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Panthers to start Jonathan Stewart, hope to run more

Jonathan Stewart AP

Panthers coach Ron Rivera wants to run the ball, and he’s going to change the way his team’s doing it — or at least who they’re doing it with.

Rivera said Friday that running back Jonathan Stewart will again start over DeAngelo Williams, though he does want to give Williams more touches than the five he got last week.

“The message being we want to pound the ball—well, not really pound it—but we want one guy to develop a rhythm,” Rivera said, via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. “And then when he gets hot, ride him.”

Rivera also said he wants to rely more on a standard run game, decreasing the amount of zone read they use.

Considering the Panthers have run more than passed seven times under Rivera, and are 6-1 in those games (1-14 when they throw more than pass), and they have a large chunk of salary cap room invested in the backfield, it’s a reasonable position to take.

Also one that might have kept owner Jerry Richardson from firing general manager Marty Hurney Monday.

Of course, the decision isn’t going to sit well with Williams, who has been passive-aggressively retweeting complaints from fans on Twitter in recent days.

If they had a GM, you’d almost suspect they’d try to trade Williams now. But they don’t, which means the decision on an expensive and marginalized back will have to come when Hurney’s replaced.

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14 Responses to “Panthers to start Jonathan Stewart, hope to run more”
  1. tcostant says: Oct 26, 2012 1:56 PM

    If they truely wanted to run the ball they would play more under center. I heard Greg Cowsell this week say that 80% of their plays last week were from shotgun position and most runs were from shotgun too. Stop that/

  2. blacknole08 says: Oct 26, 2012 1:57 PM

    Oh, so NOW he wants to put an emphasis of running the ball and playing to our strengths?

    And now I’m reading that we are 6-1 when we follow that gameplan?! You mean we could have a winning record right now especially in the close games we lost?!

    *Head explodes*

  3. dagon27 says: Oct 26, 2012 2:05 PM

    Trading Williams to AZ would be a good deal for both sides.

  4. tsizzlehotpiss says: Oct 26, 2012 2:07 PM

    The Panthers run 80% of their plays out of the gun because Cammy Cam has never run a pro-style offense or played under center hardly ever.

  5. pilot2011 says: Oct 26, 2012 2:14 PM

    Detroit, Arizona, New Jersey, or Denver.

  6. pilot2011 says: Oct 26, 2012 2:15 PM

    tsizzlehotpiss, neither have you.

  7. dino2997 says: Oct 26, 2012 2:16 PM

    It absolutely makes sense to run the ball more when facing the league’s toughest run defense this weekend. Great coaching.

  8. chargersdiehard says: Oct 26, 2012 2:32 PM

    That team is loaded at tailback, running the ball should be their identity from the get go. Once teams load the box to stop the run, Cam hits Steve Smith for a 80 yarder. Why else have Williams, Stewart, and Tolbert? Tolbert was a huge waste of money unless they use him, they could have kept Mike Goodson for way less coin.

  9. bengalsfranchise says: Oct 26, 2012 3:01 PM

    Bengals should consider picking up DeAngelo… As a Bengals fan, I like the Lawfirm, but he and DeAngelo would be a solid 1, 2 punch… and the Bengals need RB depth badly

  10. Kreedos says: Oct 26, 2012 3:02 PM

    @dagon27 Would love if they traded Williams to The Cards.

  11. snowpea84 says: Oct 26, 2012 3:15 PM

    I don’t think there has ever been a more misunderstood and misused stat than when anyone talks about a teams record when they have run the ball more. Its absurd. Teams run the ball more when they are going to win. That takes alot away from the argument that running wins games. It’s not complicated.

  12. 808raiderinparadise says: Oct 26, 2012 3:35 PM

    tcostant says:
    Oct 26, 2012 1:56 PM
    If they truely wanted to run the ball they would play more under center. I heard Greg Cowsell this week say that 80% of their plays last week were from shotgun position and most runs were from shotgun too. Stop that/

    ———–

    Stop that? Cam can’t play under center, it takes all of his strenghts away. He is vulnerable under center. Thats what you get for drafting a college read-option shotgun gimmick QB. You have to make tough reads under center which requires a high intelligence level of understanding defense, as oppossed to a shotgun read-option attack you read 1 or 2 keys, simplify it and use your athleticism to hurt teams.

    RGIII has shown he is smart enough to play under center at times and he was a shotgun read-option guy in college.

    Cam’s issues aren’t physical, mentally the game is wayyyyyyyyy tooooo much for him.

    Put that in your suggestion box Kim Newton.

  13. mburkett1980 says: Oct 26, 2012 3:44 PM

    Considering the Panthers have run more than passed seven times under Rivera, and are 6-1 in those games (1-14 when they throw more than pass), and they have a large chunk of salary cap room invested in the backfield, it’s a reasonable position to take.

    ———————————-

    I’ve always hated this stat in football. It’s true in so many cases. You know why?

    Teams are not winning because they’re running the ball, they’re running the ball because they’re winning.

  14. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Oct 26, 2012 10:17 PM

    In the past the Panthers were a run first team but have gotten away from it to the point that I don’t think they can suddenly go back to it. Not sure they have the offensive line for that now.

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