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October 25, 2012

Changes coming to Panthers' running game?

Ron Rivera promised there would be changes in the wake of Monday's firing of general manager Marty Hurney.

The first couple have been minor, although there could be a bigger change in the Panthers' offensive philosophy unveiled Sunday in Chicago.

Rivera has tweaked the Panthers' daily routine, giving the team a 30-minute break between the morning walkthough and practice – something Rivera and Hurney discussed before Hurney's departure.

Under the previous set-up, players and coaches were on the field for nearly three hours. Reading between the lines, it sounds like maybe a few players weren't thrilled with that arrangement.

Personnel-wise, the Panthers continue to experiment with their offensive line following center Ryan Kalil's season-ending foot surgery. Byron Bell returns to right tackle after playing guard last week, while Jeff Byers gets a shot at guard next to Bell.

This likely coincides with the Panthers' shift from the zone read package to more reliance on a power running game. Rivera has only hinted about his plans for the offense. But based on last week's game against Dallas – when power-running Jonathan Stewart received the bulk of the work and speed back DeAngelo Williams mostly watched – it's clear the Panthers are trying to re-create themselves offensively.

Carolina, the NFL's third-best rushing offense in 2011, has dropped to 13th this season. And the only reason the drop isn't bigger is Cam Newton's scrambling ability.

The Panthers won't dump the zone read completely. It gives defenses something extra to prepare for. But so far in Year 2 under Rivera and offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski, those defenses look plenty well prepared.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on October 25, 2012 at 01:28 PM | Permalink


Alright well than let's see it.

Posted by: Joe | Oct 25, 2012 1:37:23 PM

i heard armanti was taking lots of wildcat snaps in practice.

Posted by: big gulps | Oct 25, 2012 1:39:17 PM

We need a change. The whole team has been underperforming. We understood that the defense wasn't great, but we'd hoped that the offense would carry the load. This far, they haven't.

Posted by: Brandon Garland | Oct 25, 2012 1:45:42 PM

Good start, a change to a power run game. Offense is looking more like college than NFL. We can't be all cute on offense and hopefully we get to see Cam more under center. So its looking to be more Stewart than Dwill and a little Tolbert used as a FB in blocking schemes. Hope this brings a more balanced attack. Go Panthers

Posted by: Jim | Oct 25, 2012 1:53:36 PM

It will not make a difference if all you have is a makeshift offensive line and shuffling mediocre players around every week. No improved pass protection or RUN BLOCKING here. The backups on the offensive line are not very good. Byers and Williams have proven this to be a fact. You do not replace starters with backups and waiver wire castoffs. The Chicago Bears defense will be camping out in the Panthers backfield this weekend with a sieve of an offensive line. "IT IS WHAT IT IS" Enough said.

Posted by: Whitecomet77 | Oct 25, 2012 1:54:41 PM

Has Ryan Kalil bought the team tickets to the Superbowl yet????

Posted by: big gulps | Oct 25, 2012 2:02:46 PM

It doesn't matter what you do when your 0-lineman are horrible! We couldn't run when the pro bowl center was playing!

Posted by: joe cool | Oct 25, 2012 2:23:08 PM

The Director of College Scouting, Donald Gregory,is way in over his head.

He should of been fired after he insisted on taking Dwayne Jarrett a couple of years ago.

Clean house and fire the entire personnel department. They obviously don't know what they are doing!!

Posted by: Ryan | Oct 25, 2012 2:41:53 PM

maybe we can hire gene chizik when auburn fires him, reuniting cam and chizzy.

Posted by: big gulps | Oct 25, 2012 2:44:51 PM

I had to reread the fourth paragraph a few times.
Your team is 1-5 and you're complaining about a three hour practice session?
I think I found the attitude problem.
Hurney should expect a bit of company in the near future.

Posted by: john solis | Oct 25, 2012 2:54:14 PM

big gulps - That will only work if Gus Malzhan will leave Ar-Kansas St to be the offensive coordinator.

I understand that defenses have caught up with the zone read. But deciding to play Fox-ball after your best O-lineman goes on IR is kind of like a farmer deciding to go into the advertising business after someone steals all his cows.

Posted by: J | Oct 25, 2012 2:59:33 PM

Good coaches make half time adjustments, takes Rivera 6 games and his boss getting fired to try something new. Atta boy!

Posted by: cmo | Oct 25, 2012 3:00:16 PM

Cam had shockey /two tight ends to throw to last year. We need to bring this back so he is not looking so far down field. Where is the screen pass. All this will help open the run game

Posted by: Chris | Oct 25, 2012 3:07:45 PM

Ahhh... on the field for 3 whole hours straight. Poor millionaires. Last time I saw a practice, it sure looked like a lot of standing around and waiting and watching.

Posted by: KnightWhoSaysNi | Oct 25, 2012 3:17:29 PM

Thank GOD!! That zone read nonsense is the main reason they have a 1-5 record! Unfortunately it's too little too late.

Posted by: Eride | Oct 25, 2012 3:27:16 PM

If the Panthers can establish a run game they will be dangerous again for sure.

Posted by: Gwanedm | Oct 25, 2012 3:39:10 PM

Mr Chuz - how can this be so difficult for you. The run sets up the pass. You have two of the best backs in the NFL gathering dust. You run…then you pass…you play action…you option.
You have one of the strongest you arms in the NFL, you throw deep on 1st down.
Your 1st option should not be run Cam.
No wonder the dude is frustrated.
Just like the rest of the Panthers Fans.

Posted by: Jon | Oct 25, 2012 3:42:15 PM

the only way that will work is that we have a true power back like davis was back in the day a pure power back(s) watch the film you see the diffenrce between steward and davis

Posted by: dave | Oct 25, 2012 3:50:10 PM

runs too straight up seems to tip through the hole i been watching since he been in the league williams well a different story alone wil the offensive line not sure if letting go oath was good line doesnt block the same

Posted by: dave | Oct 25, 2012 3:53:23 PM

If this makeshift OL can't get any push and open holes for the running backs, the change will not work. The OL has got to get better. Our slow OL was consistently manhandled by the athletic, fast DL of Dallas. I expect the fast, athletic defense of Chicago to be tough to run against.

Posted by: Sugarbugga | Oct 25, 2012 4:02:09 PM

Finally, if you have that much money invested in your backfield, why not use it and leave the threat open for Cam to run when he has too not because the play calling calls for it on every play. No wonder why the WR can not get open because they DB's are not having to look back at the line to figure out if they are running the ball or not. They already know it is a passing down. Oh, my bad...it only took them 6 games to figure this out !!!

Posted by: Animal187 | Oct 25, 2012 4:15:50 PM

we need something to inspire this team, steve needs to punch somebody or something, get some fire and swag back.

Posted by: big gulps | Oct 25, 2012 4:22:52 PM

Ummmm, why are we announcing the new plan? So we can give Chicago time to practice for it?

Posted by: SB | Oct 25, 2012 4:39:16 PM

Not please for being on the field for 3 hours? Bunch of divas. I hope they really didn't complain about that.

Posted by: Eric J | Oct 25, 2012 4:40:41 PM

Get a life, we Panther fans have only had to endure this bad play a couple of years, think about the Detroit Lions. How many years did they have to endure. Teams go through these cycles and then things turn around. Be happy you have a team to pull for. Stay faithful, and good will come our way. Sure some changes are neeeded, lets hope management will see this and make the right ones. GO Panthers.

Posted by: Larry K | Oct 25, 2012 4:46:36 PM

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