Panthers Offensive Evolution Already Taking Place

The Carolina Panthers offense is undergoing an evolution, but it’s not what you expect…

When Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera addressed the media following the 2016 season he owned up to the shortcomings on offense. “There’s a lot of things that we’re going to look at,” Rivera said, via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review. “We understand and we get that there’s some things that have to evolve around [Cam Newton] because he’s evolving as a quarterback, as well. He’s getting older and he’s going to be a different style player. We know that much.”

Once it was obvious that offensive coordinator Mike Shula would be retained the question became how exactly would the Panthers evolve their offense. Shula has been the offensive coordinator for the past four seasons in Carolina and after an epic 15-1 regular season and Super Bowl appearance in 2015, the offense sputtered last season.

The current evolution featured less of Newton running, stemming more from a safety standpoint than a change of offensive focus.

However, the evolution Rivera spoke of is seemingly now occurring without the head coach’s blessing. NFL veteran and well respected wide receivers coach Ricky Proehl recently announced his intentions to step away from his coaching duties citing more personal time with his family.

Now, quarterback coach Ken Dorsey has interviewed with the Buffalo Bills according to Joseph Person of The Charlotte Observer. Following a scheduled interview of former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Greg Olson on Thursday, the Panthers could be down another assistant coach.

Having already lost defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, who interviewed Dorsey as the new Bills’ head coach, the Carolina coaching staff is currently undergoing an evolution of its’ own.

“If you don’t learn from this, then you’ve wasted it. I know that it hasn’t been what we expected, what I expected. But I do know this — I’m going to learn from it, I’m going to grow from it and we’ll be better, Rivera said about the offensive performance of 2016.

With a coaching vacancy on defense and possibly two on offense, the learning curve is growing steeper by the day.

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