Breaking News Aldon Smith Suspended 9 Games By NFL ×

Aug, 13, 2011; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers running backs DeAngelo Williams (34) and Jonathan Stewart (28) after the game. The Panthers defeated the Giants 20-10 at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Dual May Be Done

Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams have lately been “crash and bash” rather than “smash and dash”. While I realize some of these falters were due to bad reads by the OC, the RBs need to take their share of the responsibility.

The great running backs did not lose yards simply because of a blown play, they readjusted and broke for big yards. Bo Jackson, Walter Peyton, Barry Sander, and Adrian Peterson alike. They are known for their vision.

I believe both Williams and Stewart have the capability to be great runners TOGETHER if the right plays were called and the runners did not give up on a play imply because  defense has read it correctly.

Both Stewart and Williams have big contracts and as I said in my last article big contracts means teams need to see big production, or at least consistent production with or without good play calling.


With the OC the play calling should make more sense. Stewart up the middle, Williams on the outside as it should be. To counteract the defense reading this, throw in counters, pitches and read-options. As far as the passing game Williams should be on wheel routes and the deep ball while Stewart should be in the flat and small curl routes over the middle. Screen passes could be split between the two to give the defense different looks.

Another option is a four man backfield which the Redskins used to some effect during this season. With Stewart, Williams, and Barner rotating in the defense would have too many looks to cover. Tolbert could stay in as a staple for blocking or running. This could increase yardage by both running backs due to the complexity of the backfield.

I would hate to see either RB go, they have become a staple of the Carolina Panthers and have been fan favorites for quite some time. However fans must realize the harsh reality that is a dual running system: it is easy to read.

I have put my two cents in on how the RBs can gain yardage, and how plays could be called to give them more opportunities. However, injuries and bad plays don’t excuse everything. The RBs need to keep their head and their vision while on the field to earn their contract.

Do I love the idea of “smash and dash”? Yes. Do I think it will work consistently or be cost effective? No. I like both RBs but they have huge contracts and are not producing the amount of yards needed to constitute paying that much money.

A RB that has both capabilities could be found in the draft, undrafted free agents, or maybe even Kenjon Barner will step up to the challenge. No team or franchise wants to give up fan favorites, but when they players are not producing the business end of football must step forward to save what is left in the piggy bank.

While Williams himself may have taken a contract restructure, as well as other players, that bides Carolina time. It does not however address the pressing concern of high octane contracts and low octane play. The yards per carry of Stewart went from 5.4 in 2011 to 3.6 in 2012. Williams yards per carry went from 5.4 to 4.3 in those same years.

The Carolina Panthers have been trying out Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams for several years and production has been dropping. This allows for the idea of trying something different to be thrown around.

Williams and Stewart may break out this year and do great things. I want them to. But just like Rivera, if it becomes the same old story, new storytellers may be in order.

Next Panthers Game View full schedule »
Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Carolina Panthers DeAngelo Williams Jonathan Stewart

  • Guest

    You have pretty good insight on the situation in Charlotte, Casey. I definitely agree that the OC needs to get a little more creative with his play calling. Maybe, since Cam has been around for a few seasons now, they should let him do a little more play calling on his own. Couldn’t hurt.
    I have noticed, as others have, I’m sure, that Williams and Stewart both seemed to have lost a step or twob in the last couple seasons, and with the kind of money that they are making, and considering they ain’t gettin’ any younger, itsaid like you sa

    t gett

  • ahrcshaw

    Welcome again Mr Casey Diffley, I do appoligise for possibly being a little crule to you on your first article. That said: Again your knife is swift and misleading. You are right,Money matters, players get paid to play and produce. What would your opinion be when they have to raise the price of Hardy and we already have an overpaid Johnson at DE? Is this no different from Double Trouble, do teams not have two execellent players at on position? I can remember the time in the history of the Panthers that they would have given their right leg for a compitent running back. I am not the gereral manager so my solutions don’t matter, but Mr Gettelman has made a wise mover restructuring their salaries. The key being both players “Desire” to stay with the Panter organization, unlike Peppers and by Mr G’s ability to make this Money a win win situation for player and team is the key to a successful organization. There are a number of key players Mr G needs to address money with, Beason, Johnson, Newton, Hardy, its a problem, and if any of these players are money hungry or if Mr G tries to get too cute or if the Player just wants to get on a “Winning team” no money will suit him. So the key is dealing with each player on its warrented bases as defined by Mr G.

    Key arrangements on Stewarts and D Williams contracts have been made, good or bad they are finished for this year, there for it is vital that both these players concentrate on the up coming year. Meaning there is no need to shoot a dead horse, unless some special trade situtation comes up or something both Stew and D are smart enough to know that production keeps them playing. Keeping the issue infront of them is not good management style.

    The major difference I have with your comments is they are too stark, Sterwart dropped from 4.6 yrd per carry to 3.6 yds and D Willams did Z, so what is the problem? With the example you gave of good running backs failed to take into consideration a major playing difference, yes a good running back makes moves to get themselves free just like you said. That being the case the player should be put into the position of accomplishing these feats. Simply put when Chud used his Optiion run as a staple, the defense had two option, either tackel Cam or tackel Williams or Stew. that simple. At the same time D and S were taken out of their eliment, you ask how, in the option the QB stays with the ball in the RB hands and at the last moment possible either gives it to the RB or keeps it. This creates two problems for the RB, first and foremost it takes away the original instinks of the RB to find the seam or where he plans to run, and a lot of time the RB is in the hands of a DT by the time he gets the ball. As a given play the option is not too bad, but when it is constent there is fake and the defense just “T’s” off on it, no difference the a 3rd and long down.

    Watch what happens this year, “if” Cam is structured to play the power run game, with short passes to pound out ball control and yardage, rather then the big Cam play, this O team will be fantastic and everyone will build up stats. Everyone will be happy and you will be able to write about how good everyone is and point out the weakness of the team. Then you and I will have a lot to discuss. Go Panthers.

  • ahrcshaw

    I just happened to look at the Panthers injury list and noticed that Stewart was listed as infinate as far as being able to play. What was more astonishing was the reason “Cancer”. Does anyone know the story or what is going on?