Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula going old school with gameplay
And it all certainly worked. Rivera was pleased with how Shula would manage things and that the Panthers would not have to go through the daunting task of doing everything over again with a new offensive coordinator. Shula had done well as a quarterback coach and Cam Newton was a living testament to his capabilities as a head figure. Now, nine months have passed and Shula has proven his candidacy to be a worthy one.
Quarterback Cam Newton is enjoying the best three games of his career and the team is incorporating an offense that goes old school and has a perfect balance of everything. And now they are 4-3 and they are over .500, something which last happened in 2008.
"We were hoping we'd be able to keep things very similar to what we'd built. We felt we'd done a lot of good things at the end of the year,” Shula said.
Tight end Greg Olson was appreciative of Shula, saying that he had revived the basic game that the Panthers were starting to get rusty at.
"He's done a good job cutting out some of the verbiage, cutting out some of the fringe plays and really focusing on what our core specialty is," he said. "We've been pretty balanced run and pass."
Over the course of the past three games, Newton has a 130.3 passer rating, a NFL top and has six touchdowns, 77.3 percent completion rate of passes and ran for 667 yards. Shula did not judge the plays according to stats but said that a good play depended entirely on how it went on the field.
"A good decision doesn't mean it's a short throw (or checkdown). A good decision means he's getting the ball out there on time, his feet are set, he's going to the right guy," he said. "When he's making those good decisions, regardless of anything else stats, whatever this or that we've won games."