With the Buffalo Bills coming to town, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera had offensive coordinator Mike Shula change all the signals and calls ahead of Sunday’s NFL showdown. According to ESPN team reporter David Newton, the Panthers coaching staff are just making sure the team is espionage-proof since former backup quarterback Joe Webb is on the Bills’ roster.

Tactical move for Week 2

After coming through with impressive victories in Week 1, the Panthers, Bills enter into a high-stakes football match with the winner taking a 2-0 record and riding on a huge momentum to start the season.

Rivera and his team have done an excellent job keeping Cam Newton’s surgically-repaired throwing arm healthy by setting a strict protocol during practices. The Panthers quarterback was listed limited in Thursday’s practice, in which he was barred from participating in contact drills. On Friday, Newton returned to the field and threw balls during individual practices.

Against the Bills, Carolina appears to be wary of several things: A reloaded offense, tough offensive line, and an improving defense. Buffalo held down the New York Jets to just 12 points in Week 1, shutting down their opponents’ offense in the first and fourth quarter.

Aside from that, another factor that makes Rivera feel unease is the presence of Webb on the Bills roster.

Carolina head coach understands that Webb, who spent the entire training camp with the Panthers before his release on September 2, knows every call they have on their playback, from receivers to running backs. Rivera’s decision to alter the Panthers’ signals and calls has nothing to do with former Panthers’ defensive coordinator and now Bills head coach Sean Mcdermott.

He also doesn’t intend to undermine Webb, whom the Bills signed on September 4. The Panthers mentor just wanted to rule out the element of espionage.

Trust in McDermott

If the Bills are going to win the match against the Panthers, it’s almost for sure it won’t be because of espionage. McDermott, who’s looking to be the first Bills head coach to go 2-0, has been around Newton for quite some time to know the quarterback’s strengths and weaknesses.

Charlotte Observer writer Joseph Person believed, McDermott’s familiarity with Newton, regardless of the Panthers’ new offense, will play a factor in Sunday’s match. He expects McDermott to blitz Newton with another former Panthers’ and now Bills starting nickel Leonard Johnson leading the charge.

McDermott liked to use Johnson in blitz situations with Carolina, and he’ll send the 5-10, 194-pounder at Newton on Sunday. And Johnson will get his man,” said Person, who predicted a Panther 24-17 win over the Bills.