Ten questions with the Panthers offensive coordinator, who grew up in Miami as the son of former Dolphins coach Don Shula, the NFLs all-time winningest coach:
Q. What has this week meant to you personally?
A. Its the Panthers going to get their eighth win.
Q. But youre human. This is an organization thats meant a lot to your family ...
A. Yeah. Ive been fortunate enough to be in the NFL for a while now. Ive got a lot of good friends, people that Ive learned a lot from. Its different than if my dad were coaching there and my brother (David). But there are still some people down there I dont know the coaches as well that are still in the organization that are special to me.
Q. Is it going to be weird being in the visitors locker room?
A. No. Ive done it before. If it were my first time, yeah. But its probably been six, seven, eight times down there. My dads still mad at me. We beat em down there when I was with Chicago as the tight ends coach. He said we had an illegal pick play that didnt get called.
Q. Was that at the end of the game, like the Patriots game Monday?
A. No. Now thats different when your dads on the other sideline. And your brother. Thats a lot different.
Q. Did you go to high school in Miami?
A. Yeah. I was five when we moved there (from Baltimore in 1970). So I pretty much grew up there. I was real young when they had the undefeated season (in 1972) and didnt quite know a whole lot. Now, Dave was six years older than me. He was right in the middle of that. I was still up in the stands. As I got older, in junior high and high school, just like a lot of these other coaches kids, I was right out there in the middle of it at training camp. Couldnt get enough of it.
Q. Were you a ballboy?
A. Yeah, and then charted the plays on the sideline. Got to travel with the team at times. Those are a lot of neat memories.
Q. How old were you when you charted plays?
A. I had to wait til my handwriting got good enough. Coach (John) Sandusky had to take it away from me the first time til I learned how to write neater and faster. So I was probably 13 (laughs).
Q. Whose jersey did you wear?
A. Jerseys werent that big back then. I was obviously a huge fan, and still am, of Bob Griese just for the way he does things, the way he played the game.
Q. On Cams 14-yard run against the Patriots, ESPN calculated he ran 75.8 yards, eluded five or six tackles. What would go through you mind watching that as a spectator?
A. Well, he finally watched some tape of me when I was in college (as a quarterback at Alabama) against Memphis State, and tried to mimic that. I think I gained 14 yards on that. It was against man coverage, too. No, you kind of shake your head because its nothing you did as a play-caller. Youre just happy that hes on your side doing it.
Q. Where should we go eat in Miami?
A. Shulas! What did you want me to say?
Person: 704-358-5123; Twitter: @josephperson
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