Panthers fire Mike Shula, Ken Dorsey

AP

The Panthers may lose defensive coordinator Steve Wilks to a head coaching job with another team and they announced on Tuesday that they’ve lost offensive coordinator Mike Shula by choice.

The team announced that Shula has been relieved of his duties. Quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey has also been let go in major changes to the team’s offensive coaching staff.

Shula has been with the Panthers for the last seven years and spent the last five as the offensive coordinator. Carolina finished 12th in points scored and ranked fourth in rushing, but their passing attack landed near the bottom of the league. That’s been a regular occurrence under Shula and Dorsey, who has been the quarterbacks coach for the last five seasons, and it seems likely that shortcomings in that area led to the decision to make a change.

Tuesday’s move means that someone else will get the chance to get better results when quarterback Cam Newton puts the ball in the air and that the status quo will have little place around the Panthers this offseason as they prepare for a change in ownership to go with big changes to their coaching staff.

87 responses to “Panthers fire Mike Shula, Ken Dorsey

  1. If I’m the Giants or the Cardinals I’d look seriously at how they could potentially pry Ron Rivera out of Carolina. Surely there is a deal that could be done.

  2. Newton passed for 306 yards and the team put up 413 yards and 26 points against the vaunted Saints defense in the Superdome, then fired the OC and QB coach. How will the Saints do on the road this week?

  3. We interrupt this site to bring you actually sourced football news.

    We will return to your regularly scheduled unnamed and, quite possibly, never sourced hyperbole shortly.

  4. Maybe a good move, but never forget the group of players acquired by Gettleman. The roster is depleted of adequate prolevel players. Cam has never had anything close to a WR corp, since Gettleman fired Steve Smith. He also let the RB corp get old and slow.

    I’m glad he’s in NY, so the world can see what a bum he is.

  5. The Panthers traded away their best wide receiver and they didn’t have any depth behind him but blame low passing numbers on the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. Try getting some quality wide receivers.

  6. So that’s what happened to Ken Dorsey. Seams like just yesterday he was starting for the 49ers and struggling to throw the ball more than 20 yards.

  7. Looks like Cam got his wish. Those guys likely got more out of him then he will give credit for, now he has an excuse as his regression continues.

  8. Wasting Cam Newtons prime while watching the offense play so uninspired the past 2 seasons meant it was time. Regression in passing, mundane play calling, lack of creativity with some unique talents, and refusing to make adjustments when the offense either wasn’t working or was being overwhelmed by the pass rush. This team has a handful of great players coming into their prime, they need a few roster moves and fresh coaching perspective to give them a chance to go all the way.

  9. The best season Shula had with the Panthers was when the Defense kept giving them the ball back with good field position. Much easier to score on the good side of the 50. Hope they can find someone better, but Cam still needs guys who can catch the ball in the end zone when it hits them in the hands.

  10. I don’t understand this one .. Shula is a pretty solid coordinator. Pretty hard to have a top passing game when you have Cam and mainly scrub receivers on hand. I’d say Shula got as much as he could out of that cast of characters.

  11. I don’t know much about him but I will say that Cam has very few weapons on that team (Olsen being hurt didn’t help) and yet they finished 12th in the league on offense. That’s not HORRIBLE. Plus their o-line isn’t exactly top notch either.

    Does anyone understand the Benjamin trade? Are they in cap hell and won’t be able to resign him or something?

  12. Smart move. The team’s offense hit a plateau with these two. They can do better with Newton, McCaffery, Funchess and the guys coming back from IR. They need more creativity and less predictability. redlikethepig must have no clue about how coachable Newton is. He has altered his game over and over, meeting the wishes of the coaches. Hopefully, the Panthers find an OC that sees what Newton can do and let’s him do it.

  13. In Teddy We Trust says:
    January 9, 2018 at 12:12 pm
    Newton passed for 306 yards and the team put up 413 yards and 26 points against the vaunted Saints defense in the Superdome, then fired the OC and QB coach. How will the Saints do on the road this week?

    —-

    Just fine. Easily the most competitive game of the weekend. Take away the Steelers/Jags and it might be the only competitive game this weekend. But I think you overrate the Vikings. Sure they are good – great even on defense at least. But they aren’t playing the Bucs, Bears, Packers and Browns anymore.

  14. learysdisciples says:
    January 9, 2018 at 12:08 pm
    Camera’s crying about this move.

