Friday, January 18, 2013

Shula gets the Panthers OC job -- and he should have

This is scary. The Carolina Panthers keep doing exactly what I want them to do so far this offseason, so I’m guessing a 2-14 season is right around the corner in 2013.

I’m joking about the 2-14…. but seriously? I’m used to the Panthers not taking my advice (and I’m sure they didn’t this time either, that it was just a coincidence). But I a couple of weeks ago I wrote that Ron Rivera should be kept by owner Jerry Richardson for at least one more year, and he was. And then when Rob Chudzinski became Cleveland’s head coach I wrote that Mike Shula should be promoted to offensive coordinator, and according to our beat writer Joseph Person’s sources, he just was.

Shula was the right choice given who the Panthers had to choose from, and he understands Cam Newton’s talents and idiosyncrasies better than anyone else after having been his quarterback coach the past two years. There are many who point to Shula’s bad record as a head coach at Alabama and unimpressive numbers as Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator as reasons he should not get this job, but I think he’s the right guy.

Shula is a calm presence. He played the position in college. He will be far more creative than you are guessing he will be, because he’s got Newton as his quarterback now and not Shaun King.

Shula told me once: “I’ve said for the last 15 years -- that as long as I’m around the QBs, I really don’t care if I’m quarterbacks coach or the coordinator or the head coach. I played the position, and there’s something about coaching it that is so challenging and exciting.”

He’s got the challenge of a coaching lifetime now – a young quarterback who should be entering his prime that is going to make him or break him as an OC. Good luck to him – I think he will do just fine.

14 comments:

John said...

He learned from one of the best.

Anonymous said...

This proves Panthers have become a freaking joke. Shula was horrible in Tampa as OC. Jackson wanted job but you go with Shula pathetic. Continuity is fine if you don't suck. Rivera didn't want a hire that would replace him after startin 2-6 next year. Sure not worth 125 million, City should ask for money back. Meanwhile Chud is creating rock star staff in Cleveland with Norv and Norton

Anonymous said...

First of all, this was predicable. Second, his time in TB was marred by Dungy mandating a conservative offense and the fact he had a bad QB. Third, his time at ALA was marred by NCAA sanctions. So we dont know what he can do when unhampered.

Flip side is that he comes on the heels of Dan Henning, Jeff Davidson, and Dudzinksi, whose offense was patently predictable this year and took a step back.

Point is, he isnt any worse than any of them, and definitely better than at least 2 if not all 3 of them. Give the guy a chance.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fowler has taken over the Darin Gantt role of agreeing with every single move and decision Jerry and the Panthers make.
It's nauseating, you know before you even open an article what its going to say.
So I guess Gantt off the Panthers' payroll, Fowler on, objective/unbiased journalism gone.

Scott Fowler said...

Re: above comment.... I don't agree with it, because in the case of Rivera and Shula, I advocated what ultimately happened several days before it did rather than agreeing with it after it did. A key difference. And the Panthers frequently don't take my advice (for instance, I thought they should trade DeAngelo Williams in October and wrote that, but they didn't. Marty Hurney thought I was too critical of the team and we clashed about that over the years). But you are entitled to your opinion.... Scott

Mel said...

Fowler, you are totally insane as usual. Look at his record. He can't coach and now we have to live with this travesty another year until hopefully Rivera is fired. I was hopeful this was the year meaningful and thoughtful changes would happen. But no, just mediocrity as has been the case for most of the Panthers history. I am a PSl owner of 4 seats, missed one game in 16 years and I am ready to throw in the towel.

Jason said...

This makes no sense from any angle. First of all we could have added an OC and still kept Shula on staff,which is a win-win. Secondly, Rivera is still growing as a coach and we need another voice on that sideline with HC experience to help move him along. Period! Hue Jackson should've been a no brainer. He's great with young players.He's very balanced and aggressive(which we need) on offense. And he's a commanding presence, which Cam and the young guys need so they don't act like spoiled kids when things go wrong. Shula has had opportunities! You can point to personnel, but even the people around the situations questioned his ability to play call. I'm so sick of the Observer. I swear that they could put the I.Q. of all the writers on this staff together and you guys would still qualify for the special olympics. But i guess if common sense was common everyone would have it!

