CHARLOTTE — Mondays are film days in the NFL when players go over the video of the previous day's game.
These are silent films, with coaches providing the soundtrack with their commentary of how the various position groups performed.
And Monday in the Panthers' offensive line meeting the message was loud and clear: The run blocking has to get better.
"Just like I thought we would, we caught an earful (Monday) from the coaches because we didn't run the ball like we should," left tackle Jordan Gross said Tuesday. "That's something we're going to continue to work on. But at the same time, we can't let any of the pass protection drop off."
Through two games, the disparity between the Panthers' run and pass games has been striking. With rookie Cam Newton becoming the first player to begin his career with back-to-back, 400-yard passing games, the Panthers rank second behind New England in pass offense.
But they are 29th of 32 teams in rushing offense (72.5 yards a game), despite the presence of two 1,000-yard tailbacks.
Several players have said this is the new-look Panthers. Former coach John Fox and his third-down draws are out; Ron Rivera and a dynamic, down-field passing attack are in.
But the pass-first offense might reflect a growing trend in the NFL, where rules changes designed to protect quarterbacks and receivers have contributed to teams throwing the ball at a record clip.
There were 14 quarterbacks who passed for 300 yards or more during Week 1, the most in a single week in NFL history. There were five games during Week 1 in which both quarterbacks threw for at least 300, another single-week record.
The aerial attacks continued in Week 2.
Quarterbacks have combined for 15,771 net passing yards, the most through two weeks of an NFL season. Led by Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and others, quarterbacks have accumulated 22 passer ratings of 100 or greater, a high-water mark through the first two weeks.
Three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust has gone the way of the dial-up Internet.
"I think obviously quarterback play has gotten better and better. Defensively, people are going to stop the run," said Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski, who came with Rivera from San Diego, where Norv Turner runs a wide-open offense.
"You have to get some (yardage) chunks to score. Obviously the fastest way to get that is through the air. But ultimately you have to have balance and you have to be able to win games in different ways. Hopefully we can build it to be that type of offense."
The Panthers' lack of a running game has been most evident near the goal line.
While they are second behind the Patriots in total offense with 476 yards a game, the Panthers are in the bottom third of the league in red-zone efficiency, scoring touchdowns on just 37.5 percent of their chances inside an opponent's 20-yard line.
Some analysts have suggested the changes in practice routines in the new collective-bargaining agreement, which allows teams just one padded practice a week, have hurt goal-line offenses because teams are not getting enough full contact work.
Rivera does not subscribe to that theory.
"Teams under (former Green Bay coach) Mike Holmgren, once they got to a certain part of the year, they were never in pads. I was with Norv Turner where we went the whole year in pads. It comes down to what your philosophy is," Rivera said. "Some guys may think they're not getting enough bumping around to be effective. I don't buy it. I believe it all comes down to is your guy better than his guy? Is the call the right call or are they in a better defense than the call?"
"We've had games here where we went no pads all week and rushed for 200-plus yards, and we've been in pads Wednesday, Thursday knocking the snot out of each other and rushed for 80 yards. It's about Sundays," he said. "I don't think it's about Wednesdays and Thursdays. Practice is very important, but I don't think the gear you have on determines how you do on Sunday."
Right guard Geoff Hangartner believes the Panthers have the personnel up front to be effective. Gross and center Ryan Kalil went to the Pro Bowl last year.
And when right tackle Jeff Otah returns from a concussion, the Panthers will have the same starting line that was together at the end of the 2008 regular season. Carolina rushed for a team-record 2,437 yards that season, paced by DeAngelo Williams (1,515) and Jonathan Stewart (836), the tandem that is averaging 2.5 yards a carry this season.
"I don't think it's ability. I don't think it's scheme," Hangartner said. "I think it's just getting our technique right and really wanting to get after people."
Newton's success should help the run game.
The Arizona Cardinals stacked the line of scrimmage in Week 1 and dared Newton to beat them. But after Newton's 422-yard debut, Green Bay played its safeties back most of the game and did little blitzing.
For a lineman who saw teams load up the line last season when quarterback Jimmy Clausen struggled through his rookie season, it was a sight to behold.
"That's a beautiful thing," Gross said. "Before we haven't been able to keep them off or keep them on their heels (by) throwing the ball. So it's exciting potentially what we can do if we can get both run and pass going, and ... keep those safeties deep."