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Don Shula Would Love To See Panthers Go Undefeated


How do you explain wanting to see your greatest accomplishment – an unbeatable record that has defined you for your entire career – matched by another coach and another franchise?

It’s hard to say, but having your son be a part of that coaching staff probably helps. Such is the case for Don Shula.

The legendary Miami Dolphins head coach, who delivered the franchise’s two Super Bowl titles and the only undefeated season in NFL history, gave his blessing to the Carolinas Panthers on Thursday, claiming he would “love to see the Panthers [go 19-0]” and that he’d be “so proud if that happened.”

This desire to see Carolina’s perfect 8-0 start continue is helped in no small part by the fact that Don’s son, Mike Shula, is the team’s offensive coordinator.

Under Shula Jr., the team has more than overcome losing explosive sophomore receiver Kelvin Benjamin to a torn ACL in the preseason.

Instead, the Panthers have moulded a rag-tag group of pass catchers into a formidable unit led by supremely underrated tight end Greg Olsen, and have maintained a sturdy running game through the 1-2-3 punch of Jonathan Stewart, Mike Tolbert and even quarterback Cam Newton in short yardage. And while it might not be Mike’s forte, he’s probably not complaining about the defense either.

“That’s a unique guy; 6’5”, 250 pounds, and can run faster than anybody and throw better than anybody,” Shula Sr. said of Newton, the best dual-threat QB in the game today. “He’s just the complete package. If he stays healthy…he will be a lock to be a Hall of Famer.”

Don might want to pump the brakes on that last statement a little. It’s hard enough to rack up 11 straight wins to end this season, let alone keep up that level of production for another decade in the NFL. But you can’t reach 19-0 without being 8-0 first. Another undefeated season from a Shula might just make that name the hottest commodity in professional sport.

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