Will Ben McAdoo’s influence be enough for the Panthers in 2022?

(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) Ben McAdoo
(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) Ben McAdoo /

Will the growing influence of new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo be enough for the Carolina Panthers to shine in 2022?

It hasn’t taken long for Ben McAdoo to stamp his mark on the Carolina Panthers. The former New York Giants head coach has been an influential figure within the organization during an eventful recruitment period this offseason, with his opinion holding some serious weight despite him being new to the set-up.

According to general manager Scott Fitterer, the opinion of McAdoo played a leading role in the Panthers moving up to acquire Matt Corral at No. 94 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. A decision that finally gives the team a long-term project to develop into a potential starter down the line.

Not only this, but it also appears as if McAdoo was the driving force behind Ian Thomas getting an extension rather than being permitted to test the free-agent market.

The offensive coordinator clearly feels like the former fourth-round pick can thrive under his tutelage. McAdoo is also renowned for utilizing tight ends heavily within his system, which is sure to bring more in the way of opportunities.

Ben McAdoo has made his presence felt within the Carolina Panthers this offseason

One of the main reasons why more experienced coaches were brought in by the Panthers this offseason was to provide a voice about which direction the franchise should go in certain areas. Considering how poor the personnel process has been under center since Rhule replaced Ron Rivera, the former Baylor man probably welcomes any help he can get.

There might be another upcoming move if Carolina isn’t convinced in Darnold or Corral. But a report stating not everyone was convinced in a trade for Baker Mayfield led to speculation that McAdoo was the one against it given his previous comments on the former Oklahoma standout.

That hasn’t been substantiated in any way.

And McAdoo wouldn’t be talking about another team’s player in front of the media, that’s for sure.

McAdoo’s instant influence has been refreshing. But much more is needed for the coach to get his own career back on track in Carolina.

Getting everyone up to speed quickly, coaching up certain individuals, altering Christian McCaffrey’s usage, and identifying areas that need further refinement will be top of McAdoo’s list in the coming weeks.

It’s a huge campaign ahead for the Panthers, who have no real margin for error after accumulating 15 wins over the last three seasons to increase the level of disenchantment between the team and the fans.

McAdoo does not appear to be one of the “yes men” that Rhule surrounded himself with earlier in his tenure. If he doesn’t like something, he won’t be shy in voicing his opinions, one suspects.

After all, coming to Carolina represents another opportunity in a prominent position of power that McAdoo won’t want to waste.

This is yet another fascinating element of Carolina’s 2022 season that should be watched closely. There is an abundance of talent on offense and the protection will improve, but even that might not be enough if Darnold or someone else under center cannot raise their game accordingly.

Hopes are relatively high for McAdoo. Especially considering how seamlessly he’s slotted into the organization since his appointment.

However, talk is cheap and all supporters care about right now is winning. Something they haven’t experienced too much under the current regime.

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