Panthers add Mike Shula as QB coach

The Carolina Panthers just announced what might be their most important hire of the offseason.

They just named Mike Shula as their quarterbacks coach. He's going to be the guy in charge of making Jimmy Clausen -- or whoever else the Panthers bring in -- into a legitimate quarterback. I think the Panthers might have found the right guy, even though I know there are some Shula critics out there.

I've known Shula since he was Tampa Bay's offensive coordinator back in the 1990s and I think he's had a tough career road due to his last name. It's easy to say the guy is only coaching because his father is Don Shula.

That refrain frequently was heard in Tampa Bay and Shula wound up taking a fall, simply because he was running the offense the way Tony Dungy told him to run it. Shula's gone on and been a head coach at the University of Alabama and has done some decent work in Jacksonville in recent years.

He's a smart guy and I think he's taken a lot of lessons with him out of his past experiences, even though they weren't all pleasant. Shula has a big job ahead of him, but I think he might be the right guy for this.