I started these thoughts on an email chain with some friends of mine and wanted to share them with other knowledgeable Panthers fans out there and see their thoughts. Below are a few points of emphasis that I have laid out in order of importance, so check them out and please write a response on the comment board with your opinions.
1. I think we need more of a physical mentality overall, but especially on offense. This will take pressure off of Cam, who Rivera says is pressing and trying to make too many plays. Having a more physical mind set on offense will also rub off on the defense. The defense has improved, but the offense is where we are really under performing. This plays out in a lot of different ways including:
2. Commit to the running game. We have talented RB's who are not getting into the flow of the game. Both DeAngelo and Stew look frustrated and like they have no confidence. We need to give them more touches and put them in a situation to maximize their talent and ultimately succeed.
3. Limit the shotgun run plays. This is too passive. When the QB is under center or even in the pistol, the RB gets forward momentum towards the line of scrimmage (LOS) the moment the ball is snapped. But in the shotgun, when the ball is snapped, the RB has to wait . . . for the ball to get to the QB . . . then for the QB to give him the ball . . . THEN the RB starts forward momentum. I'm not advocating getting rid of the shotgun read option, I just want Chud to use it much less and use a base run attack with the QB under center or in the pistol. Also, by limiting the read option, that is also taking more pressure off of Cam bc that is one less play where he needs to make a critical split second decision.
4. Chud and Shula (QB coach) need to emphasize to Cam to take what the opponent's defense gives him. Cam too often gets "greedy" trying to make the big play and wait for the deep receiver to get open. Against Seattle, Cam forced many passes to Smitty. LaFell and Olsen are more than competent play makers.
5. Finally, everyone needs to realize that we are still one of the youngest teams in the NFL (I think the 3rd youngest team). Cam needs time to develop and help from the rest of the offensive players and coaches to get him in a rhythm. Once he is confident and in the flow of the game, then let loose some of the more fancy plays.
What do you guys think about my assessments?