I attended my first Panthers game of the season, and had a great time. (Yes I was one of the 4000 fans who did NOT seek shelter when the heavens opened up; my team needed me too much!) While I realize it's a good day to enjoy a W and not focus on the negative, I have a few things that are bugging me about some of our decisions this year from the bench. I haven't minded the pass/run ratio as much as others because our offense has been fairly effective at moving the ball so far, and we are taking what the defenses are giving us. But I DO have some bones to pick with our coaches after 3 games of the 2011 campaign:
1. In two of our first three games we have elected to punt from the opponent's 35 yard line; in both games we could have used the points (AZ second half, JAX first half). Arizona was perfect conditions. Today was before the heavy rain started; right after Scobee kicked a 54 yarder. Olinda Mare has a big leg. One of the highlights on his bio is how many 50+ yard FG's he has made. Let him kick the FG under 55 yards!
2. I am surprised at how active Armanti Edwards was in the preseason only to be taken out of the offense. While I realize he had a few drops to close preseason, I have to say that Naanee has done nothing to win me over as a fan in his first 3 games. I would rotate in #14 on half of our third downs; give him a chance. And if he doesn't perform, then give Pilares an opportunity.
3. I am surprised at the lack of trickeration on offense. Not a big complaint here; just curious I guess. No wildcat formation to speak of. A tiny bit of option that looks pretty unpolished. Again I would get #14 on the field in the wildcat every few games to give defensive coordinators something more to prepare for.
4. I'm getting a bit tired of the delayed QB draw they are running. It would be more effective if he would drop back to pass for 2 seconds to make it look like a pass. The way they run it now, you can tell immediately it's a run, and Cam is tiptoeing it in such a way inside the tackles that's only getting a few yards for the most part. I would also like to see more naked booteg with one TE in a pass route to the right side. This would get him out more in open space where he can utilize his ability to make people miss.
5. The way we are utilizing our RB's has a lot to be desired. And I'm not talking about just running more. First, today's game was a Jonathan Stewart kind of day. I recognized in the first quarter when the rain started that J Stew would thrive in these conditions. The coaches didn't recognize this. They continued to split their time 50/50, even though it was very clear #28 is better in bad conditions. Play Deangelo more in the domes, in good weather, against teams that overpursue so he can use his cutback ability. But in the rain, snow, mud and cold, give Stewart the ball! Secondly, Mike Goodson should be in more on 3rd down. He has disappeared almost as much as Armanti the past couple of weeks. Despite J Stew's prolific receiving day last week, Goodson is our best receiving back, with the best big play ability as a receiver. Get him in the mix catching passes!
I think I'm known around here as a positive fan, so don't view me as a pessimist for writing this. But like the title says,
If I were Coach for a day...
this is what I would change. How about you? Agree, Disagree? What would you do differently if you were coaching the Panthers??