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Friday, January 18, 2013

Shula as OC; Skipper, Proehl, Rodgers Hired

It's a day for promotion, I guess.

Mike Shula was promoted to offensive coordinator; Ricky Proehl goes from "consultant" two years ago (assistant WRs coach last year) to WRs coach; Richard Rodgers was named special teams coach after being interim special teams coach a year ago.

Additionally, Shula apparently will continue to coach quarterbacks.  I haven't seen this confirmed by the team  yet, but media is reporting it as a possibility.   Jim Skipper, who was approached as RBs coach today, has also been announced to return to his former role (2002-2010).

My reaction?
Shula is a good hire, but not a great one.  It appears to give a lot more credence to Cam Newton than other players; it potentially takes a dynamic offense too conservative.   I would've gone with Hue Jackson, personally; any continuity given by promoting Shula would've schematically remained.

Separately, I'll react to the potential that Shula will be both OC and QBs coach - that's a terrible idea.  No coordinator should be overseeing a position as well.  Shula's time spent with the QBs is a necessary situation for either role; but carrying both roles, he's shortchanging each role.

It's possible that Skipper, who Shula has no prior experience with, could help provide some relief administratively, but with a young WRs coach in Proehl and no QBs coach, there's more power on the running game side than the passing game.  I do like both Proehl and Skipper hires, but pairing the trio together, and I come away wishing for some more perspective for the passing game and experience in gameplanning.

Rodgers, I don't know.  He's qualified, and able, but there were better options.

To a point, it feels like a number of moves to tread water.  With Ron Rivera potentially on borrowed time, I wonder how many coaches would've been willing to come aboard for what might've been only one year - not the same worry with three guys who were being offered promotions, and one who had no job.   Luckily, they're quality coaches.  We'll see what happens.

Now the team must look to a LBs coach, and hopefully, a QBs coach, assistant WRs coach and/or offensive QC type role, and an assistant special teams coach.  I don't know that they'll go for the QBs coach but certainly hope so; the team needs to have some third tier offensive assistants and a special teams assistant.
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