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

Julio JonesOct 13 12:32p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hamstring, toe) is expected to play Thursday, Oct. 15, against the New Orleans Saints, according to head coach Dan Quinn.

Josh JohnsonOct 13 12:22p

Free-agent QB Josh Johnson (Colts) was signed to the Buffalo Bills' 53-man roster Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Le'Veon BellOct 13 01:22a

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell carried 21 times for 111 yards and the game-winning touchdown with no time left in regulation in Week 5 against the San Diego Chargers [ More ]

Philip RiversOct 13 01:12a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers completed 35 of his 48 pass attempts for 365 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the Week 5 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers Monday, Oct. 12.

Antonio GatesOct 13 01:12a

San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates posted game highs with nine receptions, 92 yards and two touchdowns in the Week 5 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Monday, Oct. 12.

Antonio BrownOct 13 01:12a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown had three receptions for 45 yards in the Week 5 game against the San Diego Chargers Monday, Oct. 12. He was targeted six times.

Steve JohnsonOct 12 07:12p

The San Diego Chargers have declared CB Craig Mager, DL Darius Philon, RB Donald Brown, OT King Dunlap, OG Orlando Franklin, WR Stevie Johnson, LB Tourek Williams inactive for Week 5.

B. RoethlisbergerOct 12 07:12p

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared LB Anthony Chickillo, QB Ben Roethlisberger, OG Chris Hubbard, CB Cortez Allen, DL Daniel McCullers, TE Jesse James, LB Ryan Shazier inactive for Week 5.

Julio JonesOct 12 07:02p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hamstring, toe) did not participate in practice Monday, Oct. 12.

B. RoethlisbergerOct 12 06:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (knee) wants to play in the Week 6 game against the Arizona Cardinals. The Steelers have not ruled out the possibility of Roethlisberger playing but consider it a longshot.

Justin ForsettOct 12 06:02p

Baltimore Ravens RB Justin Forsett (ankle) avoided a high-ankle sprain in a Week 5 loss to the Cleveland Browns. Head coach John Harbaugh said Forsett could still play this week.

Jamaal CharlesOct 12 05:42p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles' (knee) MRI confirmed a torn anterior cruciate ligament, according to a source. Charles will likely miss the rest of the season.

Peyton ManningOct 12 05:32p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning won't be benched in favor of QB Brock Osweiler, according to head coach Gary Kubiak. 'No. Peyton is doing just fine.'

S. RichardsonOct 12 04:02p

New York Jets DE Sheldon Richardson was officially added to New York's active roster Monday, Oct. 12. TE Wes Saxton was waived.

Jordan ReedOct 12 03:52p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (concussion, knee, ankle) has shown some improvement but is still going through the concussion protocol, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Joe HadenOct 12 03:52p

Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (concussion) is expected to miss Week 6 against the Denver Broncos due to concussion protocol.

Blake BortlesOct 12 03:22p

Updating previous reports, Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles' (shoulder) sprained his throwing shoulder Sunday, Oct. 11, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It is uncertain if Bortles will be able [ More ]

Josh McCownOct 12 03:12p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown (ankle) suffered an ankle sprain in a Week 5 win against the Baltimore Ravens. He is hopeful he'll be able [ More ]

Marques ColstonOct 12 03:02p

New Orleans Saints WR Marques Colston (shoulder) has at least a separated shoulder and could have some structural damage in the shoulder, according to a source. Colston suffered the [ More ]

Antone SmithOct 12 03:02p

Free-agent RB Antone Smith (Falcons) signed with the Chicago Bears Monday, Oct. 12. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Jacquizz RodgersOct 12 02:52p

Chicago Bears RB Jacquizz Rodgers (arm) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Oct.12, because of a fractured arm.

Dwight FreeneyOct 12 02:32p

Free-agent LB Dwight Freeney (Chargers) signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals Monday, Oct. 12, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Odell Beckham Jr.Oct 12 02:22p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) is dealing with a hamstring injury, but the team hopes he will be able to practice on at least a limited [ More ]

Marshawn LynchOct 12 02:02p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (hamstring) should be able to play in Week 6 against the Carolina Panthers if he doesn't suffer any setbacks this week, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Blake BortlesOct 12 02:02p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (shoulder) likely will not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 14, but that should not indicate his status for the Week 6 game against the [ More ]

Blake BortlesOct 12 01:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (shoulder) suffered a Grade 1 shoulder sprain during the team's Week 5 game and his status will be updated later in the week, according to head coach Gus Bradley.

Charcandrick WestOct 12 12:52p

Kansas City Chiefs RBs Charcandrick West and Knile Davis both expect to split carries with RB Jamaal Charles (knee) expected to miss the rest of the season, and head [ More ]

Andrew LuckOct 12 12:52p

Indianapolis Colts QBs Andrew Luck (shoulder) and Matt Hasselbeck (illness) both practiced in full Monday, Oct. 12, according to head coach Chuck Pagano. Luck missed the last two weeks [ More ]

Matthew StaffordOct 12 11:22a

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford will remain the starting quarterback, despite being benched in Week 5 Sunday, Oct. 11.

Josh JohnsonOct 12 11:12a

Indianapolis Colts QB Josh Johnson was released Monday, Oct. 12.

Dez BryantOct 12 10:22a

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (foot) had bone marrow stem cells removed from his hip and injected into his ankle last week to help improve the healing process. The [ More ]

Matt CasselOct 12 02:02a

Dallas Cowboys QB Matt Cassel could get a chance in Week 7 after the team's bye, as head coach Jason Garrett said Sunday, Oct. 11, he will evaluate a [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
Player Notes:
Forum Posts:

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group