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.