A day after Alabama coach Nick Saban made a royal entrance at a Senior Bowl practice in a luxury SUV, his predecessor sat in relative obscurity Tuesday in the end zone bleachers at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Mike Shula, wearing a Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville cap and black Oakleys, said fans still recognize him in the state where he played quarterback for Alabama and coached the Crimson Tide from 2003-06.

"A little bit," Shula said. "Maybe not quite as much anymore."

The Panthers' new offensive coordinator will no longer be able to keep a low profile in the Carolinas.

The team's quarterbacks coach the past two seasons, Shula takes over a Cam Newton-led offense that ranked 7th and 12th in the league in two years under former coordinator and new Cleveland coach Rob Chudzinski.

The Panthers considered a pair of former head coaches in Pat Shurmur and Hue Jackson before promoting Shula, the son of Hall of Fame coach Don Shula.

"I'm excited because number one, our quarterback," Shula said following the first of two Senior Bowl practices. "And I'm excited because of the guys that we're coaching."

During his final year as Tampa Bay's offensive coordinator in 1999, Shula coached a pair of proven running backs in Mike Alstott and Warrick Dunn and a rookie quarterback in Shaun King. Despite finishing 28th in the league in total offense, the Bucs came within a game of the Super Bowl.

Fourteen years later, Shula inherits a veteran running back corps featuring DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert. But instead of a rookie quarterback, Shula has a franchise quarterback – the same one he's worked with the past two seasons.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/01/22/3805575/panthers-offensive-coordinator.html#storylink=cpy