When Rob Chudzinski left the Panthers to become the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns, he left a pretty gaping hole on Carolina’s coaching staff. While it’s not as public as the head coaching searches going on, the Panthers are nonetheless in the middle of trying to find a replacement for Chudzinski. That search will bring in two former head coaches, as Hue Jackson and Pat Shurmur interviewed with Carolina on Monday.
There are two things to take out of this news. The obvious is that the Panthers must find someone who can work with their franchise player in Cam Newton. When things got rough last year, Newton stopped short of blaming the coaching staff directly, but it’s an incident that no one wants repeated.
The second thing to take away from this is that two former head coaches are coming in to interview, which means come next offseason, Carolina could already have a guy within their organization they’d want to promote if Ron Rivera fails in 2013. There was much doubt surrounding his job in 2012 but while Rivera survived the cut, the pressure to succeed is on.
Whichever offensive coordinator that comes to town will have been hired by the new general manager in town. This supports the theory that whoever is getting the job to run the offense might be a guy the front office views as a potential leader for the team.
The best case scenario is the new coordinator comes in, the Panthers have an outstanding year and Rivera’s job is safe. But we’ve seen a mild year and a sour year from this regime, which doesn’t lend very much confidence to 2013 being outstanding.