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Fixing the Panthers Offense in 4 Easy Steps

Sep 09 2013 07:17 AM Zod Carolina Panthers
On paper, the Panthers offense against the Seahawks looks almost palatable.

Cam Newton threw with good accuracy, no interceptions, and a touchdown. Deangelo Williams averaged 4.75 yards per carry. If you read those statistics without watching the game you might assume the Panthers won the game.

The fact that the offense put together only 7 points has many people, myself included, scratching our heads.

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I can best explain what I believe the Panthers offense was doing in boxing terms. Keep moving and throw lots of short jabs. Protect yourself from a devastating blow. Don't wind up for a knockout punch, it may backfire. Let the match play out and hope you kept it close enough for a judges decision.

This is the type of offense that Panthers offensive coordinator is known for. An offense that drives fans crazy, but defensive head coaches enjoy. Tony Dungy liked it in Tampa. Apparently Ron Rivera likes it here. These coaches relish the opportunity for defenses to win games.

However, the Panthers in game 1 took it too far in the conservative direction.

Here are three simple ways to improve on offense that can easily be implemented.

1. Let Cam be Cam. Cam Newton is a talent that should not be wasted like his name is Dilfer. One of Cam's strengths is the accuracy of his long ball. It makes no sense to acquire Tedd Ginn, who was open for the long ball yesterday, and not throw it to him. Even if incomplete a long pass play helps our offense by forcing the safeties to drop back in coverage and giving the short game more room to work. If you don't threaten deep, you may complete passes, but you won't go anywhere. Cam Newton's career low passing yards against the Seahawks are an indication that this is the case.

2. Keep them guessing. Third downs yesterday were extremely predictable, especially in short yardage situations. Shula has a history of this. I commented in the preseason that fans should get used to seeing a run up the gut on third downs. The Panthers need to add a variety of options on third down. A QB keeper after a play fake, a short slant to Smith, a pitch to the outside, anything but run up the gut. It is a safe bet that defensive coordinators have scouted Shula's Tampa days, if yesterday's game is any indication, they have done so for good reason. His tendencies have not changed.

3. Speed it up. I don't recall one play yesterday where the Seahawk defense was rushed or needed more time to get set up correctly. This happened numerous times to the Panthers defense. Going into a hurry up mode or even a no huddle unexpectedly would be a nice left hook to the chin.

4. Impose your will. This is not a X's and O's type of solution, but more of a mind set. Taking what the defense gives you is safe, but often it is not good enough. Afterall, they are giving it to you for a reason. You are falling into their game plan trap. Instead, attack them where they feel they are safe. In boxing terms, this knocks them back on their heels and makes them question their strategy. Winning offense attack aggressively, losing offenses settle passively.

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:: before

12-7 loss to a Super Bowl contender because of a fumble on the 7 yard line and The Huddle goes bat sh*t crazy

 

Yes, this article is bat shit crazy.

 

Or... you are being overly dramatic.

 

not sure which.

Yes, this article is bat poo crazy.

Or... you are being overly dramatic.

not sure which.


Someone has to win and someone has to lose.

Just because you lose doesn't mean that your team and coaches suck.

I'm not saying your opinions are wrong but at the end of the day is writing a long story going to affect the outcome of the Panthers next game?

That lack of fast-paced offense really drives me crazy. In like 3/4th of our plays, we snap the ball just before reaching out of time.

Someone has to win and someone has to lose.

Just because you lose doesn't mean that your team and coaches suck.

I'm not saying your opinions are wrong but at the end of the day is writing a long story going to affect the outcome of the Panthers next game?

 

Brilliant.

That lack of fast-paced offense really drives me crazy. In like 3/4th of our plays, we snap the ball just before reaching out of time.

 

Makes me wonder how good our running game would look in the 4th quarter if we tired the defense out a bit more throughout the game.

On paper, the Panthers offense against the Seahawks looks almost palatable.

Cam Newton threw with good accuracy, no interceptions, and a touchdown.  Deangelo Williams averaged 4.75 yards per carry.  If you read those statistics without watching the game you might assume the Panthers won the game.

The fact that the offense put together only 7 points has many people, myself included, scratching our heads.

Deangelo-Williams-Panthers.jpg

I can best explain what I believe the Panthers offense was doing in boxing terms. Keep moving and throw lots of short jabs. Protect yourself from a devastating blow. Don't wind up for a knockout punch, it may backfire. Let the match play out and hope you kept it close enough for a judges decision.

