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June 26, 2013

Mike Shula: We want Cam's comfort level at the highest it's ever been

As Mike Shula settles into his first offensive coordinator role since the late 1990s with Tampa Bay, one of his main focuses is to make sure his quarterback is more comfortable than ever.

“We want (Cam Newton's) comfort level the highest it’s ever been,” Shula told NationalFootballPost.com. “We looked at the things we’ve done our first two years. The things we do well, we want to continue to build on. The other stuff, we look at how we can do it better or get rid of it. We’re looking at different ways for him to think faster and play faster on the field.”

Shula takes over as the Panthers offensive coordinator after Rob Chudzinski took the head coaching job in Cleveland this offseason after two years with Carolina. Shula was promoted from quarterbacks coach to OC, and he's working to keep a clear line of communication with his quarterback.

That was some of the advice his Hall of Fame father, Don Shula, told him. The younger Shula called his father, the most winningest coach in NFL history, a "constant sounding board."

The Panthers have already instituted simpler verbiage in the offense in an attempt to make things quicker in the huddle and thus getting to the line faster. By all indications, the Panthers plan to go to a more traditional rushing style this season, looking more like the second half of the 2012 season than the first half when zone-read rushes were employed in abundance.

Newton said earlier this month he's very comfortable with the direction of the offense--both with his coaches and new offensive pieces--heading into Year 3 as the franchise quarterback.

“I think it’s a credit to what Shula has been doing and also (quarterbacks coach) Ken Dorsey,” Newton said. “Every offensive coach that we have, they’ve spent a lot of time with trying to get everybody on the same page to do the things that they’re comfortable and do the things they’re good at doing.”

The report also contained a somewhat surprising stat from STATS LLC. Newton's progress as a pro-style quarterback has been apparent over the past two years, but statistics show he was actually better last year under center than out of shotgun.

In 375 shotgun attempts, he had a passer rating of 82.9. In 110 from under center, he finished with a 97.4 passer rating. 

“That just shows me what his football mind is about,” Shula said. “He has a great football mind.”

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on June 26, 2013 at 11:55 AM | Permalink


Now it's just about turning all of this useful information into WINS!

Posted by: The Caller Out of Crybabies | Jun 26, 2013 12:48:26 PM

I think that getting back to using those dudes in the backfield instead of putting 98% of the offense on Cams shoulders will help him improve drastically.

Posted by: Mike W | Jun 26, 2013 1:08:12 PM


Posted by: jimmy holmes | Jun 26, 2013 1:12:13 PM

Sounds good but I need my team to show me. I'm already talkin junk at work about how good we gonna b I just need my squad to back me up

Posted by: Javar | Jun 26, 2013 3:15:20 PM

Sounds good but I need my team to show me. I'm already talkin junk at work about how good we gonna b I just need my squad to back me up

Posted by: Javar | Jun 26, 2013 3:15:21 PM

Shut up and play should be their motto this year. Shut up and play.

They are talking way too much and haven't done a darn thing in years to back all that yapping up.

If they loose coming out of the gate this year like they did last year (multible games) than I hope David G. fires and cuts a ton of them. I one fan that is sick of this team loosing season in and season out.

Posted by: vinny_57 | Jun 26, 2013 4:15:42 PM

NFL Network has the Panthers finishing 9-7. I'm hoping for 11-5, but will settle for 10-6 or 9-7. I don't think 9-7 will get us into the playoffs because of the other three teams in our division, but I think it will show that this team is consistently improving and we're only a few years out from getting to the big dance!

Posted by: Elliott | Jun 26, 2013 5:04:31 PM

Shula will be with us one year. Once we make the playoffs this year. He is going to become a hot commodity. Cam is maturing daily. Get an early W and things are going to be great.

Posted by: Davethepanther | Jun 28, 2013 2:51:09 AM

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