2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Panthers next search for an offensive coordinator

By STEVE REED - AP Sports Writer
    2013-01-11 17:04

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - So much stability on offense for the Carolina Panthers.

Cam Newton and the Panthers offense are once again in limbo following the departure of offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski.

Last year marked the first time Newton worked with the same coordinator in back-to-back seasons since high school and the second-year quarterback improved as the season progressed. But with Chudzinski being introduced Friday as the Cleveland Browns new head coach, the direction of the Panthers' offense is unclear.

Coach Ron Rivera declined interview requests Friday, saying in a statement ``there's no timetable'' to name Chudzinski's replacement.

``We wish Chud the very best and appreciate the great job he did here in laying a foundation for our offense,'' Rivera said. ``We are in the process of filling staff positions now and will continue to work through that in the coming days. Our goal is to identify the best candidates.''

Rivera fired two offensive assistants Tuesday leaving quarterbacks coach Mike Shula as the only staff member with previous experience as an offensive coordinator.

However, Shula struggled in that role with Tampa Bay from 1996-99 and the Panthers could look outside the organization for a replacement. During Shula's four seasons with the Bucs they were 27th in the NFL in points scored, 29th in total yards and last in passing offense, according to STATS INC.

The Bucs never finished better than 22nd in total offense during his four seasons with Tampa Bay, meaning the Panthers could look outside the organization for a replacement.

Among the notable offensive coordinators looking for work are Hue Jackson, Pat Shurmur, Cam Cameron, Chan Gailey and Norv Turner, who was Rivera's former boss in San Diego.

Regardless of who replaces Chudzinski it will certainly represent an adjustment for Newton, Carolina's franchise quarterback.

Newton could not be reached for comment on Friday, but backup Derek Anderson, who played two seasons under Chudzinski in Cleveland and two more in Carolina, said there is no sugarcoating the fact Chudzinski's departure definitely hurts the Panthers, who finished the season strong by winning five of six games.

``It (stinks) for our team because I feel we made strides toward the end of the season,'' Anderson said. ``Learning how to win isn't easy.''

Still, veteran offensive tackle Jordan Gross believes Newton will be fine.

``If Chud had left last year after Cam's rookie season I might have felt different,'' Gross said. ``But I think Cam has grown so much as a player and matured so much in the last year that I think he'll be fine no matter who is calling the shots.''

For the most part Newton has played well under Chudzinski's tutelage.

Chudzinski inherited an offense that finished last in the league in total offense, points scored and yards passing in 2010 and the Panthers made dramatic improvements in their first year with the rookie Newton at the helm. Despite losing a good portion of the offseason to the NFL lockout, the Panthers finished 2011 seventh in total offense and fifth in points scored.

This past season the offense started slow and the Panthers started the season 1-5, costing them any realistic shot at the playoffs.

However, Chudzinski simplified the playbook midway through the year and the offense rebounded strong in the second half of the season finishing 12th in total offense.

In two seasons Newton has thrown for 7,920 yards and 40 touchdowns and run for 22 scores. He has turned the ball over 32 times.

Gross believes the Panthers have the talent to move on without missing a beat.

``One thing I've learned in 10 seasons is that an organization is never about one person, whether it's player or coach,'' Gross said. ``I know we have ability to win with who is here. I still think we have a good staff here.''

Albeit a shrinking one.

Rivera fired running backs coach John Settle and receivers coach Fred Graves and Chudzinski could try to take his right hand man and close friend, offensive quality control coach Scott Turner, with him to Cleveland.

According to Panthers spokesman Charlie Dayton, Rivera doesn't want to comment until next week because he's busy filling out his staff.

Along with having to make three hires on offense, Rivera still must replace linebackers coach Warren Belin. He could also opt to hire a replacement for interim special teams coordinator Richard Rodgers, who put in charge midway through last season after Rivera fired special teams coordinator Brian Murphy.

It's already been a busy offseason for the Panthers.

Owner Jerry Richardson ended the coaching drama when he elected to retain Rivera as the team's coach after letting him twist in the wind for a week. On Wednesday Richardson ended a three-month long search for a GM by hiring Dave Gettleman to replace Marty Hurney.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Connor BarthAug 29 03:42p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut PK Connor Barth Friday, Aug. 29.

Arrelious BennAug 29 03:32p

Philadelphia Eagles WR Arrelious Benn (back) will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list Friday, Aug. 29.

B. Green-EllisAug 29 03:12p

The Cincinnati Bengals cut RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis Friday, Aug. 29.

Mitchell Van DykAug 29 02:42p

The St. Louis Rams released OT Mitchell Van Dyk Friday, Aug. 29.

