For the record, I’m still on the Cam Newton bandwagon. The guy is ultimately talented and I think he can be the right guy with the right playcalling. I still think Chud can be good, but it seems that he tries to out-think the other team in short yardage situations. The Panthers never just line up in a power I and pound it for a couple yards.
One of the biggest problems the Panthers have is the offensive line. This line has gone through a lot of changes since last season. Wharton is gone. Kalil is out. Hangartner is at C, Bell is at G and Williams is at RT. The only returning player at the same position is Gross, and he’s average at this point. They’ve got a rookie at LG from a division 3 school, a former 5th round pick at C, and two undrafted free agents at RG ant RT. These guys can’t run block, nor can they hold a pocket for 5 seconds. Newton knows this, and is forcing bad decisions. They’re calling plays that take 5-7 seconds to develop, and can’t execute them. They can’t run. They can’t pass.
That leads Offensive Coordinator Rob Chudzinski to call plays that aren’t dependent on the offensive line. Crazy pass plays when most teams would run.
The read option normally helps the offensive line because the defenders have to process the information before making a play. These guys are just really, really bad.
So, in a roundabout way, I don’t blame Chud all that much. What else is he supposed to do? That’s where you arrive at Hurney (and Rivera, to some extent) for bringing in the talent. The bad offensive line causes a chain reaction that they can’t recover from.