Jonathan Stewart named starting running back for Carolina Panthers

Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

Ron Rivera promised changes, and the first major domino has fallen.

The Carolina Panthers announced today at Jonathan Stewart would be getting the start at running back over DeAngelo Williams, as head coach Ron Rivera looks to make some offensive changes this week.

Earlier in the week the Panthers' head coach identified that many of the team's problems on offense stemmed from trying to do too much. Thus far in 2012 they have leaned far too heavily on read option runs, primarily out of the shotgun. Theoretically DeAngelo Williams is the best of these runs, as the faster one-cut runner; however that hasn't paid dividends as Williams is running for a career low 3.5 yards per carry.

Last week Carolina took the first steps to becoming a power running team as they elected to start Jonathan Stewart and utilize Mike Tolbert more. Now it appears that genesis will be complete, as Stewart ascends to being the featured back. He hasn't fared much better than Williams in 2012, running for 4.1 yards per carry-- but he has been more effective, and if the Panthers decide to utilize more I-formation packages, he is the better back.

This is going to get a lot more interesting, and fans will be treated to a lot more changes moving forward.

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