    “Camera” For Cam Newton may be the most appropriate nickname ever! Perfect, love it

  15. Hopefully the Steeler’s hire Mike Shula. Would be major up-grade over Tod Haley

    So many times I hear this from Steelers fans yet you have one of if not the most potent offences in the NFL and whilst Haley may not be in your eyes one of the best he sure looks like he is doing a good job to me.

    For the record I am a Patriots fan!

    As for Cam Newton, he seems to be too headstrong to coach, I guess you are stuck with he is what he is!

  16. In Teddy We Trust says:
    January 9, 2018 at 12:12 pm
    Newton passed for 306 yards and the team put up 413 yards and 26 points against the vaunted Saints defense in the Superdome, then fired the OC and QB coach. How will the Saints do on the road this week?
    ///////////////////////////

    As a Viking fan, I don’t think you really want to know.

  17. Look, Newton is a previous league MVP and has taken his team to a Super Bowl–so, let’s stop pretending he can’t play.

    He has a skill set—it’s just not the standard QB skill set–what he lacks in passing accuracy (and he definitely lacks) he makes up for in the run skills.

    Now, they need to find an OC and QB coach who can gameplay better for that skill set…BUT that’s not all–Cam has to learn hw to be an honest to God leader. And if he can’t do that then it doesn’t matter who the coaching staff is.

    Personally, as a Bucs fan, I hope he continues to suck.

  18. Anyone who says Kelvin Benjamin was the best receiver is clueless. Dude was slow, lazy, ran HORRIBLE routes, had zero technique whatsoever, and with a younger slightly more agile carbon copy of him in Funchess on the other side, having both of them out wide slowed the entire offense down. Benjamin had no work ethic and Cam would rely so heavily on him that he’d stare him down constantly, and given how slow and bad at running routes he was while Cam stared him down, the offense went stale time after time. Remember, the Panthers best offense since Benjamin was drafted came when he was on the sidelines for an entire season. That’s not just a coincidence.

    Now Shula is gone too and i couldn’t be happier. His situational play calling was entirely predictable. I got so sick of watching this offense do the most predictable things at the most predictable times. Then when he would try to “mix it up”, it was the worst and most clueless ways possible. Like a wide option pitch to the short side of the field to a rookie WR. Or calling for Cam to take a 7 step drop with no check downs when they’re on the edge of FG range while asking Christian McCaffrey to block a defensive end. Shula was clueless and i’m sad it took this long to get rid of him.

  19. dolphins4 says:
    January 9, 2018 at 12:20 pm
    The Panthers traded away their best wide receiver and they didn’t have any depth behind him but blame low passing numbers on the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. Try getting some quality wide receivers.

    STOP WITH THE BEST WIDE RECEIVER BS!!!! – Kelvin Benjamin sucks. I watched him for the past 4 years and he cannot get open, has mediocre hands, is slow, and shows up out of shape. He is NOT the best WR on the Panthers or Bills and I GUARANTEE that he will be cut by the Bills in 2 years.

  20. Jim Bob Cooter has done good things with Stafford. I wonder if Carolina asks the Lions for pernmission to interview him.

  21. Cam is such an amazing athlete that I bet it’s hard to think about parting with him…..but my bet is history will show that he’s not a great QB and has already peaked.

  22. The Panthers had a recipe for success. We saw it in 2015. And instead of wisely resigning the key guys that got them there, they decided to go a cheaper route and let Josh Norman go. That set them back two years instead of progressing two years. This year, they let key wide receiver go as well as others to save money next year for sure. STUPID. And NF teams do this ALL THE TIME. So now they have to find the new formula and then I guess they will do it again. WHY IS IT THEY DONT SEEM TO GET THIS? It’s not JUST about the freaking QB. If you don’t have top defensive playmakers and offensive playmakers-guess what, You are not going to win post season very much.

    I also don’t know why they did not roll Cam Newton out during the last drives of that game. I mean they played right into the Saints wishes. Keep Cam in the pocket. They really should have been fired just for that dumb move.

  23. Never been a Shula fan, but I don’t know why you fire the guy for not having receivers. He also made lemonade out of that McCaffrey pick, which looks dumber every time I look at who got picked later in the draft.

  24. In Teddy We Trust says:

    Newton passed for 306 yards and the team put up 413 yards and 26 points against the vaunted Saints defense

    “Vaunted” Saints defense? They were 15th in the league against the pass.

  25. When you make a mistake with the #1 pick, lots of people end up paying for it with their jobs. No coach that has other opportunities on the table is going to step into this doo-doo.

