Carolina Panthers

‘Even Janitor’ on the way out of Panthers’ playbook

Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil waits to snap the ball to quarterback Cam Newton during drills on Sunday, July 31, 2016 at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C.
Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil waits to snap the ball to quarterback Cam Newton during drills on Sunday, July 31, 2016 at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Peyton Manning had “Omaha.”

Cam Newton had “Hot Dog?”

The Carolina Panthers quarterback – and the rest of his offensive teammates – are changing their pre-snap terminology this season to prevent against defenses picking up on their verbiage.

Panthers center Ryan Kalil said advances in in-game audio have made it easier for opponents – and fans – to decipher what quarterbacks are yelling at the line of scrimmage. One of Kalil’s buddies was sure he heard Newton make a “Hot Dog” call at the line (he didn’t).

“I have friends who will text me after games and will recite whatever code words they think Cam says. Sometimes they’re right and sometimes they’re wrong,” Kalil said Sunday. “I think that’s something you have to be cognizant of. We have so much stuff in that offense, it’s a lot of terminology.”

One of the on-field microphones last season captured Newton making the strange call of “Even Janitor.” Newton would not confirm whether it was a real call, or a so-called dummy call meant to confuse the defense.

But with the change in terminology this year, it sounds as though “Even Janitor” will be scrapped.

“We’ve changed up almost all of our code words and no-huddle stuff. It’s kind of been like a new playbook,” Kalil said. “We’ve used a lot of the same code words over the years. And with all of the in-audio stuff that other teams can pick up on TV, we’ve really spent all offseason changing the terminology.

“That’s been probably the toughest part of camp because you want to play fast but a lot of that stuff isn’t that quick. We’re getting better at it.”

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