Author Message
Carolina Panthers make some coaching and organizational changes Curtis Fuller Youth James Bradberry Jersey , the Panthers defensive backs coach, stepped down amidst allegations of workplace misconduct. The Panthers didn’t have an answer to replacing him, until now. Richard Rodgers, former special teams coordinator turned assistant coach, has stepped in alongside JeffImamura to fill the void. Rodgers has been around for awhile and knows the system, so this is a decent short term fix for the position coaching vacancy.In addition, Mark Carrier has went from director of player engagement to senior advisor to the General Manager , Marty Hurney. You may remember Carrier as an early Panthers wide receiver, having played 12 seasons in the league. There were also several scouting changes, which you can find detailed here. These kinds of changes are typical to a team like the Panthers, who were recently purchased by David Tepper and seeing tons of changes along the top of the organization.Will it affect the on-field product? Probably not, in fact we may see Tepper move towards more of his own picks at these key organizational positions in the future. For now, these changes are meant at the very least to help the Panthers for this upcoming season.Expect more changes on the horizon. The Carolina Panthers had a mixed day for what was ultimately a promising win against a solid Cincinnati Bengals team. Fortunately, their tendency for dangerously conservative game management didn’t show itself until the game was likely out of reach. Read on to see why traditional Trai Turner Jersey , supposedly conservative, play calling is actually one of the riskier habits of the Carolina coaching staff.First, let’s start with what Rivera did well. He elected to attempt a 4th and 4 on the Cincinnati 40. Cam Newton’s pass was deflected at the line of scrimmage on a great play by Carlos Dunlap, but I support the decision to be aggressive with that down and distance and that field position. Rivera’s defense, who really pulled it together in the second half, rewarded the gamble by turning the ball back around with a quick three and out that only saw them advance the ball three yards.Rivera used to often cite trust in his defense when asked about punting in these situations. It is nice to see his original faith reward and support this new philosophy of trying to win games.Unsurprisingly, there is still a little more leaf left to turn over. Rivera has done an admirable job in the last two weeks of taking the kinds of risks that win games. He did make a mistake Authentic Kawann Short Jersey , however, in trying to run the clock down while playing for a field goal in a one possession game. All a play has to do keep the clock rolling is finish in bounds. As far as the clock is concerned, a sack is as good as a run. The Panthers had reason to put faith in their running game, to be fair. McCaffrey ended up with 184 yards on the day. That was great. The Panthers also ran the ball six straight plays on that final drive and the Bengals saw it coming every time. That was not great. By the time the Bengals used their last timeout, the Panthers had a 2nd and 9 from the Bengals 24 with 2:26 left in the game. A sack here wouldn’t necessarily put them out of Graham Gano’s range and, at the same time, a field goal from that very spot is no guarantee with him.The Panthers elected to keep the ball on the ground. Two runs from McCaffrey got them through the two minute warning and gained two yards. They also forced the Panthers to a 40 yard field goal.Gano converted and made a two score deficit that Bengals couldn’t erase in the time they had left. It would have been a very different game if he had missed. Another first down after the two minute warning would have ended the game Youth Mario Addison Jersey , no kicks required. A sack would have resulted in a slightly longer field goal. An interception would have likely hurt the Panthers as much as a missed kick. Gano, in his career, has missed 19.4% of his field goals from a distance between 40 and 49 yards. Cam Newton has thrown an interception on 2.7% of his pass attempts. Risking a passing attempt or two would have been worth it to try to get the first down and end the game with the ball in Newton’s hands.Passing is how offenses work in the modern NFL. The Bengals were ready for a run on every down in that situation. Rivera (or possibly offensive coordinator Norv Turner) elected to turtle up and keep the ball “safely” on the ground. Instead of trying to win, coaching decisions again increased their opponent’s chances of winning at the end of the game.I want to be clear about this. We are talking about very low odds for the Bengals to come back. But we’ve seen it before. I would be using much stronger words right now if Gano had missed his kick. He didn’t and the Panthers won. Sometimes the wrong call works out anyway. The point of this column isn’t to call the coaches bad or to say that they should take big risks on every down and in every situation. I’m just here to point out the small moments that have turned games in the past. So far this season, Rivera has shown marked improvement in his decision making in these situations. He seems to be actually bucking some of his by-the-book principles on game day. I think that is great. The book he was raised on is older than the rules that govern the modern game. It seems like Rivera is learning to adapt so that he can survive.