  26. Cam’s such a great QB, so yea lets fire the QB Coach who coached him almost his whole career. Does that mean they’re admitting Cam is also not as good as they thought?

  27. For the people saying he was a good OC and talking about how dumb the Panthers were to trade Benjamin, just STOP. You clearly know NOTHING about the Panthers. Shula has been a terrible OC. Predictable and uninspired. He NEVER makes adjustments at halftime. Even after the 15-1 season most of us were still hoping to get rid of him. Benjamin needed to go too. Lazy routes and Cam would only look his way and throw to him in triple coverage. No point in having 3 guys at 6 foot 4 or taller. It crowded the middle and made the defenses job way too easy. Stick to your own boards.

  28. reddzen says:
    January 9, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    In Teddy We Trust says:
    January 9, 2018 at 12:12 pm
    Newton passed for 306 yards and the team put up 413 yards and 26 points against the vaunted Saints defense in the Superdome, then fired the OC and QB coach. How will the Saints do on the road this week?

    —-

    Just fine. Easily the most competitive game of the weekend. Take away the Steelers/Jags and it might be the only competitive game this weekend. But I think you overrate the Vikings. Sure they are good – great even on defense at least. But they aren’t playing the Bucs, Bears, Packers and Browns anymore.
    _________

    I actually didn’t mention the Vikings, but now that you bring it up, didn’t the Saints lose to the Bucs 31-24 just 10 days ago?

  29. Michael E says:
    January 9, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    “Vaunted” Saints defense? They were 15th in the league against the pass.
    ________

    I’ve been told by Saints fans the first two games of the season don’t count.

  30. People who say the Panthers traded away their best WR haven’t watched this team play.

    Cam had two WRs who did the exact same thing (one was a hard worker, one was not) they clogged up the field and Samuel and Olsen were hurt most of the year. Cam was throwing balls to people no one had ever heard of.

    Because of that, they faced 8 or 9 man boxes all year.

    Plus, Cam was recovering from surgery himself.

    Give them an off season, healthy, together and the passing game will be better.

  31. but their passing attack landed near the bottom of the league… does that have anything to do with Cam’s shoulder issues……..?????

  32. Cam will be the new OC, and QB coach. Look out Rivera, he’s comin’ for you next and will take over as HC. Cam, the one man band.

  33. I wish some of you people would put you in a hatred out of the way and actually pay attention just a little this move has need for a very very long time

  34. In Teddy We Trust says:
    January 9, 2018 at 1:05 pm
    reddzen says:
    January 9, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    In Teddy We Trust says:
    January 9, 2018 at 12:12 pm
    Newton passed for 306 yards and the team put up 413 yards and 26 points against the vaunted Saints defense in the Superdome, then fired the OC and QB coach. How will the Saints do on the road this week?

    —-

    Just fine. Easily the most competitive game of the weekend. Take away the Steelers/Jags and it might be the only competitive game this weekend. But I think you overrate the Vikings. Sure they are good – great even on defense at least. But they aren’t playing the Bucs, Bears, Packers and Browns anymore.
    _________

    I actually didn’t mention the Vikings, but now that you bring it up, didn’t the Saints lose to the Bucs 31-24 just 10 days ago?

    —–

    Oh please.

    When isn’t it about the Vikings. It’s all implied.

    The predicted big win is this weekend for you.

  35. In Teddy We Trust says:

    January 9, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Newton passed for 306 yards and the team put up 413 yards and 26 points against the vaunted Saints defense in the Superdome, then fired the OC and QB coach. How will the Saints do on the road this week?

    =================================================================================

    Saints defense wasn’t very good at the beginning of the season. Saints started 0-4 and pieces hadn’t come together yet.

    Since then the defense has started to play well and the Saints parted ways with Peterson and embraced Kamara.

    If you really think the first game Saints are the same team now you really are in denial. I suspect there is a good chance that the Vikes get beaten soundly at home.

  36. and for those of you who have too much hatred actually pay attention Cam Newton and Ron Rivera only have two more years left on their contract and then also the contract to keep the team in Charlotte ends in 2 years

  37. redlikethepig says:
    January 9, 2018 at 12:10 pm
    Can you imagine trying to coach Cam Newton? Good luck to the next guy.
    ———————————-
    My guess is the next guy isn’t going to be too upset about having to coach Cam Newton.

