Norv Turner, the Panthers new offensive coordinator, brings the same philosophy that Mike Shula and Rob Chudzinksi, the two previous coordinators brought to Carolina. Shula and Chudzinki both wanted to establish the run and let that set up opportunities in the passing game. Run the ball and stretch the defense vertically in the passing game.
Chudzinki and Shula’s systems were essentially the same, they both stemmed from Turners system. The same concepts but different designs.
“To be successful in this league, I think it’s proven that you have to be able to run the ball,” Turner said. “Whether it’s a power run or a finesse run, you need to be able to run the football. If you can do that, it makes life a lot easier on the quarterback; it helps your defense, it helps your team.” (h/t
It’s a Philosophy that wins games in January and it’s a proven fact that if you run the ball effectively, it makes your offense more difficult to defend and it keeps the defense off-balance.
When you have speed-threats on the outside at wide receiver, it makes the defense defend every blade of grass. You run the ball effectively, it helps out the passing game. If you have deep-threats on the outside it keeps defenses from the stacking the box and keying in on the run.
Turner has some similar weapons in Carolina that he had in San Diego. A Hall of Fame caliber tight end Antonio Gates, he has another one in Greg Olsen.
A speedy quick running back that can come out of the backfield and run routes and be a factor in the passing game he had with Darren Sproles when he was with the Chargers. Now he has a young, versatile, dynamic player in Christian McCaffrey that can do a lot of the same things that Darren Sproles did with Turner.
He has a large-big body receiver in Devin Funchess, a similar player to Malcom Floyd. Funchess is a matchup problem for smaller corners. He can use his big frame to box out defenders and is a crisp route runner for his size at 6’4″ 225 lbs.
The one wildcard he didn’t have when he was in San Diego, was a quarterback like Cam Newton. Newton is a big threat in the run game and can make almost every throw in the pocket.
Newton’s strong-arm strength is a perfect fit for what Turner wants to do in the passing game. Newton can make every throw vertically from the pocket and that’s what he excels at.
Newton also brings another element in the run game that Turner didn’t have with Phillip Rivers in San Diego. Newton can run a lot of zone-reads and bootlegs that will provide another dynamic to this offense.
Now the Panthers will have to decide if they are going to re-sign Jonathan Stewart or draft a running back in the draft, but they need a power back that can handle those carries between the tackles. McCaffrey is capable of that but Turner said “I don’t know that’s what you want to lead him with.” (h/t
The Panthers offense will be getting the speedy second round pick Curtis Samuel back after he had an ankle injury that put him on IR in week 10. They will also get back Damiere Byrd, another sub 4.3 receiver that is capable of providing the speed and deep-threat ability to this offense.
With a dynamic back in McCaffrey, two speedy wide receivers in Samuel and Byrd, a big-body receiver in Funchess and a Hall of Fame caliber tight end in Greg Olsen, this offense will have the matchups that give defenses plenty of problems. The Panthers will put speed, size and quickness on the field which will give Turner plenty to work with.
Providing all these guys stay healthy and Turner does a good job utilizing all these players, the Panthers will have a fun offense to watch in 2018.