When Mike Shula met with Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera to interview for the offensive coordinator job in January, he didn’t do a PowerPoint presentation or slap any pie charts on the table.
The only thing Shula brought to the meeting was the playbook – and his vision for what portions of it he would highlight if he were hired to replace Rob Chudzinski.
Rivera liked Shula’s pitch, and liked the idea that the Panthers would not be starting over with a new offense in quarterback Cam Newton’s third season if Rivera promoted Shula from quarterbacks coach.
Nine months later, that continuity is paying off.
Newton is in the midst of the most efficient, three-game stretch of his career, Shula is directing a balanced attack with a renewed emphasis on the run game and the Panthers (4-3) are above .500 for the first time since the end of the 2008 season.
“We were hoping we’d be able to keep things very similar to what we’d built,” Shula said this week. “We felt we’d done a lot of good...