The Panthers have interviewed some guys you may have heard of, but that they’re mostly hiring their own speaks in part to what they’re offering.
Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer reports that they’ve interviewed Giants defensive assistant Al Holcomb for their vacant linebackers coach job. He’s never been a position coach in the NFL, though he has the requisite tie to new Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman.
It’s the latest underwhelming name in an offseason full of them.
They replaced offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski by promoting quarterbacks coach Mike Shula, then back-filled Shula’s job by moving Ken Dorsey over from their pro personnel department.
They filled special teams and receivers coach jobs by promoting guys who were assistants to the assistants, and brought back running backs coach Jim Skipper after he was fired by the Titans.
Part of the Panthers problem is that they aren’t able to offer as much security as other teams, in the literal or figurative sense.
They interviewed Hue Jackson and Pat Shurmur for the coordinator job before keeping it in-house with Shula (in the name of continuity), and brought in veteran special teams coaches Dave Toub and Bobby April for interviews, but both took jobs elsewhere.
Part of the reason, according to multiple league sources, is that the Panthers offered at least some of their candidates one-year deals.
With head coach Ron Rivera entering a make-or-break season with a 13-19 record, the entire staff’s on a one-year deal from a practical standpoint. But coaches also like to get paid, so the lack of multi-year security in terms of contract hasn’t helped them attract top talent.
In the case of special teams in particular (where they’ve ranked last in the league three of the last four years), their inability or unwillingness to make longer-term offers might have cost them a chance at an established coach such as Toub (who went to Kansas City) or April (Oakland), and left them promoting Rivera’s old Cal teammate Richard Rodgers, who filled the job on an interim basis last season after Brian Murphy was fired.
While it might not inspire much confidence, it does indicate that they’re letting Rivera do his thing this year, with the obvious implication that they don’t want to be tied to excess contractual obligations if it doesn’t work.