Norv Turner will help improve more than just the Carolina Panthers quarterback play…
Carolina Panthers new offensive coordinator Norv Turner is known for his work with quarterbacks, but don’t forget another important position where he has had success. Serving as either a coordinator or head coach for over fifteen NFL seasons, Turner has a wealth of experience from which to draw for the Panthers.
While most of the attention has been on how Turner will improve the play of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, there are other areas where he can help. Over his career, Turner has also utilized the talents of many exceptional running backs with his offensive scheme.
Emmitt Smith, LaDainian Tomlinson, Frank Gore and Adrian Peterson are just a few of the names Turner has worked with over his career. Add in Brian Mitchell and Darren Sproles who both dominated from the backfield with all-purpose yards and now imagine Turner’s capabilities with the Panthers current offense.
Veteran running back Jonathan Stewart is no longer a part of the backfield but the Panthers did add C.J. Anderson in the offseason and an under utilized Cameron Artis-Payne remains with the team. An unfortunate injury to Fozzy Whittaker has him sidelined for the 2018 season making the depth a little shallow but expectations remain high for this unit.
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The combination of second-year running back Christian McCaffrey and Anderson should provide for some creative play designs and options as Turner develops his offense. A shift in focus from a zone-read running scheme to more run-pass options is also anticipated.
Having receivers in passing routes in addition to McCaffrey out of the backfield combined with a run option of either Anderson or Newton should provide many sleepless nights for opposing defensive coordinators.
Not only can Turner help to improve Newton’s pocket play but how he elects to utilize arguably the most athletic and versatile quarterback with which he has worked remains to be seen. Add his playmaking capabilities with a backfield combination covering all of Turner’s previous successes and the Panthers should be poised for big things this season.
Training camp and preseason play will provide glimpses into this unique dynamic but it is likely Turner saves a majority of his ideas for the regular season as the group continually develops and adapts to their new coordinator.
A franchise quarterback, legendary tight end, dynamic running backs and solid offensive line will allow for an inexperienced wide receiver group to grow as the season progresses.