That is the thing most Panther fans forget. Most Coaches are conservative at heart. Especially when you have a Defense like we have. "Give yourself a chance to win, and things will work out".
That was fine back in the day. Nowadays, with a talent like Cam, you have to take advantage of that.
I guess what I am trying to say is. With a healthy Stewy, and our improved WR corp, there really is no reason not to let Cam be what he appears to be. One whale of a QB. Let him be what he is. Let him lead this team. Give him the opportunity to show what he can do.
It has been said that he is in the room when game planning. Let that translate to the field. Allow him to call what he sees. We have the talent around him to let that transpire. Throw when you see it, run when that is an option. Quit limiting one of the singular talents the league has ever seen.
To me, that is what it comes down to. Let Cam be Cam. Give him the freedom to call what he sees. Don't limit the best just because you want to be safe. Let him lead. Let him take this team where it deserves to go.
Man I hate Cuervo. I ramble.
Well, it's good rambling. I can sign on to pretty much all of that.
If you look at the way the team approached last season, you'll notice they concentrated a fair amount on the run game. In this case, a run game which included (some would say was powered by) our quarterback. The passing game was there and decent, but it was the run game that was the engine of the offense. And on the other side, an attacking, smothering defense.
Now, if you think back about ten years or so, that style of play might seem familiar.
It's what the Atlanta Falcons of the early 2000s used when Vick was at his peak with them. Their run game, Vick included, was deadly. The pass game - at its best - was complementary but hardly frightening.
So now that we have a quarterback who can beat teams with his legs, here we were last season using a similar approach.
Aaaaand honestly, I'm not in favor of that
The Falcons taking that approach was understandable, even wise when you think about it. Vick was an amazing runner, but a mediocre passer. Teams knew the best game plan against the Falcons was to concentrate on the run and force Vick to throw. Hence, the 'mush rush' by many, except the Bucs who always used heavy pressure to flush Vick to his right where he wasn't as effective.
Still, the run game was so good that even when teams did their best to take it away, they didn't always succeed.
So now, we take a similar path because we have a quarterback with a similar profile, right?
Cool, except we don't
Cam Newton is, in only his fourth year, a better passer than Michael Vick was even in his best years. Yes, he's also a great runner and it's wise to use that quality and/or the threat of it. But in the process, let's not get unbalanced too far toward the run.
Now I'd imagine the coaches know this, so perhaps it's just been the lack of a deep receiving corps that's forced them into that approach. It seems more logical when you think about it. Newton, although sometimes lacking consistency, is still a good passer, but of course someone has to catch the ball.
Truthfully though, the reason behind why we went that route last year doesn't really matter.
The bottom line for me is that I don't want to see us looking that way again this coming season.
With a deeper receiving corps, another year under Newton's belt and a super-talented mega-tall receiver as a target, there's no reason why we shouldn't air it out as much as anybody. Rivera's preference has always been to be able to attack teams any way we choose, and that's exactly what I want to see in the year ahead.
I can tell you that one day at camp it was painfully obvious that Cam didn't have a good night, to the point of being called out by Ryan Kalil. Cam wasn't calling out plays during warmups and was moping around, so Kalil called him out on it. I understand it, I have had bad nights where I haven't wanted to go to work. It sucks sometimes. But as you get older and more experienced in your profession, you learn to put things aside and realize every day, every moment on the practice field counts. Its time to work.
Cam will get there, I have no doubt.
Factors in too that Delhomme was 28 and had been in the NFL for a while when he took over in Carolina. Newton's having to grow into the role.
I'd worry if I didn't see him doing that, but happily, I do.