If the Panthers are looking for continuity when it comes to their offense, then their smartest move came in filling the position of quarterbacks coach, vacated when Mike Shula was promoted to offensive coordinator, with Ken Dorsey.
It was Dorsey who worked with quarterback Cam Newton during the 2011 lockout, teaching Newton the Rob Chudzinski offense.
In fact, when the lockout ended and the Panthers hired Dorsey as an advance scout, the Panthers legitimately were nervous about potential allegations that Dorsey had been working directly on behalf of the Panthers during the lockout.
Regardless, it worked. Newton was able to hit the ground sprinting for the Panthers, thanks in large part to the work of Ken Dorsey, who with Chris Weinke got Newton ready. (Actually, Weinke was more involved in the lockout work with Newton than Dorsey.)
Newton’s ongoing development will hinge on the ability of Dorsey to do what he, along with Weinke, did two years ago in establishing a rapport with Newton and getting him ready to play.
In his second season, Newton didn’t seem to be as ready to do much of anything, especially early in the year. And there have been lingering whispers of Newton not listening to coaches, and of a general lack of energy on offense with the team in 2012. While Shula was part of that in 2012, Dorsey was part of the critical efforts to get Newton ready for one of the best rookie seasons for any quarterback in NFL history.