When you think of high scoring games and fast-paced offenses, the Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, New England Patriots, and Philadelphia Eagles all come to mind. These offenses thrive on moving the ball quickly and efficiently up and down the field while putting up a huge number of points.
You would never think that the Carolina Panthers could have that type of offense. Many forget that Carolina was a contending team in the NFC for many years. They were led by a strong rushing attack and used play-action for deep plays.
The Panthers had deep threats with Steve Smith, Mushin Muhammed and Ricky Proehl in the slot receiver position. Stephen Davis was the featured back and Deshaun Foster was backing him up. Jake Delhomme was orchestrating this offense and when they were all clicking on offense, they were tough to beat.
Times have now changed and the Panthers offense has been struggling for the past couple of seasons. In this years draft, they selected Cam Newton first overall, the Heisman Trophy Winner and National Championship Winner from Auburn.Cam has the physical ability to be a pro quarterback and he has all of the upside in the world.
After the draft, the Panthers re-signed stud running back DeAngelo Williams to a long term contract. Williams will be the featured running back in Carolina, while Jonathan Stewart will be his back up. This one-two punch will wear down opposing defenses, which will lead to big plays in the passing department.
Steve Smith is still the primary receiver but now he finally has some help on the opposing side of the field. Carolina grabbed ex-San Diego Charger Legedu Naanee in free-agency which will give Newton another option to throw to.
I think the key to this whole offense will be the play of their newly acquired Tight Ends, Jeremy Shockey and Greg Olsen. These two Tight Ends are both veterans in the league and will play an intricate part in this offense. Both guys are decent run blockers but they give Newton sure hands at a very weak position for most teams.
Cam now is surrounded by veteran players which will help in his growth as a young quarterback in this league. Look for this offense to be explosive when the running game gets going, and then play-action will take over. I see Carolina as an outside contender for the Wild Card spot in the NFC.