For the past few years I’ve been fascinated by the power digital and social media have given to nearly anyone with Internet access. Monday night brought another example of how blurred the lines have gotten between traditional and so-called new media.
Now, I’m slightly familiar with John Ramsdell and the time he spent as an assistant with St. Louis’ Greatest Show on Turf offenses, but I had not heard the Panthers had added him to their staff. Yet a quick check of the coaches section of panthers.com revealed Ramsdell’s addition as the team’s new Senior Offensive Assistant.
After 11 years with the Rams, Ramsdell became the Chargers’ quarterbacks coach in 2006, overlapping four seasons with Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, so there’s your connection. Ramsdell was not retained last offseason when Mike McCoy was hired to replace Norv Turner.
Considering his background with the dynamic Rams offenses, Ramsdell could be an interesting addition, but it’s unclear how much of a say he will have in Carolina’s offense. Coordinator Mike Shula shouldered most of the blame for a smarter, but more conservative system in 2013.
Ramsdell may be sliding into the job previously held by Scott Turner from 2011-12, but with a different title and some more power. For what it’s worth, the media guide defined Turner’s former role as: The Panthers’ offensive quality control coach, Scott Turner breaks down vast amounts of information and analyzes opponents’ statistical tendencies to assist the coaches in their offensive preparations.
But back to how this story originally popped up online. Gabe Weissman, who sent the tweet, says he was in Spanish class when he first saw a blogger post this article on CarolinaHuddle.com. As Chris Miller points out in his post, the Panthers are often stealthy when adding assistants, so this was another case of them slipping in a new guy.
While digital and social media have put a little too much emphasis on who breaks news, it’s neat to trace back how a piece of information like this starts spreading. Would I have liked to have been able to post, tweet, whatever about Ramsdell first? Of course. But while we often hear about citizen journalists in reference to news stories, this example shows many can play sports reporter as well, and that’s kind of cool.