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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Naanee's throwback

Cam Newton's trick play (credited to Scott Turner, apparently) against Tampa Bay - which is saying something for a pro QB who runs a triple option - was a throwback from, and to, Legedu Naanee.

The most critical and interesting thing about that wasn't having a franchise QB catch a 20 yard pass that almost went the distance (and gives wildcat plays some legitimacy). It's that Naanee was the only other player so far to throw a football for Carolina. That's impressive, and right on plan.

Once you draft a guy like that, who needs the reps, you give it to him. Kudos, Carolina.

Naanee became the 15th non-QB to throw a pass (in the best chronological order I can come up with, Eric Guliford, Vince Workman, Guliford again, Ken Walter (P), William Floyd, Walter, Richard Huntley, Dee Brown, Todd Sauerbrun, Steve Smith, Ricky Proehl, Proehl again, Deshaun Foster, Keyshawn Johnson, Armanti Edwards, Brandon LaFell, and now Naanee). Eleven of those players, including 2/3rd of the guys with two shots at it, had incompletions. Guliford was 1/2, with one INT and one 46 yard reception. Notably, Richard Huntley somehow also has a sack; Brown, Johnson, and Floyd had INT to go with Guliford's.

Naanee, because of a single 20+ yard throw, was able to make it to 21st in pro passing for Carolina. Newton is the first QB to catch a pass from scrimmage, to go with his 13th rushing touchdown and 13th passing touchdown.

Might only be interesting to me, but it's interesting.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mike Shula Not Going Anywhere

It seemed unlikely to me anyway, but it seems the uproar over Mike Shula leaving to be the OC of the Florida Gators is unfounded.

Shula came up as a potential OC candidate there, having a pro-style experience in college in the past and fitting with what they wanted. Shula, obviously, has ties to football in the state of Florida and has spent most of his career there in some form.

Carolina is, excluding a couple years as TE coach of the Bears, the furthest north he's ever coached.

And yet, here's why college makes no sense for Shula. He doesn't seem to be interested in it. He's coached four total years in college, and that was exclusively to coach his alma mater, Alabama. Has his career taken such a hit that he should be an OC in college? He could, if wanted, probably land an OC job in the pros at this point.

Pat Dooley of the local-to-UF Gainesville paper, states Shula isn't involved in this hunt. That could be an opinion, but there's also that suggestion by Dooley that UF won't hire anyone until after the bowl game - after the pro games have also ended.

Coworker Robbie Andreu, of the same paper, states that Shula as of yesterday was "a target", and went on to cite that Tim Tebow was heavily recruited by Shula for Alabama, and that the two were close - which could almost guarantee the job. Of course, Tebow isn't a UF official, it's just an anecdote to sell to UF fans.

I personally hope there's no movement in the offensive staff at all, but if they lose Shula, it hurts. It might be smart to target outgoing UNC offensive coordinator John Shoop, a former Carolina QBs coach who's well versed in the Coryell principles but has time in college as well.

If Indinapolis' staff is cut, Ron Turner makes sense - the staff is full of Norv Turner disciples, and therefore Coryell guys - he has coordinator experience, he's been on staff with Rivera (in Chicago), and makes sense to back Rod Chudzinski. He seemed like a logical choice as OC, but luckily IMO never came into consideration. If not for Rivera ties and the idea that Jim Harbaugh wanted him at Stanford (before getting hired in Indy), I wouldn't worry about Turner, who was awful in Chicago. Turner was Shoop's boss as OC while with the Bears as well.

Frank Reich tends to make sense, too, but is young on experience.