This is the type of offense that Panthers offensive coordinator is known for. An offense that drives fans crazy, but defensive head coaches enjoy. Tony Dungy liked it in Tampa. Apparently Ron Rivera likes it here. These coaches relish the opportunity for defenses to win games.

However, the Panthers in game 1 took it too far in the conservative direction.

Here are three simple ways to improve on offense that can easily be implemented.

1. Let Cam be Cam. Cam Newton is a talent that should not be wasted like his name is Dilfer. One of Cam's strengths is the accuracy of his long ball. It makes no sense to acquire Tedd Ginn, who was open for the long ball yesterday, and not throw it to him. Even if incomplete a long pass play helps our offense by forcing the safeties to drop back in coverage and giving the short game more room to work. If you don't threaten deep, you may complete passes, but  you won't go anywhere. Cam Newton's career low passing yards against the Seahawks are an indication that this is the case.

2. Keep them guessing. Third downs yesterday were extremely predictable, especially in short yardage situations. Shula has a history of this. I commented in the preseason that fans should get used to seeing a run up the gut on third downs. The Panthers need to add a variety of options on third down. A QB keeper  after a play fake, a short slant to Smith, a pitch to the outside, anything but run up the gut. It is a safe bet that defensive coordinators have scouted Shula's Tampa days, if yesterday's game is any indication, they have done so for good reason. His tendencies have not changed.

3. Speed it up. I don't recall one play yesterday where the Seahawk defense was rushed or needed more time to get set up correctly. This happened numerous times to the Panthers defense. Going into a hurry up mode or even a no huddle unexpectedly would be a nice left hook to the chin.

4. Impose your will. This is not a X's and O's type of solution, but more of a mind set. Taking what the defense gives you is safe, but often it is not good enough. Afterall, they are giving it to you for a reason. You are falling into their game plan trap. Instead, attack them where they feel they are safe. In boxing terms, this knocks them back on their heels and makes them question their strategy. Winning offenses attack aggressively, losing offenses settle passively.

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i totally agree but i have no faith that this will happen. it goes completely against rivera and shula's natures.

 

i've got this feeling it's going to be a long season.


 

Brilliant.


Yeah, it's a simple concept but you would be surprised at the number of people that don't realize that little tidbit that I mentioned in my previous post.

I don't really like that all the blame is going on a D-will fumble.  Greg dropped passes.  We made ridiculously conservative play calls at certain points.  Our defense finally gave up a huge f'ing TD.  I mean, we just didn't get it done... the D-Will fumble may seem like the last straw but there were points in that game where we didn't even need to get to that point...

 

agreed. we should have never gotten to a point where a dwill fumble decides the game. there's no reason that with this cast of players on offense that we find the endzone only once. there's no reason that we should have only accumulated 10 points. the fact that we couldn't even get to FG range more than once is just pathetic.

Someone has to win and someone has to lose.

Just because you lose doesn't mean that your team and coaches suck.

I'm not saying your opinions are wrong but at the end of the day is writing a long story going to affect the outcome of the Panthers next game?

 

I don't think our team sucks but I'm tired of losing seasons.  We've had quite a few of them in recent memory.  I'm tired of making excuses and just accepting the zen way.  I've done that for the last several seasons, and I want to see us actually win close games.  I'm not calling for us to fire Rivera right now, but damn it, I wish I could see more fire from him.  I admit I might just be missing it/not privy to it, but it just feels like he has a lack of urgency all the damn time.

John Fox used to say to make the playoffs you win your home games and a few away games. But you MUST win your home games.

 

I don't care who we are playing, if we are at home we should win.

 

All this "Oh its ok at least we lost to a good team" crap has to change in our fan base. It shows on gamedays in the stands.

This is a common misconception people have.

The execution yesterday was just about what every team has on every sunday. No team completes every pass or plays mistake free football. All teams fumble the ball. The difference is, their offensive gameplan is such that it overcomes these issues and puts points on the board.

It was the same playing not to lose Fox ball we all grew to hate for years. Hell, even Fox has given up on Fox ball but we still think it will take us to the promised land even though the NFL has become a passing league. If we think our QB is too incompetent to play in a passing league then we need to get rid of him.

Cam had a good QBR. D-Will's YPC was good. As a whole, the execution was fine.

The strategy was not going to score us many points, that is the problem.

