CHARLOTTE – Offensive coordinator Norv Turner described tactics the Panthers have seen from opposing defenses as "a good mix."
Last week on Thursday Night Football, the Steelers pressured quarterback Cam Newton relentlessly and sacked him five times – the most Carolina has allowed all season.
Their rush affected Newton's ability to deliver the ball and kept him contained in the pocket. He ran the ball just twice for 10 yards, both season lows.
"Last week they were committed to not letting Cam run the ball. I expect to see that in the future," Turner said.
Will other teams use Pittsburgh's plan on a short week as a blue print for slowing down Newton and the Panthers? This is a copycat league, so everyone is always taking notes. But everyone also makes adjustments. And teams tend to run their stuff based on their own unique strengths and weaknesses.
"Pittsburgh has a unique skill set. They are a 3-4 defense and they're very athletic, very physical on the edge," Turner said. "My experience when teams try to emulate another team, it's a struggle for them. I expect Detroit to do the things they've done. I don't expect them to change a great deal."
As for his unit, Turner emphasized the importance of establishing the run against the Lions, who rank 28th in run defense (132.7 yards per game).
"We have to keep our balance," Turner said. "We have to run the football and get our zone-read game going."
Will any of that include running back Cameron Artis-Payne, who moved up the depth chart following C.J. Anderson's departure?
There aren't many snaps to go around with Christian McCaffrey's extremely high usage rate, but Turner expressed confidence in Artis-Payne, who hasn't yet played this season.
"He's had a really good three or four weeks of practice," Turner said. "There will be some things for him."