In the weeks and months since the Panthers selected running back Christian McCaffrey and wide receiver Curtis Samuel in the first two rounds of this year’s draft, they’ve made no secret about how they hope the two players fit into their offense.
The team sees the rookies as adding an explosive element to the unit because of their speed, especially when it comes to catching a short pass from Cam Newton and turning it into a big game. Getting the ball out to them quickly would also likely limit the hits Newton takes in the pocket, something that would double the benefit of expanding the ranks of playmakers on offense in Charlotte.
During an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio with Ross Tucker and Bob Papa, Panthers coach Ron Rivera reiterated those hopes as well as the kind of offense that the Panthers see as an example of where they’d like to go.
“Look what they did in Pittsburgh with Ben Roethlisberger,” Rivera said. “Look what they did with the type of players they put in their backfield, put in their receiving corps. They run the ball with a very quick, slashing style running game. They can ground and pound it at the same time with the same running game. Then they’ve got some very versatile, quick receivers that make plays once they get the ball in their hands.”
No one is likely to start comparing McCaffrey and Samuel to Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, but they don’t need to be on that level to add new wrinkles to a Panthers offense that didn’t have enough of them last season.