By now, you are well aware that the Carolina Panthers fired their head coach, Frank Reich, after just eleven games. It’s been a rough year so far, sitting at the bottom of the NFC South at 1-10. However, there are three potential new coaches who might be able to completely turn the Panthers around.
To set the stage here, let’s get right to the point. These are three outside-the-box and unconventional choices. Meaning, I have gotten away from the standard process of backfilling an NFL coaching vacancy with simply another NFL coach.
With all due respect to interim head coach Chris Tabor, let’s assume “interim” will be taken seriously. Tabor was previously the team’s special teams coordinator. So, here, we are thinking outside of the organization to fill Reich’s seat.
There are three reasons I am considering a “curveball” method. To start, owner David Tepper is a unique personality. Tepper has been known to make quick and instinctive decisions. Furthermore, he is heavily involved (and invested) in the team’s success. Reich apparently had to meet with Tepper after each game to review what had transpired. The second reason for my choices here is simply because I believe these NFL minds would actually be great at this gig. Now, I have zero NFL experience. However, I did play football for ten years, and I have actually interacted with two of the three options listed.
Lastly, we’ve seen a few out-of-the-ordinary NFL coaching choices in the past few seasons. Though he did not get the job, the Indianapolis Colts hired their previous Pro Bowl Center, Jeff Saturday, to be their interim coach last season. Saturday had never been an NFL coach previously.
So, yes, it would be simple for me to suggest common (and very worthy) names like Ben Johnson, the Offensive Coordinator for the Detroit Lions, or Steve Wilks, current Defensive Coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers (with a Panthers history). Nonetheless, let’s follow Tepper’s path of taking a calculated risk. Here are three creative options for the Carolina Panthers to consider hiring as their next head coach.