  38. It was only a couple of years ago after the Panthers great run to the Super Bowl, there was serious speculation about Shula in contention for head coaching roles, (especially with the coaching pedigree of his Dad). Now he’s out of a job and considered a failure. Hope he gets another opportunity, because coaching Cam would be difficult.

  39. Now Shula is gone too and i couldn’t be happier. His situational play calling was entirely predictable. I got so sick of watching this offense do the most predictable things at the most predictable times. Then when he would try to “mix it up”, it was the worst and most clueless ways possible. Like a wide option pitch to the short side of the field to a rookie WR. Or calling for Cam to take a 7 step drop with no check downs when they’re on the edge of FG range while asking Christian McCaffrey to block a defensive end. Shula was clueless and i’m sad it took this long to get rid of him.

    ———————————–
    I guess you haven’t seen Bevell call plays for Seattle….he may even be a tad worse.

  40. Maybe the next guy can get Cam to look at some aerial photographs during the game. And feed him some Red Bull or coffee or something.

  41. balt88 says:
    January 9, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    In Teddy We Trust says:
    January 9, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Newton passed for 306 yards and the team put up 413 yards and 26 points against the vaunted Saints defense in the Superdome, then fired the OC and QB coach. How will the Saints do on the road this week?

    =================================================================================

    Saints defense wasn’t very good at the beginning of the season. Saints started 0-4 and pieces hadn’t come together yet.

    Since then the defense has started to play well and the Saints parted ways with Peterson and embraced Kamara.

    If you really think the first game Saints are the same team now you really are in denial. I suspect there is a good chance that the Vikes get beaten soundly at home.
    ________

    I didn’t say anything about the first game of the season, although now that you mention it, is it possible the Saints weren’t very good in the first two games of the season because they were playing against two of the best teams in the NFL?

    And I believe the Saints started 0-2, not 0-4.

    This will be a close game. If you think the Vikings are going to be beaten soundly at home, you’re in much bigger denial than I am.

  42. Remember when Don Shula complained about what a horrible idea it was when Alabama fired Mike and hired Saban? Maybe good things are about to happen to the Panthers.

  43. Dorsey should land back in the NCAA on Miami’s staff. I’m honestly surprised this lasted as long as it did in Carolina for him. Newton from the outside seems like he would be impossible to work with.

  44. “So right now the Panthers have no owner, entire front office is interim until new owner decides to keep or fire, no OC, DC has 4 or 5 interviews lined up”

    I beg to differ…the Panthers do have a new owner…the New Orleans Saints. 3-0 certainly seems “owned” to me…

  45. Cam will need to become an adult first.
    Sore loser, spoiled brat attitude.
    Until these issues are addressed he will never make it past the first round of playoffs if they make the playoffs again.

  46. The problem for the Panthers is that Cam has to serve as the primary RB as well as the QB. His shoulder factored into the passing game, but Shula kept slamming Stewart into a brick wall on first down for at most two yards, then call a 30 yard pass, then call a two yard WR screen, and punt.

    To start the year they force fed CMC and teams keyed on him. They balanced his work load in the middle of the season (where he and the offense was most effective), and turned him into an after thought when Kaili (center) returned and Stewart had one decent game. Shula was tasked with “evolving” the offense into a quick strike unit featuring fast guys in space. That never materialized and Shula was fired.

    Benjamin was traded because he’s slow and only ran one really good route. I think it would have been better to move him to tight end rather than trade him for a 3rd and some change.

  47. I think Shula did a commendable job getting this offense to where it has been the last 3-4 years but it just seems to me that there’s a ceiling with him and they’ve lacked any kind of consistency or something to hang their hat on. Cam’s mechanics and consequently accuracy has been horrible this year (something I think reflects on the QB and QB coach) and it’s seemed like pass plays were either vertical routes, stop/comeback routes or dump offs and very rarely an opportunity for the receiver to run after the catch (which I think reflects on play design and calling.) I also thought trading Benjamin was foolish – he shouldn’t have been starting but once the injuries started piling up he’d have been an improvement of some of the practice squad guys that ended up playing significant minutes. I think it’s time for a fresh start with a new system and coaches – there’s a lot of good pieces to work with – just need some fresh thinking about how to do it.

  48. I do not believe that Cam-rolina’s Offense has necessarily become stagnant, just more so the fact that this past season, there have been key players like Greg Olsen who have been struggling with nagging injuries, including Cam.

