CHARLOTTE — New Panthers offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo has some thoughts on individual players (as you might have noticed).
But mostly, as he works through installing an offense here, he’s trying to focus on the greater whole of what they’re trying to do during the spring.
McAdoo said Wednesday that the main goal in OTAs is on “TLC, . . . teaching, learning, and communication.”
“We’re just trying to learn about each other a little bit, learn the offense, put it in, kind of see what guys do well and how they fit together, but they’ll all work together in that room, they’ll all eventually push each other when it comes that time to fight for a job,” McAdoo said. “But right now, it’s just, you know, teaching, learning, and communication.”
There’s a lot of that to do, as they’re putting in a brand new scheme. Head coach Matt Rhule said he was loves having someone with McAdoo’s experience calling plays, since it frees him up to do some of the executive-level work of a head coach. But between their comfort together, and the fact so much of this staff has background with McAdoo (including quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan, offensive line coach James Campen, and tight ends coach Kevin Gilbride), they’re pleased with what they’ve put in place so far.
OTAs have been a blend of installing it all, and then using a chunk of each day to teach it on the field. By the time they get through training camp, the hope is that they’ve had enough reps to know not just the playbook, but how the pieces on hand fit into it.
“I want to get feedback from the players; I want to see them do a variety of things, see them do things that they maybe haven’t done on tape in the past,” McAdoo said. “And see how that looks, see their comfort level doing it, see if we can push them to do something, add a little more, . . . a little extra tool in their toolbox that we can carry forward. So there’s a lot we’re looking at right now, but the biggest thing I don’t want to do is rush to judgment over what our offense is going to look like. You know, the offense that we’re going to put out there is going to look far different probably than any offense that you’ve seen me involved with in the past. That’s just because our players are different. That doesn’t mean we have a bunch of new plays that we didn’t have in the past; we’re just going to try to do our best job to tailor to the players we have.”
— One of the players McAdoo is looking forward to working with is quarterback Matt Corral, but he wasn’t on hand Wednesday for the open practice.
Rhule said Corral was dealing with a “tragedy” in his family.
“It’s voluntary, but we told him to take some time and worry about him and his family right now,” Rhule said.
— Former Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short was on hand for Wednesday’s practice, watching from the sidelines and catching up with former coaches and teammates.
Short only got to play in three games under Rhule because of the shoulder injuries that derailed his career, but he made a big impression on Rhule.
“It was great to have him there,” Rhule said of Short. “He was one of my favorite players that I’ve ever had a chance to coach. Was one of the best leaders. Unfortunately, got hurt way too soon. His influence is still felt around here.”
Defensive end Marquis Haynes Sr. was back on the field in a green jersey, still limited after hand surgery. But his presence is a good sign for a group that needs his pass-rushing ability (he has 7.0 sacks in just 513 snaps the last two seasons).