It didn’t look much like schemes previous coordinators Jeff Davidson and Dan Henning ran under former coach John Fox. There were passes to the tight ends, a reverse to Armanti Edwards and some downfield throws.
And that was just a first glimpse. There are other nuances we haven’t seen yet. The Panthers still will run the ball a fair amount because DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are quality running backs, but there’s going to be more balance in the offense.
That’s a refreshing change for the players, even the offensive linemen, who generally pride themselves on run blocking.
“We got in a situation the last year or two where we were very much a one-dimensional offense,’’ Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil said during my recent visit to Carolina’s training camp. “Teams were putting eight or nine men in the box. We were still running the ball pretty well. But you can’t do just that and win in this league.’’
The Panthers didn’t win very often last year. They went 2-14 and replaced Fox with Ron Rivera. Although Rivera comes with a defensive background, he realized Carolina needed to change its offensive philosophy. That’s why he brought in Chudzinski, who had been the tight ends coach in San Diego. The plan is to run an offense similar to what the Chargers use.
“There are dynamics to our offense that we haven’t had in a while,’’ Kalil said. “I’ve always felt we’ve been one-dimensional with the running game. That whole aspect of the offense is going to completely change now.’’