David Crabb said...

@ Mel....RR proved through this year that he has begun to turn the corner of learning to become a good head coach. He had NEVER before been a head coach at any level, so if you expected him to have all the answers from day one, then your expectations were way too high...period! How did Belichick do in his first couple years of head coaching in Cleveland? Not too good, and no, I'm not saying RR is the next Belichick before you go there. Only time will tell, but I think he showed tremendous growth this year, and should only get better. Back off a bit, we should know much more by the end of next year.

Jas B said...

I back Fowler on his thoughts on keeping Rivera on and Shula promoted to coordinator. Firstly, I was on board at the end of last year to retain Rivera for a few reasons. 1 was the team showed they wanted him as a coach not just by comments but by the way they played for him the final games. 2. Rivera has been a winner wherever he has coached and his defenses have pretty much always been strong. You can see the Panthers defnse growing stronger the more they play together, particular toward the last half of this year. 3. The Pnathers are a young team with several new pieces this year and need to gel, particularly on defense and they only grow more playing the same schemes.
As for Shula, I would of been on board with Jackson but I was willing to give Shula a chance, if not mainly for the continuity of the team and Shula understanding Cam. Cam is fairly expressive on the field and I am sure he is more off in talking to Shula throughout the year. I imagine Cam expressed to Shula alot of things that he liked and didnt like with the play calling, what he was confortable with and not, etc. I think with that grain of salt he is perfect to know what plays to call that Cam is most comfortable with and those plays he didnt like and to avoid. All QBs dont like every type of throw either and Shula knows that also. Shula also knows the playbook and can narrow it down from last year to plays that worked this year and also put emphasis on the running game more than CHud did also.
Bottom line, we didnt need a big named coach or a big named coordinator brought in to change things. We just needed the coaches and payers to grow together and form continuity, which they did. They won and lost together as a family and will do it again this year. With a few more pieces added in the right places we will be alot better team. Just have faith Panthers fans and Keep Pounding!

Kenneth said...

Are some of you really that dumb or do you have secret intentions to sabotage the upcoming season? Shula was the best choice. How many times have we seen NFL offenses with young talented quarterbacks get stopped in their tracks because they have to get used to new offensive coordinators? Shula knows the system. And hopefully bringing back running backs coach Jim Skipper will give us the return of "Double Trouble" to go along with Cam. This staff has not been consistently calling running plays that are best suited for DeAngelo's cut back style. Well, not until they just recently started to get a better idea of it. This is another reason why Shula was the best hire at this time.

Anonymous said...

Since you seem to read these comments before posting, read this: Please consider writing three or four articles per week during the offseason to keep the fans fed. There are dozens of great story lines: Three or four can be on Luke Keuchly - his transition to the pros, his perspective on him vs Beason at MIKE, etc. In depth with Thomas Davis on his true fears / confidence in his ACL throughout the season - what was going on in his mind? Three to four with Cam on his mental state - and press him, loosen him up... is he fearful? Confident? Confused? How does he REALLY feel about his rookie records being broken (RGIII, Luck, etc.) His true feelings about three rookies making it to the playoffs...? There are tons story lines that would make for GREAT offseason reading. Use some creativity and you'll find they're there, and you will see a GREAT BUMP UP in appreciation from readers.

Boydsgrigg said...

He has done a terrible job handled qb. Look at our qb. And tell me you see a team leader in him ,he is superman with no coaching..........

Anonymous said...

Living here in Tuscaloosa after being raised in NC, I've learned something about Shula's stint at Alabama: Shula was talked INTO taking the UA head job just as they were headed to probation. He didn't even want to interview, and did so out of loyalty to his alma mater in the end. He knew the deck was stacked against him in terms of scholarships, probation, etc. Some have characterized this as his martyrdom, though Shula has never personally been so insecure as to talk about the whole situation like that.

liffffer:D said...

Shula was the best decision available short of Norv ,considering his time developing Cam. I also like the return of skipper. When Beas gets back there will be some excellent depth at linebackerAnd i only hope our ends will continue to progress. The secondary that another animal, there are needs everywhere. The only person that I think is safe back there is ??????