Johnny ManzielAug 29 02:22p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel showed a strong effort in the team's final preseason game against the Chicago Bears Thursday, Aug. 28, leading head coach Mike Pettine to acknowledge [ More ]

Charles SimsAug 29 02:02p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims (ankle) is expected to be placed on the short-term Reserve/Injured list, which means he could return late in the season.

Santonio HolmesAug 29 01:52p

Chicago Bears WR Santonio Holmes displayed good burst and explosion on a 32-yard touchdown catch in the team's preseason finale Thursday, Aug. 28, as he tries to make the [ More ]

Larry EnglishAug 29 01:42p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released LB Larry English Friday, Aug. 29.

Marc MarianiAug 29 01:22p

The Tennessee Titans released WR Marc Mariani Friday, Aug. 29.

Yawin SmallwoodAug 29 01:12p

The Atlanta Falcons released LB Yawin Smallwood Friday, Aug. 29.

Pat AngererAug 29 01:12p

The Atlanta Falcons released LB Pat Angerer Friday, Aug. 29.

S. JanikowskiAug 29 12:32p

Oakland Raiders PK Sebastian Janikowski (quadriceps) is expected to be ready to play in Week 1 against the New York Jets, according to head coach Dennis Allen.

Aaron DobsonAug 29 11:02a

New England Patriots WR Aaron Dobson had three catches for 57 yards and a touchdown in the final preseason game Thursday, Aug. 28.

Lonnie PryorAug 29 10:42a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released LB Ka'lial Glaud, FB Lonnie Pryor and CB Keith Lewis.

Benny CunninghamAug 29 10:18a

St. Louis Rams RB Benny Cunningham has been the team's best running back during the preseason and could push RB Zac Stacy for playing time this season.

Cam NewtonAug 29 09:37a

Updating a previous report, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (ribs) said Wednesday, Aug. 27, that he will be ready for the regular season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsAug 29 08:52a

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (ribs) suffered an injury to his ribs in the same area as his previous one, according to sources.

Martavis BryantAug 29 08:42a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant (shoulder) suffered a sprained right AC joint in his shoulder in the final preseason game Thursday, Aug. 28.

T.J. YatesAug 29 03:32a

Atlanta Falcons QB T.J. Yates threw for two touchdowns and 243 yards in his team's 24-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Dan OrlovskyAug 29 03:22a

Detroit Lions QB Kellen Moore was 17 of 28 for 172 yards and two touchdowns in a shutout of the Buffalo Bills Thursday, Aug. 28. It is not known [ More ]

Jeremy HillAug 28 11:52p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill (elbow) returned to the team's preseason finale Thursday, Aug. 28, after being evaluated in the locker room at halftime. He finished the game with [ More ]

Nate PalmerAug 28 11:52p

Green Bay Packers OT Aaron Adams (knee) and LB Nate Palmer (knee) left the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 28.

Devonta FreemanAug 28 11:22p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman had 12 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown and five catches for 45 yards during the team's preseason finale Thursday, Aug. 28.

Cecil Shorts IIIAug 28 10:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring) said he will be ready for the team's season opener.

Sammy WatkinsAug 28 07:32p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (ribs) left the team's final preseason game with an apparent injury. There was no indication if Watkins aggravated his ribs.

Kyle Van NoyAug 28 07:12p

Detroit Lions LB Kyle Van Noy (abdomen) underwent surgery Thursday, Aug. 28, to repair a core muscle injury. Van Noy's timetable for a return is unknown this early in the process.

Tim BenfordAug 28 07:02p

Baltimore Ravens WR Jace Davis, Dallas Cowboys WR Tim Benford, Kansas City Chiefs C Ben Gottschalk and Seattle Seahawks OG Greg Van Roten cleared waivers and became free agents Thursday, Aug. 28.

R. Griffin IIIAug 28 05:52p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III isn't playing consistently, according to ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski. Jaworski said Griffin must learn to throw from the pocket [ More ]

Geoff SchwartzAug 28 05:32p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring), CB Prince Amukamara (groin), OT Charles Brown (shoulder), OT James Brewer (back), OG Geoff Schwartz (toe), OG [ More ]

Navorro BowmanAug 28 04:02p

San Francisco 49ers LB Michael Wilhoite appears to be the leading candidate to start at middle linebacker while LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) is out of the lineup.

J. CunninghamAug 28 03:52p

St. Louis Rams TEs Justice Cunningham and Alex Bayer likely are competing for one roster spot. Cunningham is considered a blocking tight end, while Bayer is a pass catcher. [ More ]

Michael SamAug 28 03:52p

St. Louis Rams DE Michael Sam is competing with DE Ethan Westbrooks for a spot on the final roster.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group