Shula looked to Auburn tape to get the most out of Newton


In the same week that Auburn pulled off a major upset in the Iron Bowl, we’ve learned that a former Alabama coach relied on some Auburn game tape to get the most out of his current quarterback.

In a Friday appearance on PFT Live, Panthers coach Ron Rivera explained how Nick Saban’s Tuscaloosa predecessor, Mike Shula, has gotten the most out of quarterback Cam Newton.

“We had a little bit of a slow start and during that slow start,” Rivera said of his first-year offensive coordinator.  “One of the things that Mike and the offensive staff did was they went back and looked at — we have a library of all of Cam’s plays from college — they looked at what Cam did extremely well and said, ‘You know what, let’s adapt a couple of these ideas and incorporate them into what we do.’  [Shula] took three or four things that [Newton] did really well and we’ve incorporated that and put that into what we do as an offense.  Mike has made it work and that has really helped us.”

Rivera explained that the study of Newton’s Auburn performances happened in September, after the Panthers fell to 0-2 with a loss at Buffalo.

“We went up to Buffalo, we were doing some things, took a step back and said, ‘What can we do to help the quarterback?'” Rivera said.  “Mike and his guys said they were going to go back and take a look at it and Mike told me they really wanted to do it so we did it.  He came to me and said, ‘Look, Coach, this is what I want to incorporate and this is why.’  Mike’s reasoning and his thought process is right on and I was really excited to hear, ‘Let’s take a look at some of these other concepts, somebody else’s ideas.  It’s going to help the team, let’s do it.’  I was really excited to hear that.”

Other owners who are or may be looking for a new head coach could be excited to hear that, too.  The flexibility and creativity hatched by Shula and nurtured by Rivera is the kind of thing that turns a 1-3 start into a 9-3 stretch run.  And it’s the kind of thing that could get Shula onto the interview list for the multiple openings that inevitably will arise in less than a month.

11 responses to “Shula looked to Auburn tape to get the most out of Newton

  1. I don’t like the Panthers or Cam, but I have to give credit to where it is due. That team has turned things around from top to bottom since the start of the season.

  2. What a genius concept, if it’s not broke don’t fix it!!! Wish the Bucs d-line/d-coordinators would figure out that all of the stunting we do is neutralizing the premier DT in the game right now (McCoy).

  3. Amazing – let’s find out what our qb does really well….and then have him do it….

    Guess that’s why they get the big bucks..

  4. Cam is one of the few QBs who can take the punishment from running the ball. Actually, I’m not sure he takes the punishment, I think he gives it.

  5. So it took them two weeks into the season to come to that revelation? While it does shoe adaptability, it also shows a complete lack of foresight in the offseason. It sounds like they also wasted time on offensive installation during ota’s and training camp.

  6. Wow, you mean it’s usually a good idea to play toward someone’s strengths? Somebody tell Mike Shanahan!

  7. Lesson one, don’t draft Heisman Trophy winning QBs. Every single one of them since the early 90s has been a bust or just average.

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