    Cam-rolina had the Saints Beat, if not for the missed FG and the end zone dropped TD pass which would have added on an additional 10 points. With Shula gone, this means Cam-rolina O will now have to learn a new scheme. Look at what happened to Big Blue once there was a regime change (from Tom Coughlin). Tough times are coming for Cam-rolina. Go TITANS!

  49. 1.Saints defense isn’t vaunted, but it is a good, opportunistic defense.

    2. The first two games do count, but this team has improved greatly and isn’t the same one the Vikings and their fans think it is.

    3. It will be an extremely hard fought and Close game. If Vikings fans think you’re gonna dominate, then your IQ is seriously lacking. Saints fan know, and completely understand this.

    4. Who Dat!?

  50. I would have thought Mike Shula’s passing numbers would have been better, since he is a descendant of one of the greatest cheaters of all time, Don Shula, a crook in a total fraud.

  51. Shula is a good coach, but a coach can only do so much. For the first 11 games, Kyle Shanahan was a bad coach. His 49ers were 1-10. Then they finally got a decent QB, Jimmy Garoppolo. They went 5-0 with Garoppolo and Shanahan suddenly looked like a great coach.

  52. thudspeth says:
    January 9, 2018 at 12:57 pm
    How about firing the GM for having no WR’s
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    They did that mid-season.

  53. Where are the WR’s.
    Misplaced McCaffrey. He is a slot receiver and not built for a RB
    Cam Newton is not a franchise QB, period.
    The Panthers are going down hill.

  54. jonathankrobinson424 says:
    January 9, 2018 at 2:56 pm
    Shula will be unemployed for about 10…9…8….7….6…5….4…..3…..2….ONE week!

    ————————————————————————–

    You right Im sure there are plenty of college teams looking for a coordinator……..

  55. No new QB coach is going to make Cam a great passer at this point in his career. For all his “physical talent” he’s never been a consistently accurate quarterback. Receivers are part of it, but even when he has good receivers he can’t hit the broad side of a barn a few games per season. How do you explain Ginn having a 45% reception rate with the Panthers but a 70%+ reception rate with the Saints? It’s because Drew Brees makes that ball a lot easier to catch!

    Want evidence? Let’s look at stats. Per Pro-Football Reference, here are some career pass completion stats per Pro-Football Reference:

    1. Drew Brees 66.9%
    2. Kirk Cousins 65.5%
    3. Aaron Rogers 65.1%
    4. Matt Ryan 64.9%
    5. Phillip Rivers 64.2%
    6. Ben Roethlisberger 64.1%
    7. Russell Wilson 64.0%
    8. Tom Brady (tie) 63.9%
    8. Matt Schuab (tie) 63.9%
    10. Ryan Tannehill 62.7%
    11. Sam Bradford 62.5%
    11. Carson Palmer 62.5%
    13. Alex Smith 62.4%
    14. Andy Dalton 62.3%
    15. Matthew Stafford (tie) 62.0%
    15. Jay Cutler (tie) 62.0%
    16. Joe Flacco 61.7%
    17. Derek Carr 61.3%
    18. Jameis Winston 60.8%
    19. Josh McCown 60.4%
    20. Eli Manning 59.8%
    21. Ryan Fitzpatrick 59.7%
    22. Chad Henne 59.3%
    23. Andrew Luck 59.2%
    24. Blake Bortles 59.1%
    25. Matt Cassel 58.9%
    26. Cam Newton 58.5%
    27. Mark Sanchez 56.7%(retired, but included for comparison)
    28. Tim Tebow 47.9% (included for fun)

    Simple fact, Cam is too inconsistent, too hot and cold, to be a great passer. At his age, no coach or coordinator is going to fix that. He’s a known commodity. You want a quarterback that can run and gets hot passing a few times a year, but isn’t so great at passing the other half of the year? Cam’s your guy.

  56. polksaladandy says:
    January 9, 2018 at 12:13 pm
    What a shock. Unlike his old man, who is way overrated, no one is fooled by his last name.
    ——————————————
    Don Shula overrated? You sir, are an idiot. I don’t know or care about his kid’s issues coaching that ego-driven nut job, but I can tell you Don Shula was a coaching legend. You’d know that too if you bothered to check the facts.

  57. The fact that this guy wasn’t drawing up plays to scheme McCaffrey into mismatches, was proof of his incompetence and the need for his termination.

  58. Cam is limited to the type of offenses you can run. His career will take a massive decline in the coming years. He wont be able to play his style forever. At some point his limited passing ability will catch up to him.

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