 of 13.


I'd also argue it Shula far longer than it should have to get that feel.

#9 CatMan72

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 06:36 PM

We had one of the most explosive offenses in the league in 2011 and 2012 with basically the same personnel + a guy like Ginn who is clearly capable of stretching the field... so the only real change is the guy up in the booth with the headset. 

 

It's a point of emphasis thing, you either practice to be an explosive offense or you don't - you can't just decide to flip the switch in the middle of a game regardless of your personnel. 

 

Shula's point of emphasis is to use a more balanced, conservative approach and it's hard to argue with the results thus far... but Sunday night was an example of when we could have used some of that explosive offense back. 

 

At this point, we are who we are and it's not a bad thing... right now we're projected to be a WC team and a defense + a running game (which needs some work) travels much better than an explosive offense - so I can live with that. 



#10 Fox007

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 07:05 PM

We have only had 1 off season with a real gm...I've said it before and I'll say it again. We still need to address the offensive side of the ball...and we will.

 

Smitty has to be relegated to the slot and that leaves literally nothing on the outside except a few #3 wrs.....Lafell is a damn fine #3...just need a #1 and probably another solid #2 for when Smitty retires.....Ginn is not an answer at WR IMO.

 

 

 

 



#11 Zod

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 07:24 PM

Pair a sub par offensive line with passing plays that need 4 seconds to develop.

 

The result?

 

 

The Panthers offense.

 

Thank god for Cam being such a tough bastard to bring down or this team would be looking at 6 wins.



#12 AvatarBlock

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 07:41 PM

Its because our wide receivers suck...and our online can't protect long enough to give Cam time.

 

O-line isn't good, but it isn't as atrocious as people on here make it seem. At least two of those sacks against the Saints were due to Cam holding on to the ball for too long. He needs to start running or throw it away earlier. That said, the right side of the o-line needs to be addressed this offseason.

 

EDIT: There was also at least one sack where Cam didn't step up in the pocket and the tackle did his job. Like I said, o-line isn't good but there are times when Cam isn't helping them.



#13 top dawg

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 07:55 PM

As for me, I am still skeptical of Shula. I am still wondering how the offense can take such a marked step backwards. Offensively from this year to last, we look like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. As far as I am concerned, Shula's ball control offense in regards to Cam Newton is a small control offense. Shula is thinking small. Sure, he may be limiting opportunities for mistakes, but he is limiting opportunities to maximize Newton's skills in the process. I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt, however, and hope that it's all a building process that will lead to opening up the offense next year, as Cam will have more experience under his belt, and more playmakers to target.



#14 chknwing

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 07:58 PM

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#15 chris999

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 08:55 PM

I think that we've gotten so predictable scheme-wise that defenses have called our bluff. I really don't think it's all talent. What's different about the talent? This offense was Olsen, Smitty, LaFell, D-Will, Stewart in 2011 and then toss in Tolbert in 2012, and we've utilized him better in 2013. After the first few drives of this ball control crap, we have to give Cam the opportunity to throw the ball to his strengths. I really don't think that we do that. Play calling has to vary more...plenty of teams have bad offensive lines, but I think Cam has been coached out of throwing to his strengths. He is one of the best passers on the run in the league, and he's great at improvising. He isn't very good at constantly throwing timing routes in the pocket. It's not that he can't do these things period, but he certainly can't do it for 4 quarters.

 

The success comes when you allow Cam to make plays by improvising and throwing down field every few plays like he did as a rookie, and by mixing that in with what we do now, that's the happy medium that I'm referring to

 

I basically agree with you, but the truth is that Ginn and LaFell are just average, and we actually have been lobbing it downfield quite randomly in every drive... but Ginn and LaFell and even Smith are dropping them more often than not.

 

We really need a powerhouse WR in this next draft. Having someone who can punish the defense down field will really open up much more of our playbook like last year.




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