Panthers G.M. not a fan of talk of offensive “evolution”


Maybe when Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman was looking for a birthday gift for coach Ron Rivera, a nice thesaurus would have been a good choice.

Because as Rivera has often referred to the Panthers “evolving” on offense next season, Gettleman admitted he’s uncomfortable with the word choice. While they certainly need to improve, they made no changes to the offensive coaching staff and most of the key personnel is returning intact.

“I know our coaches are bright men and they can evolve, . . . I hate that word,” Gettleman said. “They can change. Stick a needle in my eye, I’m different than the first time you guys saw me up here. The bottom line is the responsibility of the coaches is they have to evaluate the skills and talents of our players, and from there they have to put them in positions to succeed.

“You’ve got access to the entire league, and this is a steal league. You steal from me, I’m stealing from you. So they’re very capable of making adjustments.”

Asked if there was a word he’d have preferred to “evolve,” Gettleman insisted improvements had to be made.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Listen, here’s what I’m going to tell you: If you maintain the status quo, you ain’t getting better. You can’t maintain the status quo, so whatever word you want to use to improve and move off of the status quo, have at it.”

Of course, that’s precisely what Rivera chose when it comes to his coaching staff. Perhaps influenced by losing defensive coordinator Sean McDermott to the Bills, Rivera retained embattled offensive coordinator Mike Shula (and quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey). The Panthers head coach is big on loyalty, promoting Shula in 2013 from quarterbacks coach to a position he’s never really succeeded in, and sticking with him after a year of regression by quarterback Cam Newton which many figured would spark change.

Whether Shula can “evolve” the Panthers offense back to its 2015 production will have a lot to do with whether the team can bounce back next season, but after Rivera naturally selected Shula to come back for another year, it also puts more pressure on the head coach to be right about him.

7 responses to “Panthers G.M. not a fan of talk of offensive “evolution”

  1. It’s interesting that everyone has missed mentioning (probably intentionally) the key person that needs to “evolve”, their highly talented but woefully imature QB. Cam isn’t a rookie any more and the longer he continues (or is allowed to continue) his court jester act, the bigger the problems the panthers are going to face in the future

  2. And Rivera with keeping Shula around another year, if the systems fails again there goes your job and his!! Count it!!!

  3. Gettleman is a buffoon and is not the man to lead the Carolina Panthers to a Super Bowl title. The Panthers need to fire him and move on to a talented GM who is more interested in building a winner in Charlotte and not signing scrubs and stiffs to one year cheap contracts and trading away valuable drafts picks for busts which does nothing but build other teams rosters. Time for Gettleman to go.

  4. I’d hope they evolve or change. The Panthers system is based on run 1st and a deep passing game. Now here’s the rub. They have 1 NFL caliber RB on their roster who’s on his last legs. They drafted (2) identical WR large possession no speed to speak of…Ginn is a FA fast but drops 1 in 4 balls. Lastly, the o-line is terrible and the system they run requires and above average to great line.

    But what do I know just a guy who comes to sites like this during the middle of the work day.

  5. That’s right. If something is working or barely working just continue to do it over and over again and expect different results. Its works for the green bay defense.

  6. I’m not interested in semantics over “evolve” or “change” and whatnot. We’re not that far off. Oher was good until he got this concussion that should end his career. Get a decent LT and some backups and the line is OK. Get an RB, DE, 2 DBs and a slot receiver in FA/Draft and we’re in pretty good shape.

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