There was a curious play call midway through the second quarter against Green Bay on Sunday that had some Carolina Panthers’ fans scratching their heads.
After Carolina turned Green Bay over at the Packers’ 24, offensive coordinator Mike Shula lined up quarterback Cam Newton wide as a receiver and put Joe Webb in the shotgun. The play lost 1 yard after Webb decided to keep the ball. When a Packers defender got into the backfield against Michael Oher, Webb didn’t go to his left as the play was designed, instead heading up the middle.
“It was a run design going the other way,” Shula said. “We got some penetration and I think he overreacted a little bit to it. Unfortunately it wasn’t the way we planned it.”
The Panthers have shown a tendency to go for a big play on a sudden-change turnover, and Shula thought that had potential to be a big play with linemen pulling to block downfield.
That series saw a Newton pass batted at the line on second down and a third-down slant thrown behind Ted Ginn Jr. for an incompletion.
To top it off, Graham Gano missed the 43-yard field goal and the Panthers came away without points.
“Joe’s a really good athlete. He’s a weapon. And we’ve talked about having things for him, and we’re going to continue to look at those things,” Shula said.
“We weren’t very good after that with opportunities to get a first down. That (drive) was on the negative side.”