In most cases, NFL offensive coordinators want to see the plays they call run exactly the way they’re drawn up. Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula is different.
Shula said that after watching a play he called break down on Monday night — only to have quarterback Cam Newton make it work by evading half the Patriots’ defense while running for 17 yards — he was perfectly happy to say that Newton can make things work even if the play Shula calls doesn’t work.
“You kind of shake your head because it’s nothing you did as a play caller and you’re just happy he’s on your side doing it,” Shula told the Charlotte Observer.
There aren’t many offensive coordinators who are happy when their plays break down, but there aren’t many offensive coordinators who coach a quarterback as talented as the one Shula coaches. Newton can do things with the ball in his hands that we’re not accustomed to seeing quarterbacks do, so it’s not surprising that Shula says things about his offense that we’re not accustomed to hearing coordinators say.