The Carolina Panthers made little wake Wednesday when they announced that their current quarterbacks coach Mike Shula had been promoted to offensive coordinator, filling the void left behind by new Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski.
No, there wasn’t a major shock-wave that sent shivers to opposing teams around the NFL, instead the Panthers played it safe, promoting from within, a decision made with their star quarterback in mind.
Shula and Cam Newton joined the Panthers together in 2011 and one can’t argue that Shula’s tutelage of Newton week-in and week-out hasn’t been instrumental in his development as one of the most prolific passers in the game today.
Of course, it would have been nice to see Carolina branch out a little bit and hire someone from the outside while keeping Shula on board as the quarterbacks coach, but the Panthers made their bed today, keeping step with their conservative decision making history.
However, now that this crucial move has been executed, it’s safe to assume that Newton will feel a little more at ease this offseason knowing that his playbook won’t change all that much, which is a good thing considering all of the changes Newton had to endure during his college career and on into the NFL.
Stability and familiarity aren’t such a bad thing when you take into account all of the distractions surrounding a super-star athlete.
At the very least, Panthers fans should take solace in the fact that Newton was trending upward at the end of last season and maybe Shula was a bigger factor in all of it then we all realize.
Robert Kester, Rant Sports Carolina Panthers Columnist. Contact @robertkester1