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Ron Rivera's Panthers not keen on fast-paced offenses

On Wednesday's "Around The League Podcast," we touched on the state of the Panthers' offense coming off a 12-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. While up-tempo schemes are all the rage, Carolina quarterback Cam Newton led an attack that ran a league-low 50 plays in Week 1.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera knows the NFL is getting faster -- he watched Chip Kelly's Eagles rip up and down the field on Monday night -- but he isn't convinced a high-speed approach is the way to go.

"I'm not quite sure what the real, true benefit is other than having a few more plays," Rivera said Thursday, per The Charlotte Observer. "People say, 'Well, you get 75, 80 plays going faster.' You also can go 1-2-3 and out faster and put the other team back on the field faster. So which is it?"

The Panthers held a 7-3 halftime lead over Seattle and seemed determined to cling to it in the second half. Instead of attacking, offensive coordinator Mike Shula grew increasingly conservative. It doesn't seem fair: While the San Francisco 49ers talented passer, Colin Kaepernick, plays for an ultra-creative coordinator in Greg Roman, Cam is stuck in a ball-control approach that feels shot out of 1962.

Said Rivera: "There's some stretches if you go out there and you go too fast and make a mistake, and all of a sudden your defense is back out there. Now your defense is getting worn down. Is that a good thing, too?"

Rivera must have seen what Kelly's high-speed attack did to Washington in the first half of Monday's encounter, leaving the Redskins breathless on defense and unable to sub in players.

Tempo aside, Newton attempted just three passes of more than 10 yards against the Seahawks. In an age when the air show is taking center stage, the Panthers are going in another direction. The results speak for themselves.

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