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Saturday, February 24, 2007

More Jeff Davidson News

Davidson, a very likeable and charismatic man for a former lineman and line coach, has been making the media rounds since being hired. It's a curious move for a guy whose replacement was ousted, in part, because of saying too much to the media. There's no amount of slamming current or former players here, though - no badmouthing of Eric Shelton, for instance.

And the parallels of being the anti-Henning continue in the recent news, as Davidson has recently stated he was going to do a lot to get Steve Smith the ball, possibly including some motion (and without stating it directly, a possible move from the X receiver to the off-the-line Z receiver, though that would keep Keyshawn Johnson from going in motion for blocking).

The four Panthers backs (with a notable exception of mentioning fullback Brad Hoover) were discussed as well, but not in depth. There was talk of film study and merely wanting to put them to the ground in various ways, which may or may not mean more specialization amongst the four backs. The speculation last year was that Hoover, a former RB, was pushed back toward carrying the ball by Fox after neglect by Henning, so it's hard to say whether Hoover will be much of a ball carrier, but shouldn't be a major threat either way. With Nick Goings back after an extension, and possibly gaining a portion of the KR duty, it appears that Shelton may again be inactive much of the 2007 season.

In a recent John Fox/Panthers.com interview, Fox mentioned the new cadence and the use of a different audible system. To go more in depth, we'll have a series of audibles (color/number: green 82) that'll include a dummy call (certain colors will be decoy). There's rumor of working on Delhomme's calls to make him a greater threat of pulling defenders offside, considering the team's general offensive discipline.

There was also mention of the team's new philosophy toward blocking: the Panthers now rejoin the majority of the league in running a zone scheme rather than a man-blocking scheme. This will have more flow/motion style stretch plays, as well.
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