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

Terrelle PryorMay 5 04:23p

Kansas City Chiefs QB Terrelle Pryor was released Tuesday, May 5.

Devonta FreemanMay 5 02:33p

Atlanta Falcons RB Tevin Coleman could see the majority of work in the Falcons' backfield in 2015, with Devonta Freeman closely behind him, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Alfonzo DennardMay 5 09:33a

New England Patriots CB Alfonzo Dennard will be released Tuesday, May 5.

Dennis PittaMay 4 05:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) may have an unclear future in Baltimore if he is even able to play next season. TE Maxx Williams was selected in the [ More ]

Charles SimsMay 4 10:52a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims is likely to be featured in the offense this season.

Jeff DempsMay 4 10:52a

Indianapolis Colts WR Kadron Boone, DE Gannon Conway, RB Jeff Demps and OT Matt Hall were waived Monday, May 4.

Doug MartinMay 4 09:02a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin will be an unrestricted free-agent in 2016 after the team decided not to exercise his fifth-year player option Monday, May 4.

James JonesMay 4 08:22a

Oakland Raiders WR James Jones was released Sunday, May 3.

Darren McFaddenMay 3 12:32a

Dallas Cowboys RB Darren McFadden remains the frontrunner to be the lead back in 2015 after Dallas didn't select a running back in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Zac StacyMay 2 05:32p

Former St. Louis Rams RB Zac Stacy has been acquired by the New York Jets in exchange for the Rams' 224th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Devier PoseyMay 1 10:12p

The Houston Texans traded WR DeVier Posey to the New York Jets during Round 3 of the NFL Draft Friday, May 1. The Texans received the No. 70 overall [ More ]

Joshua CribbsMay 1 06:12p

Indianapolis Colts WR Joshua Cribbs was released Friday, May 1.

Reid FragelMay 1 06:12p

Atlanta Falcons FS Brandan Bishop, OT Reid Fragel, CB Jordan Mabin, LB Jacques Smith and RB Ronnie Wingo were waived Friday, May 1.

Ronnie WingoMay 1 06:12p

Atlanta Falcons FS Brandan Bishop, OT Reid Fragel, CB Jordan Mabin, LB Jacques Smith and RB Ronnie Wingo were waived Friday, May 1.

Joseph RandleMay 1 12:32p

Randle could still face punishment from the league under the terms of personal conduct policy, even though he will not face formal misdemeanor charges following a domestic disturbance.

Adrian PetersonMay 1 11:42a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson may be changing course in his pursuit of a trade as his agent, Ben Dogra, said he'd like the team to sign Peterson to [ More ]

Zac StacyMay 1 08:22a

St. Louis Rams RB Zac Stacy has asked the team for a trade or to be released after the team selected RB Todd Gurley in the first round of [ More ]

Sam BradfordMay 1 12:52a

The Philadelphia Eagles offered the Tennessee Titans two first-round picks, one third-round pick, DT Fletcher Cox, CB Brandon Boykin, LB Mychal Kendricks and QB Sam Bradford in exchange for [ More ]

Ryan TannehillApr 30 10:52p

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill is coming off his best season as a pro, and the team has added WR Kenny Stills, WR Greg Jennings, WR DeVante Parker and [ More ]

Manuel RamirezApr 30 10:42p

The Detroit Lions traded the 23rd overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft to the Denver Broncos for C Manuel Ramirez, the 28th overall pick, the 143rd overall pick and a 2016 fifth-round pick.

Trindon HollidayApr 30 03:32p

San Francisco 49ers WR Trindon Holliday was released Thursday, April 30, while OG Fou Fonoti and WR Lance Lewis were waived.

Montee BallApr 30 03:32p

Denver Broncos RB Montee Ball is confident that he will regain the lead-back role with the team, but admitted that RB C.J. Anderson deserves the job right now. Ball [ More ]

Philip WheelerApr 30 03:22p

Free-agent LB Philip Wheeler (Dolphins) signed with the San Francisco 49ers Thursday, April 30. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 30 02:12p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is still expected to remain with the Vikings even though former NFL WR Cris Carter indicated Peterson could be traded in the near future.

Tom CrabtreeApr 30 01:02p

Free-agent TE Tom Crabtree (Saints) has announced his retirement from professional football.

Bruce IrvinApr 29 11:33p

The Seattle Seahawks do not plan on picking up the fifth-year option on LB Bruce Irvin, according to sources.

L.J. FortApr 29 03:13p

Cincinnati Bengals LB L.J. Fort was waived Wednesday, April 29.

Martellus BennettApr 29 02:33p

Chicago Bears TE Martellus Bennett could be on the move since the Bears are entertaining trade offers for him, according to sources. Bennett is looking for a new contract [ More ]

Johnny ManzielApr 28 08:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel's commitment is 'night and day' from last year, according to Browns OT Joe Thomas, Tuesday, April 28. Manziel has been participating in the Browns' [ More ]

Philip RiversApr 28 06:13p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers will not be traded, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Additionally, the Chargers will not extend Rivers' contract as of now, but they [ More ]

Matt ForteApr 28 05:13p

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte was not present for the team's commencement of their voluntary minicamp Tuesday, April 28. Forte was also absent for the beginning of the offseason [ More ]

Quanterus SmithApr 28 01:23p

Denver Broncos DE Quanterus Smith (knee) was waived Tuesday, April 28, after a failed physical on his left knee. Smith played in 15 games last year and had 11 tackles and zero sacks.

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