I don't think our team sucks but I'm tired of losing seasons. We've had quite a few of them in recent memory. I'm tired of making excuses and just accepting the zen way. I've done that for the last several seasons, and I want to see us actually win close games. I'm not calling for us to fire Rivera right now, but damn it, I wish I could see more fire from him. I admit I might just be missing it/not privy to it, but it just feels like he has a lack of urgency all the damn time.


Hey I'm with you, losing hurts... especially the way we lost.

However, I saw enough good things out of our team where I believe that this team has a future in the playoffs this year.
1. Catch the ball.
2. Catch the ball.
3. Don't fumble the ball. (Got lucky)
4. Don't fumble the ball.

Pretty fuging simple.

That lack of fast-paced offense really drives me crazy. In like 3/4th of our plays, we snap the ball just before reaching out of time.

 

i saw a couple times where we just barely got the ball snapped before time ran out. at a home game, that's inexcusable, esp. when we were told that the streamlined offense would prevent that.

I can fix their offense in one step.

1. Don't play the Seahawks every week.

Hey I'm with you, losing hurts... especially the way we lost.

However, I saw enough good things out of our team where I believe that this team has a future in the playoffs this year.

 

I saw a lot of good things, too.  I don't think the season is done because of this loss, but I fear we won't make the playoffs for the same reasons we lost this game (in the larger sense than "if d-will hadn't dumbled" or "greg hadn't dropped passes" etc).  If we don't find a way to gain a killer instinct and a coach willing to take risks, even in close games, I don't think we can pull off games against good teams.  We can hang with them, yes, but beat them?

 

I admit I could be wrong, and I do hope you are right.

I can fix their offense in one step.

1. Don't play the Seahawks every week.


They only gave up 15ppg last season.

I can fix their offense in one step.

1. Don't play the Seahawks every week.


Such a simple concept but so hard to understand for most people.

i saw a couple times where we just barely got the ball snapped before time ran out. at a home game, that's inexcusable, esp. when we were told that the streamlined offense would prevent that.

 

I have a bad feeling that its not going to change. Shula has always been knocked for not getting plays in quickly, taking too much time to call them.

 

Hopefully it was just a one game thing, opening day jitters. We need to speed things up.

I think the game plan was decent to start the game and feel them out, but adjustments should have been made in the second half.  You gotta let Cam take some chances.  Worst case he throws an INT deep and the defense holds on forcing a punt again.  With this kind of defense we can afford some mistakes, and we can afford taking more chances to score.  All the great QB's throw interceptions sometimes because they are trying to score, we weren't trying to score yesterday until we went down.  I don't know what exactly i was watching. Rivera himself needs to grow some balls, that 4th and inches are you F'n kidding me!  We have Cam Newton who could fall down and get 3 inches.  Would Jim Harbaugh punted there?   

I can fix their offense in one step.

1. Don't play the Seahawks every week.

how about this...develop a gameplan that doesn't turn cam into a conservative ball control game manager.

I think dumb penalties cost us the game. Armond smith fuged up not just once but twice. Josh Thomas fuged up 3 times: the turnover on ST was huge, then getting burned twice back to back on the ame play. That and a great strip of dwill was the difference in the game.

They only gave up 15ppg last season.

 

Well, we almost got half of that.

 

My bad, thats good enough. Theres always next week. 

I have a bad feeling that its not going to change. Shula has always been knocked for not getting plays in quickly, taking too much time to call them.

 

Hopefully it was just a one game thing, opening day jitters. We need to speed things up.

agreed on all of that.

Well, we almost got half of that.

My bad, thats good enough. Theres always next week.

We could have won the game 7-6 we lead for the majority of the game. The defense gave up a late score and we were in position to take the lead and Deangelo fumbled.

This game wasn't a shoot out it was a defensive power struggle and the defense lost the battle. We need to worry about how to fix our secondary. Wilson was running for his life all game but when he was able to look down field receivers were wide open. That zone was crap and he picked it apart for 300+ yards.

This game was going to come down to not what the offenses would do but which defense would make a play when it mattered. Their defense made the plays in the win to end it. Ours once again let them drive down the field and run out the clock.

Poor Cam once again looking for an opportunity to go win the game. Denagelo took that opportunity from him and the defense couldn't get him another one.

Some might say we gave the game away but after thinking about it their defense literally took it and ours couldn't take it back.